Addiction & Alcoholism
Never Enough
The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction
By Judith Grisel
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 18th 2019.
Never Enough by Judith GriselJudy Grisel is a researcher in neuroscience at Fuhrman University, South Carolina. Her specialty is in addiction. She also tells her own story of her relationship with drugs, which she used heavily in her youth and then completely stopped using. She tells us a little about her family but not a lot. She gives some comments on her experiences with different drugs but does not say much about how she came to take them or what happened to her when she did. So this is a long way from being a memoir, and Grisel tends to be terse about most of her topics. Never Enough is a fairly short book and m
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US of AA
How the Twelve Steps Hijacked the Science of Alcoholism
By Joe Miller
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 11th 2019.
The thesis of US of AA is that Alcoholic Anonymous is not based on credible scientific theories and it does not provide the only or even the best treatment for alcoholism. It gained its dominance in the US not through scientific and medical evidence but through chance and politics. The forces that keep it in its predominant position are also political and social rather than scientific. The subtitle of the book uses the emotive word "hijacked" which is also misleading in implying that there was a plan to carry all this out. Indeed, it is reminiscent of those who say that in addiction,
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US of AA by Joe Miller

Getting Off
One Woman's Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction
By Erica Garza
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 3rd 2018.
Getting Off by Erica GarzaIn her memoir of her life, Erica Garza portrays herself as a sexual addict. This is a difficult task to attempt since many readers will be suspicious that sex and porn can be genuinely addictive. However, the greater problem for Garza is her interpretation of herself as being unhappy. One might think that one can at least know if one is happy or unhappy, but Getting Off presents a case of someone who seems to have plenty of success, plenty of friends, family harmony, and no material struggles. She certainly has a lot of sex and uses a lot of porn to masturbate with, and through her teen years
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The Recovering
Intoxication and Its Aftermath
By Leslie Jamison
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 29th 2018.
According to the Yale English Department website, Leslie Jamison gained her PhD in May 2016 with her dissertation titled "The Recovered: Addiction and Sincerity in 20th Century American Literature." According to Wikipedia, she was born in 1983, she is the daughter of two academics and is the niece of famed writer Kay Redfield Jamison. She has spent a good deal of time at the Iowa Writers Workshop. She is now an assistant professor in English at Columbia University, is married to another writer, and now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She describes herself as a "nice middle class white girl." T
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The Recovering by Leslie Jamison

Chasing the Scream
The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
By Johann Hari
Review by Daniel J. Dunleavy on Tue, Sep 5th 2017.
Chasing the Scream by Johann HariJohann Hari is an award-winning British journalist who has written for major news outlets around the world. In Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, Hari investigates two major facets of the modern drug problem. On the one hand, he describes the history of and contemporary policies toward psychoactive drug use, highlighting the United States' "War on Drugs". This twentieth century government initiative, which levied strict criminal punishments toward drug-dealers and drug-users domestically and abroad, is contrasted with shifting policies and practices around th
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The Big Fix
Hope After Heroin
By Tracey Helton Mitchell
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 20th 2017.
HBO'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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The Big Fix by Tracey Helton Mitchell

Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation
A Neurobiologically Informed Holistic Treatment
By Alexandra Katehakis
Review by Anna Westin on Tue, May 9th 2017.
Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation  by Alexandra KatehakisWith 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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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.
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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Drug Dealer, MD by Anna Lembke

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