Addiction & Alcoholism
The Big Fix
Hope After Heroin
By Tracey Helton Mitchell
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 20th 2017.
The Big Fix by Tracey Helton MitchellHBO's documentary Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street (sometimes available on Youtube) was released in 1999. It followed several young people who were regular heroin users. One of them was Tracey. She went on to stop using drugs, and now she is married with three children. She works as a counselor to people with substance abuse problems. The Big Fix is her memoir. Most of The Big Fix is Mitchell's own story. There are a couple of sections at the end of the book about drug policy and advice for people who are trying to stop using. She is skeptical about the 12-step approach, which dis
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Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation
A Neurobiologically Informed Holistic Treatment
By Alexandra Katehakis
Review by Anna Westin on Tue, May 9th 2017.
With insight that can only be developed from years of professional experience and detailed research, counselor and clinical director Alexandra Katehakis provides a comprehensive account of sex addiction from a neurobiological perspective. Dr. Patrick Caines hails the book as a 'touchstone…for understanding addiction', and the detail and depth with which it provides an overview of the field leaves me in no doubt that he is correct.  In Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation, Katehakis suggests that sex addiction needs to be understood in detail as an addiction that can be engaged w
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Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation  by Alexandra Katehakis

Drug Dealer, MD
How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why Itís So Hard to Stop
By Anna Lembke
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 24th 2017.
Drug Dealer, MD by Anna Lembke It's long been clear that doctors in the USA have been far too ready to prescribe opiates to patients and that they are largely responsible for the crisis of opiate addiction in which we find ourselves. Lembke's excellent book Drug Dealer, MD explains how this came about. It's a short book, concisely written, giving plenty of examples of patients' stories while at the same time showing trends in policy and national practice. The book has 10 chapters covering many aspects of the story. One of the most interesting is the change in attitude towards pain. Pain used to be viewed by docto
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Illness or Deviance?
Drug Courts, Drug Treatment, and the Ambiguity of Addiction
By Jennifer Murphy
Review by Anna Westin on Tue, Dec 13th 2016.
It is rare that addiction literature is able to present detailed personal narratives within an informative and critical perspective that leave the reader feeling they have gained clear insight into a particular situation.  Illness or Deviance? Drug Courts, Drug Treatment, and the Ambiguity of Addiction presents just such an account, engaging with the interaction between drug addiction and the American penal system.  Jennifer Murphy’s sociological account of addiction gives the reader an overview of American drug culture, while exploring key concepts such as stigma and the histo
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Illness or Deviance? by Jennifer Murphy

Addictions
A Social Psychological Perspective
By Catalina E. Kopetz and Carl W. Lejuez (Editors)
Review by Anna Westin on Tue, Aug 23rd 2016.
 Addictions by Catalina E. Kopetz and Carl W. Lejuez (Editors)It is often difficult to find a comprehensive overview of current addiction research that encompasses more than one perspective in an in-depth and carefully considered manner.  However, Addictions: A Social Psychological Perspective, edited by C. E. Kopetz and C. W. Lejuez manages to do just this.  The volume contains a broad spectrum of papers that gives insight into the contemporary challenges and developments in addiction from a social psychology perspective.  Challenging the 'reductionist tradition of approaching addiction from a medical model' (2016, p. ix), these assorted
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Addiction
A Philosophical Perspective
By Candice L. Shelby
Review by Susanne Uusitalo, Ph.D. on Tue, Aug 23rd 2016.
Candice L Shelby's monograph provides a new, empirically informed, philosophical account of addiction that sheds light to the lives of addicted individuals and their treatment in the society. The approach is unique, as it draws on various fields of theoretical philosophy in light of empirical research on addiction. She argues that seeing addiction either as a disease or a choice is a false dichotomy and offers her account of addiction as an emergent process of a set of complex processes. Shelby's task is ambitious as the perspective touches upon highly theoretical issues in philosophy of mind
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Addiction by Candice L. Shelby

Free Refills
A Doctor Confronts His Addiction
By Peter Grinspoon
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 19th 2016.
Free Refills by Peter GrinspoonPeter Grinspooon recounts the story of his prosecution for misusing his doctor privileges to get himself drugs, and his road to both recovery and gaining back his license to practice medicine. He sets out the details of his past, his deteriorating marriage, and his relationship with his young children. It's a complex story because there are many different elements. His father was a famous psychiatrist who advocated for the use of marijuana as a form of pain control, and his parents led a somewhat bohemian life, often smoking pot at home with friends. Grinspoon had three brothers, one a twin. H
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The Biology of Desire
Why Addiction Is Not a Disease
By Marc Lewis
Review by Anna Westin on Tue, Apr 19th 2016.
In The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease, Marc Lewis challenges the dichotomy of brain disease theories of addiction.  Unpacking the difficulties in definition and treatment provided by the disease model, and supporting his claims with recent neuroscientific findings, Lewis suggests that addiction is another natural instance of the brain reconfiguring its response to a salient desire, and engraining it as a complicated habit.   Using a series of addiction narratives, he shows how each individual develops an addiction in response to various internal and external f
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The Biology of Desire by Marc Lewis

 
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