WILLPOWER'S NOT ENOUGH: Understanding and Overcoming Addictions and Compulsions by Arnold M. & Donna Boundy Washton

WILLPOWER'S NOT ENOUGH: Understanding and Overcoming Addictions and Compulsions

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, Washton and Boundy (coauthors, Cocaine and Crack: What You Need to Know, 1989, not reviewed) delineate what they see as the causes for America's addiction epidemic and lay out a program for curing most types of middle-class addictions. The ""addictive personality"" is created, the authors say, by parents too busy with a ""perfect family"" facade, too rigid to permit children to express their true feelings and to feel valued for what they really are. Society's emphasis on ""quick fix"" solutions, on self-reliance, on money and status, produces an inner emptiness that is all-too-often alleviated by involvement with drugs, alcohol, gambling, workaholism, etc. Nancy Reagan's ""just say no"" approach is unrealistic, the authors contend. As for cure, it begins only when an addict accepts that he or she is sick and needs help. This help can come from a network of supportive friends or the appropriate A.A. kind of group. Once addicts achieve some control over their lives, they should ferret out the causes of the addiction and gradually change the personality traits (perfectionism, powerlessness, emotional numbness, etc.) behind it. Wordy and repetitive, but still a useful synthesis of much knowledge about addiction.

Pub Date: Aug. 2nd, 1989
Publisher: Harper & Row