Thinking simply about addiction A handbook for recovery

Richard S. Sandor

Book - 2009

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New York, N.Y. : Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin c2009.
Main Author
Richard S. Sandor (-)
Physical Description
xiii, 190 p. ; 21 cm
Includes bibliographical references (p. 177-181) and index.
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Is Addiction A Disease?
  • Chapter 2. Why Me?
  • Chapter 3. Does Treatment "Work"?
  • Chapter 4. Is A Spiritual Awakening Necessary For Recovery?
  • References
  • Index
  • About the Author
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Sandor, a psychiatrist specializing in addiction, has put together a thought-provoking, compassionate guide for alcoholics and other addicts to understand and overcome their disease. Sandor explains addiction as a disease of "automaticity," a change in the functioning of the central nervous system "that cannot be eliminated but can be rendered dormant." Total abstinence, Sandor asserts, is the only way to control this automatic mechanism. He compares alcoholism to allergies, both of which involve a "pathological reaction to a substance," and discusses the biological, sociological and psychological factors that make some vulnerable. In Sandor's view, medical intervention is necessary for withdrawal symptoms, but the goal of treatment is "dedicated, active member[ship in] a 12-step group" like Alcoholics Anonymous for life (in large part for the spiritual component, which necessitates "turning our will and lives over" to a higher power). Though understanding, practical and enlightening, the handbook's broader message, that addiction teaches "the same timeless lessons that bring meaning to all human suffering," is bound to be controversial. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Review

Sandor's book feels more like a personal summation of a life's work than a self-help guide. Reflecting on his nearly 30-year career as a psychiatrist, Sandor presents a series of essays on how to conceptualize and treat addiction, or, rather, how to help people address their addiction. By reviewing what science has learned about addiction, he argues that the answer to dealing with addiction is not found in biology but in responsibility and personal growth, embodied in AA principles. He also addresses two thorny issues skeptics question about the 12-step programs, i.e., total abstinence and the concept of a higher power. Sandor cites numerous other works and scatters aphorisms about life and addiction throughout, two qualities that make this thoughtful book a good jumping-off point on the topic. Anyone who wants to know about 12-step programs or is dealing with drug or alcohol addiction-his or her own or that of someone close-will find this work particularly useful. Recommended for public libraries.-Fran Mentch, Cleveland State Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents   Title Page Copyright Page Preface   Chapter One - IS ADDICTION A DISEASE? Chapter Two - WHY ME? Chapter Three - DOES TREATMENT "WORK" ? Chapter Four - IS A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING NECESSARY FOR RECOVERY?   References Index About the Author JEREMY P. TARCHER/PENGUIN Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England   Copyright © 2009 by Richard S. Sandor All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions. Published simultaneously in Canada   Most Tarcher/Penguin books are available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchase for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, and educational needs. Special books or book excerpts also can be created to fit specific needs. For details, write Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Special Markets, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014.   Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Sandor, Richard S. eISBN : 978-1-101-02226-9 1. Drug addiction--Treatment. 2. Alcoholism--Treatment. I. Title. HV5801.S 362.29'18--dc22       Neither the publisher nor the author is engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures, and suggestions contained in this book are not intended as a substitute for consulting with a physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be liable or responsible for any loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestion in this book.   Excerpted from Thinking Simply about Addiction: A Handbook for Recovery by Richard S. Sandor All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.