Fall Reading List

Who doesn’t love to cozy-up with a good read!

For those who love to read or find more time to read in the fall and winter, due to the weather and being stuck inside, here is a list of recent books that I have had the opportunity to read. Some are very thought provoking, others are sad, challenging, heartbreaking reads about drug addiction, death, and substance abuse. However, even those topics are not what most people seek out for a good reading material, if you want to learn about substance abuse, if you are touched by addiction, and if you care about the community that you live in which his plagued with mental health and substance abuse challenges, then read! Learn! Try to gain a foundation in understanding the problematic challenges that substance abuse and addiction have on our community and across the county. Because after we learn, then we will want to talk about it, not hide from it, and then that will lead to wanting to help.

I don’t just read books about addiction and substance abuse, I do read other topics which I find fun, interesting or inspiring. This list is a combination of leadership, biographical, and substance abuse related reads. Feel free to add to this list or share with others! I am always looking for a good read!

DOPESICK: Dealers, Doctors, and The Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy

Macy is a journalist who had been writing about the topic of addiction and saw patterns/trends, and connections to the development of opioids, addiction, heroin abuse, and then now, with the same companies who created and miss-marketed opioids to Doctors and society, are now also profiting off of MAT treatments (medicated assisted treatments) which are being used more and more to help wing people off of opioids. Replacing an opioid with a medication. She follows families with college bound athletic children, honor kids, etc. that lost everything due to a one hit of heroin or took the painkillers for a basketball injury and were never told about the addiction and withdrawal of the medication. They were hooked. Every parent should read, every officer should read, every person who knows of someone who suffers from addiction should read, etc.

Junkbox Diaries by Herbert Stepherson

Stepherson uses the term junkbox to define the dumping of drugs into your body. A person who does nothing but consume drugs, does not take care of their body, does not sleep, does not eat, etc. Their body is like a junkbox. Stepherson’s book is short, interesting, and heartbreaking. He is from the Valparaiso area so most of his stories (which are wrote like short blog post, so short chapters which make the book fast), happen in areas and places that most of us know and are familiar with which should scare you. He found himself deep, very deep in heroin addiction for many, many years. Each time he is revived with Narcan, you think “this is it, this rock bottom, he will want to get help now” but it gets worse. However, he does overcome his addiction. A powerful read and a truly brash and unfiltered look at the realities of addiction.

Overcoming Trauma and PTSD (workbook) by Sheela Raja, PhD

I review a lot of workbooks and journals for my job to see what may or not work for different programs and populations. But these journals and workbooks are great resources for anyone who has anxiety, depression, stress, as well as PTSD and trauma related barriers. We all need help or support and this workbook is great for reflection on your triggers, how to manage them, how to cope with them, how to reduce anxiety, redirect your feelings/emotions, etc. This is hard stuff and controlling your emotions is hard work! It is not easy. I learned great tips from reviewing this workbook but if you do struggle with any of the topics above, you can purchase one of these workbooks online, on Amazon, very cheaply. They are easy to use and very reflective.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

A story about wandering, nonconformity family who picks up on the middle of the night to move from place to place with their children. The parents taught their children survival abilities, life skills, to live fearlessly, but also not trust doctors, school wasn’t that important, and fending for yourself at all cost. When the money and the ability to continually keep “running” from creditors, the children see this lifestyle as an adventure. Family dysfunction plagues their relationships with extended family, alcoholism and sexual abuse are all part of their story. The father’s dream, throughout the book, is to build a glass house. As they grow-up, the author seeks out a more formal educational experiences and moves to New York. The family eventually follows and her parents spend the rest of their lives, homeless in NYC. Not wanting help, refusing any form of help from their children, they continue their nomadic lifestyle (to the embarrassment of their children) in the city.

The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters: The Tragic and Glamorous Lives of Jackie and Lee

I love reading about the Kennedy family and I really like reading about Jackie Bouvier Kennedy. She was not a perfect First Lady but I think she was very smart, a good parent, and very classy in the face of adversary. She and her sister (Lee was 3 or 4 years younger) were either best friends or not speaking, depending on what was going on in each other’s lives. When Jackie died, she left none of her fortune to her sister which shocked many. Both loved the spot-light, wealth and glamour and sometimes to a competitive fault. Jealousy and tragedy plaque both of their lives and they both provided a support to each other during hard times but the underling tension in their relationship remained. This is a personal and imamate view of both women and their complicated relationship.

Happy reading and feel free to share your fall reading list or books you would recommend!

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