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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Addiction Recovery Manual by E. Allen Griggs, M.D., J.D. is the book that could save your life or someone you love. Part medical manual/part self-help, this doctor/lawyer lays out medical, legal, and practical help for individuals living with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, and those close to them. A pathologist who has conducted many addiction-related autopsies, this author uses a medical model in his approach to understanding patients with substance use disorders, describing addiction as a medical disease no different than any other disease. He defines addiction as a genetic brain disorder that shouldn't be stigmatized or regarded as a character flaw but often is. This approach leads to a less judgmental, less taboo approach to admitting that a person needs professional medical help when dealing with an addiction, perhaps more than incarceration or the legal system. Seeing addiction in medical terms opens the door for treatment and recovery.
One important feature of this book is how Dr. Griggs uses anecdotes, including his own personal story and examples, to help convey his points and support his ideas and uses other relevant experts for information or insight. He will be the first to tell you that addiction often begins with a prescription of pain pills prescribed by a doctor after an injury or surgery. And let's be honest. Drugs are used for recreation in social settings as well. Since the author is both doctor and lawyer, he gives a unique, wide-screen view of addiction and how to treat it with his proposed model, and why it would be effective. He starts with stories of addiction and the devastation addiction leaves in its wake. You'll learn about the myriad of legal issues surrounding drugs and alcohol. Along with the basic understanding of the effects certain drugs have on the brain, body, and behavior, he explains how people, individuals and their families/friends, become engulfed and ravaged by addiction and its fallout. But he doesn't stop at just explaining the problem. His solution involves a recovery plan that he supports. Also helpful are his thoughts on AA, his notes, and questions for readers to reflect on. Though the author has additional addiction books in the works, this is a good one to start with. Addiction Recovery Manual by E. Allen Griggs, M.D., J.D. is a book that can help you understand and cope with addiction.