However, Lonny Shavelson dares to break out of this mould and search for the truth by becoming a friend to five addicts and hence is able to present their stories in the most compassionate way explaining the possible reason for their addiction and in the process studies the various flaws of our system in helping these addicts. Through the book the author points out how our system fails to help these individuals because of the complexities involved in getting treatment, how the authorities are unable to understand the reason for their addiction or for their relapses considering that freeing them of their addiction is decriminalization, and how freeing them from their addiction is not as simple as it seems. This book is not just another good read instead it is a humane take on a problem that is a menace to our society enriching us with knowledge and possible solution for the problem. Lonny Shavelson is a writer, a physician, a radio journalist, and a photojournalist. A man with dynamic personality who has written about various topics like child labour, effects of hazardous wastes, all dealing with current issues of society. Hooked is another attempt by the author to bring into light the issue of drug addiction and rehabilitation, an attempt in which he does succeed. Darlene James: Darlene is a person who deals with a lot more than just addiction and whose addiction stems from her inability to cope up with the reality, a reality which is different from normal people. She suffers from mental disorder, psychosis and hallucinations, which is worsened by her homelessness and continuous encroachment of her makeshift homes by local authorities, which makes her feel even less wanted. She was a methamphetamine addict, and also had alcohol problem. She heard various noises in her head, living in a delusional world. She did petty crimes like stealing and had an abusive partner who spent half his time in jail. Darlene lacked any emotional support and her escape from this world is her addiction which can also be said to have lead to the problems of hallucinations. However, as Lonny points out that arguing about what has lead to hallucinations and trying to judge the character of the person is completely wrong and the efforts should be concentrated towards helping the addict. Darlene was wronged by the system in that she was brought into one rehab program thrown out of it because of her inability to free herself of her addiction, this continued for three drug treatment programs. She was referred by city’s mental health counselors to substance abuse counselors and then back again, this continued for so long that even Shavelson got tired of seeing the drama. In a condition when a person needs emotional support being kicked out from program before being submitted to another program must have only caused more emotional distress. Fortunately for Darlene, she eventually got into a special program in Walden that combined psychiatric care with drug rehab. This led to drastic improvement in her. Darrell McAuley: He is one of the most stable characters of all and is himself able to understand the complexities of the rehab programs, serving as a guide to Lonny in his research about drug treatment programs. Darrell was also homeless, and an alcoholic who had been kicked out of various rehab programs. He had attended various Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. Due to his addiction he had been hospitalized many times when he got into accidents while drunk. The only thing that separates him from other
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Hooked: Five addicts challenge our misguided drug rehab system How often is it that a book forces you to change the way you think? Not very often; but “hooked” by Lonny Shavelson is an account of five addicts that forces us to rethink and restructure our ideas about addicts…
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