Cracked: Life on the Edge in a Rehab Clinic: A Doctor's Story

( 32 )

Overview

Dr. Drew Pinsky is best known as the cohost of the long-running radio advice program Loveline. But his workday is spent at a major Southern California clinic, treating the severest cases of drug dependency and psychiatric breakdown. In this riveting book, Pinsky reveals the intimate and often shocking stories of his patients as they struggle with emotional trauma, sexual abuse, and a host of chemical nemeses: alcohol, marijuana, Ecstasy, heroin, speed, cocaine, and prescription drugs. At the center of these ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reissue)
$11.17
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$14.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (72) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $6.50   
  • Used (65) from $1.99   
Cracked

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview

Dr. Drew Pinsky is best known as the cohost of the long-running radio advice program Loveline. But his workday is spent at a major Southern California clinic, treating the severest cases of drug dependency and psychiatric breakdown. In this riveting book, Pinsky reveals the intimate and often shocking stories of his patients as they struggle with emotional trauma, sexual abuse, and a host of chemical nemeses: alcohol, marijuana, Ecstasy, heroin, speed, cocaine, and prescription drugs. At the center of these stories is Pinsky himself, who immerses himself passionately, almost obsessively, in his work. From the sexually compulsive model to the BMW-driving soccer mom, Cracked exposes, in fast-moving, powerful vignettes, the true scope and severity of addiction, a nationwide epidemic.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Throughout Pinsky's time hosting MTV's popular Loveline show-in which he and cohost Adam Carolla (The Dr. Drew and Adam Book) frankly answered teen questions about sex and drugs-Pinsky also ran the drug addiction rehab clinic at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, Calif. In this engaging and well-written memoir, he incorporates a frank description of his work with the "manipulative, secretive, frightened, paranoid and unstable" patients at Las Encinas, a single-story bungalow on 30 acres once used as a Hollywood backdrop (this is where W.C. Fields died and Ozzy Osborne's son recently spent time). Pinsky plays down the Tinseltown connection, preferring to look at his entire range of patients, who represent "every possible facet of society, from the rich to the destitute to the socially prominent to the disconnected." What they share are the typical hot buttons of trauma-"pain, abuse, neglect, abandonment"-and the attempt to ease the pain through drug addiction. Pinsky provides a hard-nosed look at the realities of a detox clinic, from the patients' physical illness and flashbacks to doctors' letdown when a patient quits the program and returns to addiction. Pinsky freely admits that he doesn't know why some people "get it" and stay sober while others can't; at the same time, he openly discusses his own problems ("I turned to rescuing other people the same way my patients turn to drugs and alcohol"). (Sept.) Forecast: MTV's Loveline is off the air, but Pinsky's nationally syndicated radio show of the same name draws a huge audience, which may help this book's popularity. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060096557
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/26/2004
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 450,469
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

One of the most listened-to doctors in America, Dr. Drew Pinsky is a practicing physician who is board certified in internal and addiction medicine. He is the executive producer and host of the hit VH1 reality series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House, and Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew. On radio he is the host of the nationally syndicated program Loveline. He is the author of Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again and When Painkillers Become Dangerous. Pinsky lives in Southern California with his wife, Susan, and their teenage triplets.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One

It's the second week of a warm August. Early morning. The first one in my family to rise from bed, I shuffle into the kitchen, start the coffee, and get the newspaper at the end of the driveway. We live in a ranch-style home perched on the edge of a canyon in the hills above Pasadena, with deer and coyotes on the prowl, and it's so lovely and quiet at this hour I might as well be five hundred miles from the harshness of the city.

The headlines snap me back to reality. I read the Los Angeles Times sports section, sip coffee between box scores, and enjoy the quiet. Soon my wife, Susan, joins me, followed by the triplets, age ten, who gobble down breakfast, give us kisses, and go off to summer camp.

Outside, the sun begins its climb into a clear blue sky, and I know it's going to be, in the words of Randy Newman, "another perfect day" in L.A.

Perfect for some, perhaps. But not for my patients in the chemical dependency unit at Las Encinas Hospital, a no-frills, twenty-two–bed facility popularly known as "rehab." The truth? For many who occupy those beds, it's their last chance before death. To me, it encompasses everything from desperation to the miracle of giving someone a second or third chance at life, at a better life, actually, than they ever dreamed of being able to have.

From the time I back out of my driveway, it takes me twenty minutes to get there. Once I enter the unit, the warm sun is replaced by the low-voltage hum of fluorescent lights. The perfect L.A. day disappears like a song fading from the radio. I step on linoleum, not grass. And when I look up, instead of endless blue sky, I see Ernesto from Operations staring back down at me from inside the ceiling, where he's fixing the air conditioning.

"Good morning, Dr. Pinsky," he says warmly.

"How's it going?" I wave. Then, as I do at the start of each day, I grab my stethoscope, get an opthalmoscope from under the med cart, and pick up the list of patients I need to see.

Today's list is topped by Mark Mitchell, a good-looking thirty-five-year-old in his third day of detox. Mark has been in and out of our care numerous times. His father is a former pro football player turned car dealer, a local celebrity who shows up in gossip columns, has his photographs hanging in restaurants, and seems like a great guy. The truth? He couldn't give a shit about his son. Mark's been hospitalized here at least five times -- I can't remember exactly -- but he's familiar enough that we've nicknamed him "Mitch." Each time he comes in he looks older, his face creased, grayer beneath his eyes, moving slower.

At the moment, fortunately for me, Mitch isn't as bad as when he was brought in -- smelling of vomit and urine, and barely conscious.

But he's still a wreck. Sprawled on his bed -- imagine the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle before it's put together -- he's tremulous, paranoid, and disorganized. It's normal, all part of the withdrawal from alcohol. The early shift, which admitted Mitch, has already put him on heavy-duty medication to prevent his withdrawal from turning into the DTs, a potentially fatal syndrome where the outflow from the central nervous system is so disorganized that breathing, blood pressure, and other vital functions fail.

Good morning -- yeah, right.

Not for Mitch. I stand there for a moment, observing his condition. It takes him several moments to notice I have entered the room. Once he sees me, Mitch jumps to his feet and grabs a piece of paper from the top of his dresser, shoving it toward me as if it were a weapon. "I'm pissed off," he says angrily, jabbing his finger at a paragraph. "What's this?"

"Wait a minute," I say. "Calm down and let me read."

He's showing me the treatment contract every patient signs on admission. I know what it says without reading it. These are the rules every patient agrees to follow. They include not using drugs, not selling drugs, attending daily group therapy sessions, submitting to urine tests, using the phone only during prescribed hours, and so on. Standard material for someone getting sober. I wrote the contract years ago, and have amended it many times since then. It's nonthreatening to anyone, except those who fear relinquishing control.

Like Mitch. He doesn't know what the hell he's doing or saying. He's out of his mind. His brain is screaming at him to get drunk. Biologically, he craves alcohol more than he wants to breathe. It's driving him crazy. It's hard for him to pay attention to anything else but the urge, and that urge is translated into a scream:

"This is bogus! This is bullshit! You know it. My cousin is a lawyer, and I know it'll never hold up."

At this rate, I think, neither will he.

I take a deep breath and think of what to say. I could ask if he would like a drink -- a vodka tonic? A Heineken? God, that's twisted -- though Mitch wouldn't think so. I could try to reason with him, but there's no reasoning with someone this sick. I could call his cousin and threaten to countersue. (Good thing I'm not a lawyer.) I could slap him across the face, the way they used to do in Three Stooges movies, and hope it startles him into sanity. Or I could just listen and nod.

Actually, my fantasy would be to zap him with something -- a laying-on of hands, a magic shot or electric shock -- and have him all better, sober, clean, with no desire to drink again ...

Cracked. Copyright © by Drew Pinsky. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 4, 2011

    amazing!

    this book is so good!! Its hard to put down!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Dr. Drew's Cracked

    I may be a little biased since I do like Dr. Drew's work and am in school to be a counselor. This was a very good book to give you an inside view to what it's like to be an addiction counselor. It show's Dr. Drew's compassion for his clients and the heartbreak when a client returns back to old ways after treatment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Excellant

    This book is a real page turner. I'ts hard to put down. It offers a clear and insightful look at addition and treatment that most books don't. Dr Drew Pinsky is a compassionate doctor who I think really understands this disease of addiction.


    '

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Good book!!

    I just love Dr. Drew..He is so down to earth, and truly cares about people. I would recommend reading it. It kept my attention.

    Chris

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Loved it. Thank you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2010

    If you know the pain of Addiction or you are a trauma survivor: READ THIS BOOK. Dr. Drew lays it out for the world to see that ALL our cultural problems are based in trauma & how we REFUSE to deal with our excesses.

    My headline pretty much spelled it all out... If you are or know someone dealing with addictions, be they substance addictions or behavioral addictions, or if you are or know a Trauma and Abuse Survivor, PLEASE read this book.

    It is time that we, as a culture and as a SPECIES, stop ignoring the impact that Childhood Abuse and Genetic Predisposition for Addiction has on the rest of the world.

    Raped as a child by your uncle or a baby sitter? Why do you think you are bisexual, gender confused, and "Only" seem to date abusers?

    Mom a pill addicted alcoholic? YOUR chances of getting the series of genetic factors and mental trauma that equal "The Addiction Gene" is 50% and the fact that you were MENTALLY RAPED by being raised by an abusive, neglectful addict only raises your risks of BECOMING THAT WHICH BEGOT YOU!

    As the adult survivor of an alcoholic and mentally ill mother, I can PERSONALLY trace the history of mental illness, addiction, suicide, rape, and just outright TRAUMA back a dozen generations!

    Because of the genetic grab-bag of party favors I inherited, I'm physically disabled because of a hip problem on my father's side and borderline with depression and anxiety... I can't hold a job because of the borderline personality disorder which means I can't get insurance to get the hip replacement I've needed since my first hip surgery at age 10.

    If we as a people would start to DEAL with our abusive sh**-bag mentally ill people and treat this as the DISEASE that it is, there would be no future "Me's" to sit here and suffer thanks to the abuse and genetics that were handed down to me.

    PLEASE...

    Please read this book...

    Trauma survivor or not...

    It opens up a whole new dimension to the world that our culture purposefully blinds itself to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2010

    If you know the pain of Addiction or you are a trauma survivor: READ THIS BOOK. Dr. Drew lays it out for the world to see that ALL our cultural problems are based in trauma & how we REFUSE to deal with our excesses.

    My headline pretty much spelled it all out... If you are or know someone dealing with addictions, be they substance addictions or behavioral addictions, or if you are or know a Trauma and Abuse Survivor, PLEASE read this book. It is time that we, as a culture and as a SPECIES, stop ignoring the impact that Childhood Abuse and Genetic Predisposition for Addiction has on the rest of the world. Raped as a child by your uncle or a baby sitter? Why do you think you are bisexual, gender confused, and "Only" seem to date abusers? Mom a pill addicted alcoholic? YOUR chances of getting the series of genetic factors and mental trauma that equal "The Addiction Gene" is 50% and the fact that you were MENTALLY RAPED by being raised by an abusive, neglectful addict only raises your risks of BECOMING THAT WHICH BEGOT YOU! As the adult survivor of an alcoholic and mentally ill mother, I can PERSONALLY trace the history of mental illness, addiction, suicide, rape, and just outright TRAUMA back a dozen generations! Because of the genetic grab-bag of party favors I inherited, I'm physically disabled because of a hip problem on my father's side and borderline with depression and anxiety... I can't hold a job because of the borderline personality disorder which means I can't get insurance to get the hip replacement I've needed since my first hip surgery at age 10. If we as a people would start to DEAL with our abusive sh**-bag mentally ill people and treat this as the DISEASE that it is, there would be no future "Me's" to sit here and suffer thanks to the abuse and genetics that were handed down to me. PLEASE... Please read this book... Trauma survivor or not... It opens up a whole new dimension to the world that our culture purposefully blinds itself to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2010

    Very Interesting

    I found this book to be very enlightening. Drew Pinsky is a wonderful, intelligent man and it shows in this book. Cracked gives you insight on what addiction really is and what the disease does to a persons mind.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2008

    AMAZING BOOK ABOUT ADDICTION

    In my opinion, CRACKED is the go to book for complete and easily understandable information about addiction. Drew Pinsky shares his personal insights and feelings about being an addictions doctor. I am in recovery and it is as if he got inside my head and put my feelings onto paper.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2006

    Knowledgable and interesting.

    I recently read this book in three days. I felt the book was very informative as a professional in the field of addiction and recovery. My-self being a recovered alcoholic the stories were believable and made a lot of sense. A must read for all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2005

    Just: WOW

    This book was absolutely amazing. I read it all at once, then I went back and read a few parts again. I admit some parts were difficult for me, as I can relate all too well to some of the patients. It's been nearly a week since I've read the book, and I still can't get it out of my mind. It's haunting, in a good way. It has definitely shown some light on how 'getting help' is not an entirely negative experience... If Dr. Drew ever decides to write another book, I'll be all over it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2004

    Great for those doubting their Doctors

    This book was beautifuly written baout an extradinary life. He gives faith that doctors and treatment providers really do care about their patients and aren't juts doing it for the money. I'ts also taught me about addiction and mental illness and I have gained many helpful insights as I am Director of a suicide prevention program. Thank You Drew! - aka'cleo'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2004

    Long Overdue--And Worthy--Perspective From the Other Side of the Treatment Fence

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book--started it in the morning and finished mid-afternoon. Everything else I have read is from my own perspective--that of a recovering alcoholic/addict. It was enlightening to hear from someone who chose a profession based on helping people like me. It's refreshing too, to hear a treater openly discuss his own liabilities and his efforts to overcome them--in this case, co-dependency. Still, it's clear in his story that his lack of personal experience in living with the disease of addiction, and the extraordinary effort and work required to treat and manage it, puts him at a distinct disadvantage. This comes through in his befuddlement at patients who 'don't get it' when they relapse. Also, in recounting a conversation with one patient, he commits the grievous error of saying to her 'I know you feel very frightened right now,' (or whatever the emotion was). Any addiction treatment professional (in fact, anyone who is even the least bit enlightened), would never presume to tell another person what they are feeling. I hope Dr. Pinsky has since learned the error in this, because he otherwise comes across as a very compassionate and capable doctor.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2004

    This book was written by a fantastic man.

    This is a life-altering book, it really helped me through a rough time in my life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2004

    Excellent book!

    This book was impossible to put down -- Dr. Drew is as engrossing in print as he is on the radio. I found his description of his practice gripping and eye-opening. You owe it to yourself to read this book, Dr. Pinsky's somewhat shameless plugging of this book on Loveline aside. I had no idea how much really goes in to addiction medicine. It's not only fascinating; it's important.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2003

    daughter of an alcoholic and an addict mother

    OH MAN this book is such an easy read for thoes who dont really understand all that doc. lingo. I higly recomend this book to anyone who is dealing with alcoholism or addiction weather its a mother a father a daughter of a mom who is an adidict or an alcoholic a teenager who has the disease or a boss of someone with the disease or a mother and a father of someone with the disease. This book helped me so much with dealing with my moms disease and knowing that im not alone with dealing with it. Anyone and everyone should read this book! i was hooked from the first page and anyone can get a part of this book and it fit to them. So basicly READ IT its a great and easy read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2003

    A must read for those with troubled baby boomers

    Written from the heart Dr. Drew. I could not stop reading it. My brother having been dependent, from a father who drank, and his father who drank, is now 5 years sober. A must read for those Baby Boomers who are still with Ozzie and Harriet thinking. Life is not easy. Your efforts and the dedication and love you put into your work and this piece bring me into awe when I hear your show. At 48, I am back listening to you coming from the 70's it's all good stuff you and Adam talk about. This book is one I can tell you wrote from the pain that comes from giving to help those who suffer. You are a great and beautiful 'passionate' man Mr. Drew Pinksy. Thank you! I am able to paint as an artist again since I came back to Loveline, I found out it's okay I like my work I don't need my dad's approval anymore to feel my worth. Your book is a treasure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    What a Wonderful Book !

    From the first page I was hooked. I found 'Cracked' to be easy and VERY enjoyable to read, I found it impossible to put down. I felt personally touched by his storys. Having 5 1/2 years clean and sober myself Dr.Drew explained why I do and think the way I do. Everyone should read this book ! 'Cracked' has something very valuable in it for all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2003

    A life changing read. Highly recommended.

    Cracked offers a medical, personal, and psychological look at the world of Dr. Drew Pinksy; a nationally syndicated radio host and addiction medicine specialist. Pinsky takes you behind the scenes in this very personal chronicle of his life as chief of service at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, California. Pinksy¿s writing style is very passionate and from the heart. It provides an in depth view of not only how addictive behaviors affect abusers, but also its effect on practitioners, family members, and our culture as a whole. Cracked is highly recommended to anyone wanting to better their life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2003

    Awesome!

    'Cracked' is one of the best books that I have read! I never realized how hard rehab was, and what an impact it has on someone. I also plan on being an addiction specialist, and this book really put things into perspective. Nicely done, Drew!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)