Saturday, 5 April 2008

Let us get reading

I have to confess that I am totally fascinated by the substance use field. Given that I also love reading and purchasing books (when I can afford them), I spend many enjoyable hours reading about drugs and alcohol. Not that everything I read in this field makes for pleasant reading. 
So I thought I would share with you some of my favourite reads, something that I have been doing in 'Drink and Drugs News'. And no, I have not cut a special deal with the authors or publishers.
The books to be chosen will be selected for a number of reasons - some because of the practical advice, others because they have pulled at my heart strings, and still others because they are just so interesting and thought-provoking.
There will be no specific order. I will select books as they come to mind, or as I stare at my well-stacked bookshelves.

Friday, 4 April 2008

'Beating the Dragon: The Recovery from Dependent Drug Use' by James McIntosh and Neil McKeganey

This is the book that most inspired me in the initial stages of my career in this field. It also inspired a large part of the Wired In research programme, that part using qualititative analysis of interviews. 
I literally read the book from cover-to-cover in one sitting. The book provides insights into recovery, as revealed by 70 people who have managed to overcome their addiction. I still find it a fascinating read and pick it up periodically to hear the voices of the people who have 'been there'.  
Sadly, I know few practitioners who have read the book, despite its immense value. It should be required reading for all people working in the field!
'Beating the Dragon' shows that people do overcome drug addiction, a fact that needs emphasising time and time again. It also illustrates key features of the recovery process.
"...we hope that the book shows that, in their struggle to recover from addiction, these individuals often demonstrate amazing strength, fortitude , openness, commitment and resilience. These are not qualities that are normally associated with drug addicts but they are here in abundance in the stories of their recovery." James McIntosh and Neil McKeganey.
This book illustrates very well the positive characteristics of people who have overcome drug addiction.