Understanding and overcoming addictionPost excerpt:  It is almost impossible to find anyone who can say that they don’t have someone in their family or friends that has a problem with some kind of addiction.  Yet, even though addiction is the country’s number one health problem, it is surprising how little most folks understand about this problem or what can be done about it.  “Knowledge to Power:  Understanding and Overcoming Addiction” is a book that gives people not only the understanding of this disease, but practical solutions as to how to overcome it.  This is not a book filled with technical terms or psychobabble, but is a straightforward, easily understood book that gives hope to individuals and families that are dealing with the addictive illness.

 

Post Content:  There is considerable media attention right now on the opioid crisis in our country and there should be, because it is epidemic.  However, lost in the discussion is that our culture has had an addiction problem in a much wider sense for a long time.  When one considers how many addictive agents there are that are being abused such as  street drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, tobacco, sex and computer/game/I-phone addictions, it is literally staggering.  Yet, many people have no idea that addiction is a disease that is like any other disease and that it is treatable like many other diseases are.  The public’s perception of addiction for the most part is that it is either caused by a lack of brains, lack of desire or lack of character.  The element that is not seen by folks is that addiction, like other diseases is always about a lack of power or loss of control.  To those not addicted, it would seem simple to just stop doing what the addicted person is doing, but that is to miss the point.  An addicted person has lost the ability to make a decision and stick with it.  If they could do that, they would not be addicted.  There is an actual change in the brain chemistry of an addicted person that causes the phenomenon of craving.  They literally cannot not use!

     “Knowledge to Power:  Understanding and Overcoming Addiction” is a very simple, yet profound explanation of the addictive illness that not only describes the problem, but gives real life examples of how this disease shows up in families and the destruction it causes.  In addiction, there are very specific solutions that are put forward to do something about this epidemic, rather than just wringing ones hands and saying, “Isn’t it awful”?  

     This book gets at the emotions that drive addiction such as:  guilt, shame, anger, fear, grief, and loss. It becomes very clear that people use addictive substances in order to change the way they feel in a hurry.  If things like drugs, alcohol and other addictive agents did not change the way we feel, who would be interested in them?  For example, people do not smoke heroin because they like taste – they want to feel differently in a hurry and they know that the mood swing will be there after the first few puffs.  It also is clear that if addicted persons want to overcome their addiction, they will have to not only stop using their addictive agent, but also learn how to deal with those painful feelings from the inside out instead of bringing something from the outside in.  Recovery is a process then of becoming emotionally mature.  This is why it is hard work and why folks hesitate to do it, but it can be done and can be very rewarding. The good news of recovery is that people can actually have a much better life in recovery than they would have otherwise had if they had not become addicted!  

     This work also outlines very specifically what happens to the family members of addicts and what they need to do for their own recovery.  This disease is not only about those who are addicted with the illness, but also about those who are affected by the illness.  Oftentimes the family members and close friends of an addict are affected more than the addict is because the addict is anesthetized and they are not.  There is also specific help for those people who were raised in addicted or dysfunctional homes. There is a way for those people to get healthy also and not let their nightmarish upbringing continue to weigh them down and ruin their relationships.  “hits bottom”.  We can intervene in such a way that we bring bottom up until it hits them!  We can learn how to stop enabling their disease and force them to get help even though they are kicking and screaming all the way.  

     “Knowledge to Power:  Understanding and Overcoming Addiction” explains how to work with addicts and what things work and what things don’t.  It gives the picture of what it means for an addict to have an ongoing program of recovery rather than just a hope or a wish that things will turn out all right.  

     For anyone who is concerned about his or her own addictive behaviors or someone else’s this is the practical, easily understood, yet profound book to read..

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