How Science and Kindness Help People Change
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A sensible, family-focused guide to substance abuse.

In addressing family members who feel helpless when faced with addiction, Foote, Wilkens, and Kosanke draw on 40 years of substantiated analysis and clinical research from their Manhattan-based Center for Motivation and Change, a collective recovery treatment program founded on the hopeful principle that “people get better.” All three are aggressive proponents of the Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training rehabilitation strategy, which introduces a real-world, motivational, coordinated approach to a loved one’s substance abuse. The guidebook begins with the basics, describing the nature of addiction as a “complex and multidetermined” problem, how it takes hold, and its underlying psychological causation, which can vary from chronic depression to bipolar disorder. With the assistance of co-author Higgs, the authors promote professional hope for “profound possibilities” through understanding, coping, helping and thriving. Bulleted lists and helpful exercises further assist families with identifying the stages of drug abuse, coping mechanisms, modes of self-care, limitations and the importance of positive communication. The book steers family members and supporters away from the trap of codependency yet comforts them in knowing that any ambivalence they may feel is completely normal and is simply the byproduct of life changes. The highlighted case studies clearly personify a wide array of situations of varying severity—e.g., discovering a spouse is a closet alcoholic or finding oneself at the mercy of opioid painkillers or unable to break a cigarette smoking habit. The authors also include a lengthy, significant chapter on treatment options and available levels of care, all stated, as is most of the book’s text, in accessible, everyday language. Objectively written and conveyed with congenial authority, the book offers collective hope to families of substance abusers.

Essential outreach on embracing and effectively managing a loved one’s addiction.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4767-0947-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2013


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