A step-by-step manual for quitting crystal meth, for addicts and those who want to help them.
Sharp, a former addict, presents a short, unsentimental and practical step-by-step guide to what methamphetamine addicts will face if they decide to quit. Sharp not only knows the fears and worries of such addicts and their loved ones from firsthand experience, but he also knows the dodges and rationalizations they use to talk themselves out of getting the help they need; he’s used such rationalizations himself. This short book is full of quotes from former users who are now clean, and he explicitly tells readers what those quotes imply: They can quit. His manual deals with every aspect of crystal meth addiction and recovery, from the chemical basis of it all—“Those who don’t know any better view addiction as a moral issue, a matter of willpower or character,” he writes. “But the truth is: addiction is a biological process in a brain that is malfunctioning”—to scheduling doctors’ visits to purging the post-rehab life of all the old, bad surrounding that help to “trigger” meth use. It’s not just things that can be triggers; people can be, too: “If your Facebook is overwhelmed with using buddies,” Sharp advises, “create a wholly new account and send friend requests only to your non-using friends.” He concentrates on five main stages of detoxing: initial withdrawal, which lasts around two to four weeks (“the hardest 30 days you’ll experience,” he says, though “thousands have done it before you, so you can too”); the honeymoon or “Pink Cloud,” a euphoric rebound lasting around eight weeks; the wall, a depressive back swing lasting up to four months; adjustment, which can take as long as six months; and ongoing recovery, which can go on for a year longer. With patience, optimism and self-deprecating humor—not to mention an authoritative tone from his insider’s knowledge—Sharp makes the entire experience of quitting and getting healthy seem not only possible but deeply alluring.
A small book featuring an enormous amount of hard-won personal experience, calcifying into a commanding, reassuring guide for addicts to reclaim their lives.