Manage My Addiction

What I Wish I'd Learned in School about Addiction, Escape, and Recovery

Non-Fiction - Self Help
154 Pages
Reviewed on 06/30/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite

Manage My Addiction: What I Wish I'd Learned in School about Addiction, Escape, and Recovery is written for those dealing with any type of addiction, including drugs, alcohol, or behavioral issues such as gambling or spending too much time on social media. Author Kenneth J. Martz, Psy.D., says that millions of people are addicted to either substances or destructive behaviors. The book consists of 22 short chapters, including titles such as “The Stages of Addiction,” “The Five Treatment Approaches,” and “Goal Setting.” Martz explains the process of how and why people get addicted and outlines many techniques to use in overcoming addictions. Chapters are short, which is helpful because readers can consider and act on the information before going on to a new point. Furthermore, Martz wisely uses plenty of subheadings, graphs, charts, and bullet points to make information easy to grasp. Each chapter ends with helpful “takeaways,” summaries of the most important points in the chapter.

This is an invaluable book, and I say that from the standpoint of one who is not looking to overcome any addictions. Although Kenneth J. Martz’s goal is to help people defeat destructive behavior, Manage My Addiction is one of the most effective overall self-help books I’ve read. The chapter titled “Why, Why, Why, are We Here?” is beneficial to anyone to figure out why they’re at the place in their life that they are. One of the most helpful chapters for me was the chapter on “Beliefs,” which encourages readers to question their assumptions and break free of erroneous ones. Although it’s only a short paragraph, the information about “forgiving ourselves” was also extremely important to me. Anyone who reads this book will find that many parts of it will speak to them, regardless of whether they’re attempting to overcome addiction or just want to improve their overall mental health. I highly recommend this excellent book.

Jon Michael Miller

In Manage My Addiction, Kenneth J. Martz Psy.D. explains upfront that the book is for people to learn more about the addiction process, to explore critical elements of treatment methodologies, and to gather tools for their “personal recovery journey.” It all adds up, it would seem, to address addicts (whether of substance, e.g. opioids or of process, e.g. gambling) who are looking for a way out of their problem. In writing such a book, Dr. Martz presents his information gently and compassionately, taking time to explain the necessary concepts and using simple metaphors to bring the concepts home to the untrained reader looking for help. He motivates the reader by providing quotes from famous people who should know: J.K. Rowling, Mark Twain, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Luther King, Jr., to name a few. He even switches into the first person (I) to integrate himself into the instruction process.

Most effective, I thought, in addressing the novice searcher for help are the “takeaway” ideas with which Dr. Martz ends each section, exercises for the long and short term that people beginning the process can easily use to initiate and continue their path to recovery. He stresses the point that the beginning of it all is in awareness, the correct assessment of one’s present state: the first step when one finds oneself in a hole is to stop digging. He mentions several times that his book is not a substitute for work with a counselor. I learned a great deal about the therapy process, such as the difference between SMART and BHAG goal setting, among many others. Dr. Martz ends by listing resources and further programs offered in his practice. Manage My Addiction by Kenneth J. Martz, Psy.D. is a meaningful starting point for someone breaking out of the cage of any form of addiction.

Asher Syed

Manage My Addiction: What I Wish I'd Learned in School about Substance Use Disorder and Addiction Recovery by Kenneth J. Martz, Psy.D., is a non-fiction guide that breaks down what addiction actually is, and how the way addiction is regulated is antiquated and counter-productive. The book is broken down into three parts. Part one, Introduction to Addiction, sets the record straight on the science behind addiction, with an emphasis on the societal, physical, and psychological foundation and impact, and the mechanisms that drive them. Part two, Recovery Tools, presents treatment strategies that should be the cornerstones of the recovery process—a series of steps that are applied incrementally for maximum potential for success. These are enhanced through the expanded guidance presented in part three, Special Topics.

Manage My Addiction is well-written, concise, and thoroughly informative, and Kenneth J. Martz does an exceptional job in parcelling out material to those of us without much more to go on than what we've been led to believe. As the outlook slowly begins to shift from criminalizing addiction to acceptance that it is, first and foremost, an issue of mental health, this is exactly the type of guide one would hope the decision-makers will refer to, and that they will do so with the same goal in mind as the individual reader who wishes to work toward sobriety in a way that makes sense. I found the takeaways at the end of each chapter that offer proactive engagement opportunities to a reader to be a great touch, asking questions such as, “What is one tiny step you can take today, in less than five minutes, to move toward that big goal?” The approach is perfectly balanced for both compassion and accountability, and I have no doubt those who read it will walk away with a significantly better chance of success than the shame so many of us have felt in the addiction abyss. Very highly recommended.

Christian Sia

Manage My Addiction: What I Wish I'd Learned in School about Addiction, Escape, and Recovery by Kenneth J. Martz, Psy. D. is a book that I wish I'd had a long time ago because I smoke like a chimney and have struggled with alcohol for long, especially stuck at home with the pandemic. The book spoke to me in a unique way, and I feel it necessary to state this right away. That said, this book is written in a voice that is compassionate and compelling, yet in a no-nonsense style. The author explores the psychology of addiction and offers tools to break free from the shackles of any form of addiction.

In this book readers will understand how addiction works and why they find themselves addicted to something — drugs, alcohol, sex, food, shopping, and more. The book discusses the tricks that the brain plays on victims of addiction and explains the stages of addiction, and the challenges that come with the struggle for change. Kenneth J. Martz provides groundbreaking treatment approaches and guides readers on understanding the “why” behind the addiction. Most importantly, this book teaches readers how to deal with emotions, understand their values and beliefs and the impact these have on their journey towards recovery, and integrate these elements into the journey. The third part of this book provides the practical steps to implementing the lessons, including goal-setting and the right support system.

Kenneth J. Martz, Psy. D. comes across as a skilled psychologist, and I adored the way he communicates in the writing, which is excellent and engaging, loaded with practical examples that readers can relate to. He writes from a place of misery and vulnerability, allowing the light of reason to shine through our human experience while communicating the hope that readers have what it takes to achieve inner freedom. It feels like one heart speaking to another when reading Manage My Addiction. The book is hugely informative and packed with insights and wisdom. The message of this book is designed for anyone struggling with any form of addiction— and aren’t we all addicted to something?

K.C. Finn

Manage My Addiction: What I Wish I'd Learned in School about Substance Use Disorder and Addiction Recovery is a work of non-fiction in the self-help, psychology, and motivation sub-genres, and was penned by author Kenneth J. Martz, Psy.D. As the title and subtitle suggest, the work focuses on the world of addiction, specifically for substances that may be easy to come by and lifestyle choices that are also habit-forming and addictive. In this work, Dr. Martz invites readers to explore how the brain operates through different stages of addiction, and how we can look introspectively to find the reasons why we might fall into these patterns, with a view to working our way out.

Author Kenneth J. Martz, Psy.D. has crafted a concise but highly insightful work of self-help non-fiction with plenty of practical advice and hard talk to offer readers. Despite the cold facts of the matter and the excellent scientific and psychological ideas presented, the work also has a confident and open narration to it, as though the advice is coming from a friend. I feel that whether you have a deep and uncontrollable addiction or whether you simply know your own tendencies to form bad habits, this book can certainly offer you guidance towards positive change. I also really appreciated the acknowledgment that not every counselor and form of counseling is helpful to an individual, and the guidance on finding what works for you personally was highly informative. Overall, I would certainly recommend Manage My Addiction to readers looking to make serious changes to their life and who understand that there’s no magical quick-fix approach.