YOU CAN'T DO IT ALONE by William B. O'Brien


The Daytop Way to Make Your Child Drug-Free
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 The story of the most successful drug-treatment program ever, as told by its founder. One day in 1957, O'Brien explains, Chuck Dederich, a longshoreman unsatisfied with A.A.'s then-refusal to work with drug addicts, opened a storefront in California--and addicts soon began flocking to Synanon. Four years later, Synanon had done for thousands of abusers what no physician or psychiatrist had been able to: offer an effective cure that addicts gave themselves. Enter O'Brien, who, since his days as a young priest in the Bronx, had been stunned by heroin's devastation. To offer on the East Coast the kind of service that Synanon provided in California, O'Brien rented a house, found a Synanon graduate to be his program director, and launched ``Daytop Village''--soon filled to bursting with hopeful addicts. Here, aided by N.Y.C. journalist Henican, O'Brien takes us inside a typical Daytop house, vividly portraying how it feels to be part of a family after a lifelong scramble on the streets or in a string of foster homes. There are two cardinal rules at Daytop: No drugs, and no violence. Residents talk their rage out in encounter groups--a first step toward socialization--and everybody works at a job in the house. O'Brien's talks with addicts about their past, their Daytop experience, and their future are gripping--but he crows a bit too much as he records one triumph after another as Daytop goes worldwide (``We have provided technical guidance to so many countries around the world, it is impossible to remember them all''), and he spends page after tedious page thanking supporters, including Tony Orlando, Mary Tyler Moore, Shirley Maclaine, Roger Staubach, and on and on. A timely, if overly promotional, introduction to the only drug-treatment method that works for the hard-core addict.

Pub Date: July 5th, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-72837-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1993


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