3 out of 4 stars
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Frankly, I never took the byword that says one should not judge a man until one has walked in his shoes seriously before I read the book, What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict by Alberta H. Sequeira, who lost her husband and a daughter due to alcoholism. Consequently, she compiled the stories in this narrative to help liquor and drug dependents, who are in denial, realize that they can be clean. As the title reveals, this nonfiction is about what works and doesn’t work for addicts in their journeys to recovery. This publication includes accounts written by thirty-three, former substance abusers about their personal experiences as users and their steps to restoration. Being inspirational, motivational, and spiritual, this guide has all that is required to become substance-free.
Alberta premised the narration with the definition of addiction and referred to the latter as a disease that eats away its victims. She disclosed that for sobriety to be attained, an addict should participate in repeated counseling, Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous meetings, have a change of lifestyle, pray daily, and keep away from drinking and drug-using buddies. In addition, she suggested that the duration of recovery programs should be longer, and the Patient Privacy Law for alcoholics, drug abusers, and persons with mental illness should be modified to allow family members to be involved in the recovery process. In this book, it’s advised that doctors, counselors, and psychiatrists should not dwell on the substance use but should handle the reason for the habituation.
Fascinatingly, this work unveils one story after another narrated by the contributors, among whom are authors, counselors, life coaches, and speakers. Although some of them are anonymous, a few are from Canada and the others are from various states in America. Some were addicted to only alcohol while the rest of them were hooked on both alcohol and dopes. Well written and narrated in the first person point of view by the author and the different narrators, this compilation has the ability to hold a reader spellbound as each page brings out the unspeakable activities in the world of an addict; from the first day of dependency to recovery. At a steady pace, the plot is captivating and interesting, and there are revelations and helpful details in each tale.
Thoroughly, each narrator describes his first ecstasy induced by spirits/narcotic, further indulgences, family history, why he decided to stop drinking or taking drugs, his experiences in AA/NA meetings and rehabilitation centers/halfway houses, and what made him pull through. Many of the contributors attribute their improvements to their faith in a “Higher Power,” believing in God and surrendering their lives to the Lord, Jesus Christ. From the multiple, personal stories written, I saw that several drinkers and users seek solace in substances mostly because of family and emotional problems. Unwisely, some of them are involved to overcome momentarily their feelings of guilt, physical and emotional abuse, anger, bitterness, low self-esteem, humiliation, and self-pity. As should be expected, a good few of them have boozers and trippers as parents and siblings.
Before reading the stories, I used to hold addicts responsible for their predicaments and insisted that they should suffer the aftermath of their actions, but after I finished reading, my perspective on substance abusers changed because I discovered that most of them did not intentionally choose that lifestyle, but a lot of factors beyond their control prompted them subconsciously to depend on the bottles and dopes. Altogether, the narrative highlights how willingness, clearing away doubts, failure, disappointment, and shame can be essential for the recovery of addicts. Invariably, the contributors admonished relatives to support users with tough love, without being forceful and judgmental. Explored in this narration, are the consequences of addiction such as, loss of jobs and properties, separation from family members and good friends, legal issues, declining health, and death. Most of the stories are kind of similar, but each tale has a unique information to get across to readers. Unfortunately, I noticed some awkward sentences and grammatical errors that made me occasionally re-read certain lines for comprehension. For example, "my sister got me on a conference call and told me how ill I looked did I quit" in page 250 and "I blacked out and became got violently ill" in page 164. Needful to say, I wasn't distracted by these flaws. I still grasped the intended message and enjoyed reading the text. Following the write-ups, at the end of the book, are some spiritual and inspiring poems to motivate and direct addicts.
Lastly, this book is one of a kind and carries a global message that will save lots of lives and make our societies better. However, because of the above-mentioned errors I rate it 3 out of 4 stars and recommend it for addicts desiring recovery, their family members, doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, and especially for non-using teenagers and adults to dissuade them from getting involved in substance abuse.
What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict
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