Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.
The Street-wise Guide to Coping with
and Recovering from Addiction
Dr. Robert Lefever
About this book
Everyone ‘knows’ what addiction is and what should be done for it. But as this book shows, individual experience cannot apply universally. The psychology of denial – addicts telling themselves that they aren't addicted – is the most devastating feature of addiction.
This book offers much practical guidance, with reference to entirely anonymised individual experiences. The entire emphasis of the book is on what works. It also explains why some approaches do not work.
The author contends that there are three causes for addiction: the antecedent cause is probably genetic; the contributory cause is emotional, physical or social trauma leading to a craving for mood-alteration; the precipitant cause is exposure – discovering something that lifts our mood. Treatment, he believes, will therefore also have to be in three phases, in reverse order: abstinence; emotional (not intellectual) therapy; daily relapse prevention by working the Twelve Step Programme first formulated by Alcoholics Anonymous.
Dr Lefever explains specific addictions. These come in three clusters: hedonistic, nurturant and relationship. Some addicts have just one of these clusters, some two, some all. He shows how patients and their families can take action to unblock delay in seeking recovery. He considers known intervention techniques and family work in tackling compulsive helping, where pain is the great teacher.
This practical book, which also explains the key terminology used in the field, offers important guidance on life in recovery, on real friendships, on spontaneity, creativity and enthusiasm.
Dr Lefever also examines the future of addiction treatment, as well as its politics.
About the author
Dr Robert Lefever is one of the leading international specialists on addiction and is a regular contributor to the media. He established the very first rehab in the UK offering treatment to patients with eating disorders, compulsive gambling, nicotine addiction and workaholism as well as alcohol or drug problems. He also identified ‘Compulsive Helping’ – when people do too much for others and too little for themselves – as an addictive behaviour and has pioneered its treatment.
Dr Lefever has worked with over 5,000 addicts and their families in the last 25 years and, until recently, ran a busy private medical practice in South Kensington as well as the PROMIS Recovery Centre in Kent (which he established). He now uses his considerable experience to provide intensive private one-to-one care for individuals and their families. He has written a number of books on the subject of depressive illness and addictive behaviour.