A guidebook to the science and treatment of opioid addiction.
Over the last 15 years the use of opium-based painkillers and street drugs has skyrocketed. Pierce tracks this startling development and offers advice to addiction sufferers in his new book. Pierce, a doctor, has spent much of his career studying opioid addictions and operates two treatment centers in Philadelphia. He draws on his extensive experience to offer an accessible overview of the medical, psychological and social factors that lead to addiction. Pierce draws distinctions between the different kinds of opioid drugs, their effect on the body and the various treatment methods. In this way, his book serves as a helpful guide for a range of addiction sufferers. Complicated medical jargon is simplified for the lay reader, and Pierce manages to mostly avoid the touchy-feely sentiments that clutter up so many stories about addiction. This book contains helpful information for addiction sufferers as they manage the process of withdrawal. A long section on treatment options is particularly useful for understating the effects of methadone, suboxone and other drugs for treating opioid addiction. It is mostly directed at addiction sufferers, but at other times, it seems more directed toward the friends and families of addicts and medical professionals looking for an overview of the science. The book has something to offer all of them, but never becomes a definitive resource for any of them. This is a minor complaint; Pierce is not aiming to be comprehensive. Instead, this slim volume acts as an introduction to the problem of addiction and provides addicts with the information they need to make informed choices about their treatment.
Lots of hard science and practical advice make this a valuable read for addicts and the people who care for them.