Saturday, 14 June 2008

A Great Book and a Great Rock Star

Just got back from the gym to find a book I've been waiting for on the doorstep, having finally arrived from the States. I have read 'Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America" by William L White before. A copy had been loaned to me by Tim Leighton who just said, 'This is one of the most remarkable books you will read.' And he was right! 

I now have my own copy, so I can mark key passages in the text, as I love to do. It is the sort of book you pick up at any time, just to read a small passage. The book takes you on an amazing journey through the history of addiction treatment and recovery in America. I am a great believer that you can learn a lot from the past. 
This book is essential reading for everyone working in this field. And yet, I have met only two people in the UK who have read it! You must purchase this book!!
I've got to charge now, because I am the lucky holder of a ticket to see the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, and the E-Street Band tonight. The gig is at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, which as far as I am aware, is the largest indoor stadium in the world when the roof is closed. It's going to be awesome!!
I leave you with a quote from Bill White's book:
'What we are professionally responsible for is creating a milieu of opportunity, choice and hope. What happens with that opportunity is up to the addict and his or her god. We can own neither the addiction nor the recovery, only the clarity of the presented choice, the best clinical technology we can muster, and our faith in the potential for human rebirth.'

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you David regarding White's "Slaying the Dragon." I've told many people to read it and given it as gifts as well. Unfortunately it is not in print and is only available through used stores. (I use Amazon's here in the states) I think we need to urge the publisher to republish the book. It really should be a text for those studying in the field.

tim1leg said...

I too am one of the few having read it and loaned it out serveral times, last time still not returned so i got a new copy also, I have just decided to buy another copy for a friend and have recommended it as essential reading to all at glasgow uni involved in our field, history can teach us all we need to know especially about the insanity of making the same mistakes over and over again. Anyone who reads this will be truly informed!

Peter O'Loughlin said...

David,
The passage you quoted from White's book is all the persuasion I need to buy it, but it was also good to have anonymous and tim1leg endorse it.

The passage you quoted reinforces my belief, no failures, no triumphs, just do what I'm able and capable of, work with where my client is at, free of judgement and make sure he/she knows the door is always open and swings both ways.

David Clark said...

Message from Bill White via e-mail:
The book has remained in print since it was first published in 1998. In fact, I have begun work on the second edition which will be out in 2009. Anyone wishing to order the book may do so by going to www,chestnut.org (click "bookstore") or by phone at 309-825-6026