I’ve often heard myself repeating the same messages about Recovery again and again. That’s probably due to the fact that whenever I meet with a family or a new client, I take the same approach. First, I educate about the mechanics of Addiction and discuss its “grey” nature; that is, Addiction is not an “either/or” disease. There are many variables that makes each case different. However, there are basics that are common to all addictions and those basics can be learned. The book serves to provide the fundamentals about which I teach and also allows the reader to find his or her own best truth and approach to Addiction and Recovery.
See, there are two (2) truths upon which the book is based: 1) It doesn’t matter what I teach, it only matters what people learn; and, 2) People don’t get better because they stop doing drugs, they stop doing drugs because they get better. Though I believe in these truth with all that I am, people still try to fight Addiction through the substance. This approach only leads to aggravation and makes the circumstances that surround an addiction even more difficult to treat.
One of the cool things about 49 Tips and Insights is that it doesn’t contain a lot of jargon or “psycho-babble” that can turn people off. The tone is conversational; if people can understand the language, they can process it into their own experiences. The exercises at the end of each tip are intended to allow the reader to find his or her own understanding of their particular experience with Addiction. I truly believe that we all know the best ways to healing, but we are often too closed off with fear and shame, especially when it comes to Addiction, to access our own knowledge. Other books can be preachy or offer a “silver bullet.” 49 Tips and Insights makes it clear that while recovery is a process that takes time and work, it can be achieved.
An addicted person is often unaware that the Addiction has taken over his or her life. Therefore, the best piece of advice I can offer is to remember that the brain will compulsively drive a person towards a substance and that become healthy is not just about using or not using a substance. Recovery requires developing healthy relationships with self and others and doesn’t just happen as a matter of will or as a matter of using or not using a substance. People always want to know if an addict really does want to change and the truth is that honesty and accountability are often lost to an addiction. If a person is serious about recovery, he or she will attempt to build harmed relationships with transparency and humility. My hope is that in reading and working 49 Tips and Insights for Understanding Addiction, people can find the means to tap into the source of all that is good and strong and beautiful within themselves and overcome the obstacles Addiction presents.