It's okay to love them. It's your right to help them.
Addiction destroys people and can even end lives. When you know or suspect that someone you love is suffering from addiction you have two goals: getting your loved one into treatment and turning that treatment into full-fledged sobriety. Many addiction experts tell you that you have to disengage or risk being an enabler, a codependent bystander, in the wreckage of an addict's life; that you have to cut all ties or be taken advantage of financially and emotionally; that you have to protect yourself from your loved one, who isn't the person you used to know. But many friends and family members find it unnatural, even impossible, to turn away from a person they love who is at his lowest point, and refuse to believe that their addict is lost to addiction.
Backed by his years of experience, Dr. Westreich guides you through the process of getting the addict you love on the road to treatment and recovery. He provides detailed scripts to lead you through pivotal conversations with the addict in your life, highlighting the words that he's found to be most effective and the words to avoid. With this book in hand, family and friends will know, for example, how to motivate their addict to recognize his problem based on the addict's own definition of what addiction looks like; how to "raise the bottom" that addicts so often must hit to a more acceptable level -- such as embarrassment, job loss, or ill health; and when to use gentle disagreement, quiet listening, or forceful confrontation to move the addict toward treatment, while managing and protecting their own emotions. Dr. Westreich also shows you how to engage a therapist in the process and provides methods for combating an addict's defense mechanisms. By outlining several treatment options, he helps you to weigh what each can and cannot accomplish, which is the most effective treatment for the kind of addiction you are dealing with, what each treatment requires of the recovering addict and the friend or family member, and how successful each is. Dr. Westreich also takes care to discuss the kinds of special situations you may face when the addict in your life, in addition to having a substance abuse problem, is a minor, is pregnant, has mental or medical diseases, or has other issues that are likely to affect recovery.
Helping the Addict You Love is the guide that so many loved ones of addicts have desperately needed. Dr. Westreich supports you through the emotional process of helping the addict you love, tells you it's okay to want to help, and teaches you how to do so.
Laurence M. Westreich, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of patients dually diagnosed with addiction and mental disorders. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in general psychiatry, holds a certificate of added qualifications on addiction psychiatry, and is certified as an addiction specialist by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Westreich is associate professor of clinical psychiatry in the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, and serves as the consultant on drugs of abuse to Major League Baseball. He formerly worked as the director of Bellevue Hospital's Detoxification Unit and Dual Diagnosis Unit. He lives in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and three children.
"Psychiatrist and certified addiction specialist Westreich (clinical psychiatry, NYU Sch. of Medicine) shares what he thinks works best for families and friends hoping to get their loved ones into treatment without getting hurt themselves. His method, a combination of what he calls creative engagement and constructive coercion, is based on his personal experience with hundreds of patients and their families and friends, as well as ideas culled from psychiatric literature and advice from his mentors. His methodology involves using every available strategy to convince the addict to enter treatment and then continuing to work with the addict, who should not be left to his or her own devices. This approach contradicts conventional treatment wisdom and offers a more positive outlook than do the tough love or intervention approaches typically recommended. Along with his novel strategies, Westreich deals with recognizing and understanding the nature of addiction, learning about treatment options, and handling situations that can present special difficulties. He also includes highly realistic sample dialogs that help family and friends prepare for and implement these strategies. Highly recommended for larger public libraries and for academic libraries supporting the helping professions." -- Dale Farris, Groves, TX, Library Journal
"This book is an invaluable resource for the family and friends of addicted people. It is unusual among resources on addiction, because it acknowledges that many alcohol and drug-dependent people are unable or unwilling to embark on a course of recovery. This book shows how to approach this serious problem." -- Marc Galanter, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director, Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, New York University Medical Center
"This is a terrific book for family members struggling with a loved one's addiction. Families of those with alcohol or drug problems suffer greatly, and often have no idea how to proceed. This book offers them some sense of context, an understanding of addiction, practical strategies, and most of all, hope. Dr. Westreich is a leading expert in the addiction field and he has done a marvelous job here. I recommend this book highly."
-- Roger D. Weiss, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School Clinical Director, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program McLean Hospital