Coming Clean: Overcoming Addiction Without Treatment

NYU Press
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Despite the widely accepted view that formal treatment and twelve-step groups are essential for overcoming dependencies on alcohol and drugs, each year large numbers of former addicts quietly recover on their own, without any formal treatment or participation in self-help groups at all.

Coming Clean explores the untold stories of untreated addicts who have recovered from a lifestyle of excessive and compulsive substance use without professional assistance. Based on 46 in-depth interviews with formerly addicted individuals, this controversial volume examines their reasons for avoiding treatment, the strategies they employed to break away from their dependencies, the circumstances that facilitated untreated recovery, and the implications of recovery without treatment for treatment professionals as well as for prevention and drug policy.

Because of the pervasive belief that addiction is a disease requiring formal intervention, few training programs for physicians, social workers, psychologists, and other health professionals explore the phenomenon of natural recovery from addiction. Coming Clean offers insights for treatment professionals of how recovery without treatment can work and how candidates for this approach can be identified. A detailed appendix outlines specific strategies which will be of interest to addicted individuals themselves who wish to attempt the process of recovery without treatment.

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About the author

Robert Granfield is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Denver. They are the co-authors of Coming Clean: Overcoming Addiction without Treatment (also available from NYU Press) and have each taught, conducted research, and worked in the field of addiction for over twenty-five years.

William Cloud is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver, where he developed and has been chair of the Drug Dependency Concentration in the M.S.W. program.

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Additional Information

Publisher
NYU Press
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Published on
Nov 1, 1999
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780814738665
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Psychopathology / Addiction
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Millions of people enter or seriously consider entering alcohol or drug treatment each year. In their understandable state of urgency, most first-time treatment seekers and their loved ones may rush to the first treatment option they encounter. They are unlikely to be aware of why one form of intervention would be a good choice for their particular problem or why some approaches may, under some conditions, actually be harmful. Lacking reliable information, they are unable to make informed choices.

Recovery from Addiction offers a concise, reader-friendly guide for substance dependent persons, their families, and friends to help make sense of the full range of available treatment options.

Cloud and Granfield introduce readers to their options, from inpatient and outpatient programs and today's major pharmacological approaches to alternative therapies including strategies for using the Internet to access support meetings and approaches which do not call for life-long abstinence from the substances now causing the problem. They outline the underlying principles of each program, its pros and cons, and what a participant can expect when entering that type of treatment, guiding readers in choosing the approach likely to be best for them or their loved one. They also provide specific strategies for addicted individuals who wish to consider recovery on their own, without groups or treatment.

A vital resource for addicts wishing to recover and their loved ones, Recovery from Addiction is also a valuable tool for health care professionals, from social workers to school counselors, responsible for referring clients to drug and alcohol recovery programs.

In the tradition of Blackout and Permanent Midnight, a darkly funny and revealing debut memoir of one woman's twenty-year battle with sex, drugs, and alcohol addiction, and what happens when she finally emerges on the other side.

Growing up in Beverly Hills, Amy Dresner had it all: a top-notch private school education, the most expensive summer camps, and even a weekly clothing allowance. But at 24, she started dabbling in meth in San Francisco and unleashed a fiendish addiction monster. Soon, if you could snort it, smoke it, or have sex with, she did.

Smart and charming, with Daddy's money to fall back on, she sort of managed to keep it all together. But on Christmas Eve 2011 all of that changed when, high on Oxycontin, she stupidly "brandished" a bread knife on her husband and was promptly arrested for "felony domestic violence with a deadly weapon."

Within months, she found herself in the psych ward--and then penniless, divorced, and looking at 240 hours of court-ordered community service. For two years, assigned to a Hollywood Boulevard "chain gang," she swept up syringes (and worse) as she bounced from rehabs to halfway houses, all while struggling with sobriety, sex addiction, and starting over in her forties.

In the tradition of Orange Is the New Black and Jerry Stahl's Permanent Midnight, Amy Dresner's My Fair Junkie is an insightful, darkly funny, and shamelessly honest memoir of one woman's battle with all forms of addiction, hitting rock bottom, and forging a path to a life worth living.
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