WOMEN MARRIED TO ALCOHOLICS: Help and Hope for Nonalcoholic Partners by Morris with Ian Walker Kokin

WOMEN MARRIED TO ALCOHOLICS: Help and Hope for Nonalcoholic Partners

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Kokin, director of treatment at a Toronto drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, contends that wives of alcoholics are getting a bum rap in being labeled ""co-addicts,"" ""enablers,"" etc. Such labels, Kokin says, imply that these wives are accomplices in prolonging their spouses' alcoholism, and that therefore they not only harm already fragile self-esteem but also denigrate reasonable coping strategies: protecting family income by covering up the true reason for job absences, withdrawing emotionally to focus on children's needs, hiding the liquor, etc. Spouses and children of alcoholics, claims Kokin, are hostages trapped in a situation over which they have no control. Like hostages, they often need professional emotional support for months or years. Kokin also recommends an ""intervention"" to get the alcoholic into treatment. This involves a confrontation with him in the presence of a specialist by family members plus a close friend or perhaps an executive he works for, who can attempt to convince him to get treatment at a rehabilitation center where a bed is already reserved. A worthwhile if windy critique of current addiction theory.

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1989
Publisher: Morrow