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Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

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Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#1 by kislany
» 26 Sep 2017, 10:39

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Freedom for Lab Monkeys" by Bryson P Connolly.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by kislany
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Freedom for Lab Monkeys: A curious teenager's experience with designer drugs by Bryson P. Connolly is the story of a young man who got hooked on powerful designer drugs and fought hard to overcome his severe addiction.

Luke Baker is in his last few months of high school, and he is seriously struggling. He is way behind his homework, and there is a real chance that he won’t graduate this year. All these problems are caused by his addiction to chemicals like MDMA (ecstasy), LSD (acid), and worst of all, MDPV (also called bath salts). In addition, he is a popular drug dealer who supplies his friends, schoolmates, and other people around the town with various drugs.

While I was reading the story, my stomach was in knots. I don’t think I have ever met a genuine drug addict apart from seeing them on TV, so the whole story (with its sordid details) was a culture shock for me. What really grabbed me by the throat, however, was that his parents knew he was on drugs (although Luke was careful not to tell them about the heavier drugs he was taking), yet they were not overly concerned about his addiction and comforted him with phrases like “You are great and we believe in you.” I often wanted to slap them silly for being blind to the fact that, sooner or later, their son would end up dead in an alley from drug overdose.

I almost lost hope of anything changing in the book besides Luke going about his day-to-day drug business and his parties, when something happened that caused him to experience major revelations that changed his life forever. At the end of the book, the author mentions his hope that the story would bring awareness to Ayahuasca and DMT and help lots of suffering people, and he gives a list of links to useful Ayahuasca resources. However, I felt that the whole “healing” section was too rushed. It was only detailed in some 40 pages in a book over 400 pages long. The author could have spent more time focusing on Luke’s recovery and discussing the benefits of plant-based medicine.

I saw a couple of grammatical errors throughout the book, but they were few and far in between. I was pleased to notice that the book was well edited. The author wrote it while being incarcerated for shooting a man with a rifle. When he committed the crime, he was high. I have to give kudos to Bryson P. Connolly for doing his part in spreading awareness about the dangers of such highly addictive drugs.

After much deliberation, I decided to give Freedom for Lab Monkeys: A curious teenager's experience with designer drugs 3 out of 4 stars. I would have given it 4 stars if the author had spent more time focusing on the message about overcoming drug addiction, because the message is, indeed, very powerful. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever tried drugs, to people who want to quit drugs, and to readers curious about the daily routine of a drug addict. A note of caution: there are a few rather explicit sex scenes, so if you want your book clean and proper, this story might not be for you.

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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#2 by Mallory Whitaker
» 27 Sep 2017, 12:18

This sounds like a really interesting book. I have a relative who suffers from drug addiction and I would love to read the author's message about overcoming this. I'm really curious to see what event happened to change his lifestyle for the better. Thanks for the wonderful review!
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 27 Sep 2017, 12:55

I don't know if this is the book for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it overall. The parents would drive me nuts. I know there's such a thing as positive reinforcement, but really?? Thanks!
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#4 by Mjgarrison
» 27 Sep 2017, 13:10

Wow, I come from a family of addicts, my ex-husband was an addict and so was my current husband in the beginning of our relationship. I have seen alot of overcoming, and I still see the struggle in some of them. Thanks for the review on this book, it sounds good. I will have to read it
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#5 by Mercy Bolo
» 27 Sep 2017, 13:30

I've interacted with a chronic alcoholic but designer drugs? From the outside looking in, I know it's a painful place to be.
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#6 by Zelinda
» 27 Sep 2017, 16:14

I'm curious about this Ayahusca. You say you've "never actually met a genuine drug addict". Chances are that you have. Most of us keep quiet about it. I'm one, a recovering addict with 23 years clean, who is not. And probably that's because I have little to lose in revealing this. But for many people in recovery revealing this leads them to be subjected to all manner of judgment and prejudice. I'm a member a 12-step program and when I hear about programs that can "cure addiction" I am very skeptical. If there is such a program that really works, I'd like to know more about it. Most of us do the plain old "one day at a time" approach, coupled with lots of support.

This is supposed to be about the review; I'm sorry to go off on a rant. It is a good review. The unfortunate circumstances of Luke's family life are all too familiar. I hope that people get something out of this book more than just an interesting story and it looks like you did. Thanks.
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#7 by CatInTheHat
» 27 Sep 2017, 16:29

kislany wrote:[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Freedom for Lab Monkeys" by Bryson P Connolly.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by kislany
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After much deliberation, I decided to give Freedom for Lab Monkeys: A curious teenager's experience with designer drugs 3 out of 4 stars. I would have given it 4 stars if the author had spent more time focusing on the message about overcoming drug addiction, because the message is, indeed, very powerful. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever tried drugs, to people who want to quit drugs, and to readers curious about the daily routine of a drug addict. A note of caution: there are a few rather explicit sex scenes, so if you want your book clean and proper, this story might not be for you.



I think that I would have expected an appendix with that type of information as well.
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#8 by Snowflake
» 27 Sep 2017, 17:32

That's a great review of an interesting book. I'm with you on wanting to slap the parents and also on wanting more details on the recovery. I don't think I will read this one, but I really appreciate your review.
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#9 by juliusotinyo
» 27 Sep 2017, 18:41

About 15 years ago I tried out some pills that I would later learn was Mandrax. The "trip" I experienced lasted 2 days. My luck was I could never find them again. Besides that, I've not had any issues with drugs even alcohol.

The principles of Ayahuasca are similar to another less endorsed psychedelic experience in my hometown...Funny how they are used in addiction control. I've tried neither, but you've piqued my interest.
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#10 by MaryBurris
» 27 Sep 2017, 18:42

This sounds like an interesting book, although I don't think it is something for me. I have a family member that is an addict, and this may be too close for comfort to read.
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#11 by Elle Howard
» 27 Sep 2017, 18:55

This book sounds really interesting but I am not sure it is for me. I am glad you enjoyed reading it. This book would be really insightful to friends and relatives of someone suffering from addiction. Thanks for the well written review.
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#12 by Kelebogile Mbangi
» 27 Sep 2017, 23:59

I'm shocked that Luke's parents would treat the situation so casually. You've got me interested in this book! Thank you for your review. :)
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#13 by kislany
» 28 Sep 2017, 01:08

@Mallory Whitaker I tried to keep out the surprise about what happened in Luke's life to cause that change, but believe me, it's worth reading the book and finding out. Thanks for coming by.

@kandscreeley The parents drove me nuts as well. And if I understood correctly, they weren't shy of taking weed and alcohol either, so I guess the apple really does not fall far from the tree.

@Mjgarrison Thank you for stopping by and for letting us know about the situation. It is sad and painful when you have to live with people who are addicted to various things. I am addicted to chocolate (it's a chemical that is included in the chocolate which my brain produces less apparently, doctors even called it with a scientific name, but I forgot what it was), but that's a far cry from dependency to really harmful drugs.

@Mercy Bolo Thank you for coming by. Yes, designer drugs seem to be the worst. I think I might have even forgiven Luke for destroying his own life, but when I saw him goad innocent high schoolers into taking lighter drugs and then taking the heavy stuff, that is inexcusable in my mind, because he knew exactly what he was doing.

@Zelinda I met plenty of alcoholics, but at least until my early 20s, I really haven't met a real drug addict. I grew up in Romania, a country where - back in the communist regime - you really could find no serious drugs besides valium. No kidding. You couldn't import them if you wanted to. It was simply impossible. So I was as sheltered from all this as I could be. When I left the country (after Ceausescu regime was gone), I moved with my family to Germany and I had a culture shock in many aspects. Now I am in my late 40s and I still haven't tried drugs at all. The communist brainwashing was so strong that I wouldn't touch drugs if you paid me to take them (I guess this was one good thing that came out of that blasted regime). And yes, I might have met people who did drugs, you are right, but I never consciously realized that any of them did. So I really don't know...maybe.

@CatInTheHat Yes, an appendix (called Index in the book) is present at the very end. It's very useful in looking up the meanings of various drugs and I even found the names and descriptions of a few supplements (like L-Tyrosine) that I'm also taking every day for boosting energy and for thyroid problems (unrelated to the issue of addiction), which I found very useful.

@Snowflake Thanks for coming by. Indeed, this is not a book for everyone, I agree.

@juliusotinyo I only knew of Ayahuasca from some people taking it to experience lucid dreaming and astral projection. It is a very powerful (and not harmful) brew. Btw, in addition, one other thing I know people used to help with addiction withdrawal is vitamin C in high doses. There are many studies done with it about people stopping their drug and alcohol addiction. And vitamin C is so darn cheap compared to the expensive drugs (and rehab houses, etc), that it's amazing not more people are using it.

@MaryBurris I can imagine that it's not for everyone. Thank you for coming by.

@Elle Howard Yes, family and friends of people addicted to drugs (and even heavy alcohol) would greatly benefit from it. Even if to make them aware that the way Luke's parents behaved is not the way parents should behave to get their child help.

@Kelebogile Mbangi Yes, I was shocked too. The feeling of wanting to slap and pummel them was strong in me while reading the book.

Edit: WOW, and here I wrote another 700 words in this reply post...
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#14 by MarisaRose
» 28 Sep 2017, 14:56

This one doesn't seem like it's a book for me. I think the content is a bit to dark for my taste. I'm glad you found some merit in the author's words, but I do wish the message about overcoming addiction had been more clear. I don't think the book necessarily has the best impact without that.
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Re: Official Review: Freedom for Lab Monkeys

Post Number:#15 by Cyril Stephano Lissu
» 29 Sep 2017, 13:39

This is very useful book especially for those who counsel drug addicted people. I would better get a copy. Thanks for great review!
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