Rodale Press 2010

“The Addiction Solution”

Reviewed by Dr. Maurice J. Smith ; Former President of California Forensic Associates.

Dr. David Kipper and Steven Whitney have achieved the almost impossible goal of authoring a book on a very complex medical topic yet providing us with an extremely “readable” publication. For this reason the wake-up call contained within the book will reach not just medical professionals, but the audience that really needs to hear the message that addiction is not simply a behavioral problem – it is a combination of both predetermined genetic influences and the social evolution of the addict! Recognizing that there are two converging origins to addiction reveals the need for a duality in both diagnosis and treatment.

“Dual Diagnosis” is the central theme of The Addiction Solution.  It IS the solution as it motivates the health care professional to identify both the behavioral and genetic origins of the addiction.  As earlier mentioned, the text is eminently readable therefore the addict and all others in their sphere, such as family and caregivers, can recognize that addicts are not simply “behaving badly,”  they were dealt a bad genetic  hand from birth and need assistance from a variety of treatments to restore a controlled normalcy in their lives.  Fundamentally individual brain chemistry must be brought into balance AND  behavior must be modified.   Without intervention in both, addicts are delivered into an endless cycle of relapse, associated guilt, and the dangerous lack of self-esteem originating from perceived failure.

As readers delve into each chapter, they are introduced to the fundamentals of brain chemistry and how it works.  The neurotransmitters and their associated receptors are in very complex balance, constantly exchanging the base chemicals of serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine.  Because the authors avoided turning the book into an academic dissertation and concentrated on comprehension, these complex issues and how and why they move from transmitter to receptor is presented in an easy to recognize pattern.

Nothing improves comprehension better than examples and The Addiction Solution presents a series of Case Histories wherein the reader can actually see how these chemicals impacted their subjects.  Further it reveals how Dr. Kipper’s approach of “dual diagnosis,” when applied to these cases, provides a real and sustainable solution.

The Addiction Solution is a “roadmap to recovery” for addicts and the practitioners who intervene.  It is also a comfortable read for the family and caregivers who may finally understand why the addicts they love may not have been correcting their lifestyles and having multiple relapses through failed “behavior modification” programs.

I encourage all practitioners to read this book. I also encourage all addicts who may be in programs now or who are already sober, to also read this book and understand they must be vigilant to the “duality” of their addiction and pursue a lifestyle and treatment that meets the objectives outlined in The Addiction Solution.

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