The Craving Brain by Anderson Spickard Jr.

The Craving Brain

Science, Spirituality, and the Road to Recovery
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut collection that offers portraits of addiction.

Spickard, a medical doctor and addiction expert, with co-authors Thompson (a writing coach and nonprofit founder) and B. (a recovering addict and nonprofit executive), compiles clear, honest stories from people from all walks of life, including doctors, other professionals, students, and mothers. They all share one thing in common: a dance with addiction. The authors combine scientific research with these accounts to create a page-turning self-help work that transcends the didactic norms of the genre. It will help readers in crisis as well as those who simply want to get a better understanding of how drug and alcohol dependency works; for example, it explains the adaptations that occur in the brain when one habitually exposes it to an addictive substance. In one anecdote, a survivor recounts spending hundreds of dollars per day on prescription painkillers; she realized that she had spiraled out of control when she found herself believing that people enjoyed her company more when she took the pills. Another story describes an intervention for a man who was normally a functional, responsible father but became belligerent and terrifying while blackout drunk. The authors also clearly illustrate how alcoholism and drug dependency can go hand in hand with depression or other disorders. Perhaps most memorable and effective are the stories of people being fired after failing to uphold responsibilities they’d worked tirelessly to gain. These testimonials offer objective, detached wisdom and clarity, which makes for powerful, emotional reading experiences. For anyone who’s struggled with substance dependency, this book will serve as an eye-opening, enlightening read.

An important, harrowing look at the cycle of addiction and its prevalence in society.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5115-5447-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2016