“Detachment” has been the standard message of most addiction literature for the last twenty years. The conventional wisdom offered to an addict’s loved ones has been to let the addict “hit bottom” before intervening. Now intervention specialist Debra Jay challenges this belief and offers a bold new approach to treating addiction that provides a practical and spiritual lifeline to families struggling with alcohol or drug abuse.
In No More Letting Go, Jay argues that the traditional advice of “letting go” too often destroys both the addict and the family physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Jay contends that addiction is everybody’s business–not just the addict’s–and addiction doesn’t have the right to trump the welfare of a family.
In short, highly accessible chapters written with warmth, understanding, and compassion, Jay weaves together philosophical and religious thought; new science on the brain function of an addict; the physical and psychological impact of addiction on family members; and poignant, real-life family stories.
No More Letting Go is a powerful, informative guide that provides comfort, hope, and practical advice to anyone affected by a family member’s addiction.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: No More Letting Go|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Bantam Books|
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|Parent title||No More Letting Go|
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No More Letting Go
Questioning Our Assumptions
A Family Affair
When addiction begins causing serious problems, a family’s greatest fears turn into reality. They watch with disbelief as the alcoholic continues drinking while their lives are falling apart. Unable to convince the alcoholic to stop drinking, families begin searching for answers. In my years of working with the relatives of alcoholics and addicts, I have found that families rarely reach out for help until the drinking and drugging hit a crisis point, and then they are often told: “There’s nothing you can do until the alcoholic wants help. You’ll just have to let him hit bottom.”
Hitting bottom is an old idea, still imposed upon families as if it were an absolute. Many families sadly believe that they must wait for alcoholics to hit bottom before there is any hope for recovery. They rarely stop to consider that this belief sentences them to years of unhappiness and devastation. No one ever mentions the fact that alcoholics and addicts don’t take the trip to the bottom alone—the family goes with them. Families are never warned that the journey to the bottom takes even the smallest children.
Hitting bottom should never be our first strategy; it is a strategy of last resort. Only when every reasonable intervention technique is exhausted should we let someone free-fall. Even then, there are ways to raise the bottom, to stretch out the safety net of treatment and recovery. Addiction always presents new opportunities. The trick is recognizing them and knowing how to take action.