The Fullest Book Club: The Addiction Spectrum

Chances are high you know someone who has addiction issues. It could be a loved one, a close friend, or yourself. It could be an addiction to alcohol, drugs, food, or even that trusted cell phone screen you just can’t seem to pry your eyes away from.

According to Dr. Paul Thomas and Jennifer Margulis’ new book, The Addiction Spectrum (which came out early this month), opiate addiction alone affects over two million people in the US and is the single greatest public health crisis facing Americans today.

Long story short, the world has become a place where there are many vices, and no matter how strong of a person you may be, it has become increasingly easy to fall victim to these indulgences.

Because of the grand amount of people who are facing addiction without proper help, jails have become overcrowded with people making mistakes fueled by their problem habits and the rates to get into rehab facilities have hit all time levels. Subsequently, many addicts find themselves at a standstill, not knowing where to turn in order to kick the dependencies that are negatively impacting their lives.

In The Addiction Spectrum, Dr. Paul details his own addiction to alcohol and is wholly honest about the damage it was doing to his life and the lives of those around him. He tells stories of the secrets and lies he surrounded himself in to try to manage his problem on his own before it eventually spiraled out of control. This frankness is as eye opening and cautionary as it is refreshing to hear such straightforward accounts from someone so knowledgeable on the subject. There is no hierarchy in Dr. Paul’s voice. To him, an addict is an addict, and despite his medical pedigree, he sees himself as an addict — just like his reader. His sole purpose is to get his readers the help he or she needs, no matter who they are or where they came from.

Through his trials, errors, and research Dr. Paul has come to the realization that people are most effective at kicking their addictions when they take a holistic approach. In the book he details a 13-point plan to help an addict better learn to control the triggers for their addiction — whether that be stress, sleep deprivation, vitamin deficiencies, or simply learning how to say no to pill-happy doctors who willy-nilly dole out prescriptions for any ailment.

What you should know before cracking the book open…

1 | The book is divided into sections that make it easy to flip through as desired to deal with a particular addiction. Whatever particular vice the reader is struggling with, there is a dedicated chapter that will dig deeper into the roots of the problem, as well as the recommended methods to adopt in order to learn how to properly deal.

2 | Addiction is a chronic condition. This book is not a quick-fix guide. The guidelines laid out are intended to set the reader in the right direction, and are meant to be worked on, slowly, and repeatedly for the rest of his or her life. Addiction is not cured, and it cannot be “solved” — but it can be managed.

3 | Dr. Paul opened a rehabilitation center in Portland, Oregon which is focused on using the best of conventional medicine alongside a compassionate and holistic approach to recovery.

Why should you care?

Addiction issues or not, the modalities covered in this book will help you live a more fulfilled, more enriched life. Because, if we’re being truly honest, there’s always something about ourselves we can work on. Now go get outside. Screen time is over!

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