Healing the Addicted Brain

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Overview

New York Times Bestseller!

"New, scientifically-based approaches that recognize the biological basis of addiction have brought major advances in the treatment of addiction. Dr. Urschel is at the forefront of this treatment paradigm."
Dr. Larry Hanselka, Psychologist

The Proven Scientific Approach to Conquering Addiction and Defeating the Disease

Healing the Addicted Brain is ...

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Healing the Addicted Brain: The Revolutionary, Science-Based Alcoholism and Addiction Recovery Program

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Overview

New York Times Bestseller!

"New, scientifically-based approaches that recognize the biological basis of addiction have brought major advances in the treatment of addiction. Dr. Urschel is at the forefront of this treatment paradigm."
Dr. Larry Hanselka, Psychologist

The Proven Scientific Approach to Conquering Addiction and Defeating the Disease

Healing the Addicted Brain is a breakthrough work that focuses on treating drug and alcohol addiction as a biological disease—based on the Recovery Science program that has helped thousands of patients defeat their addictions over the past 10 years. It combines the best behavioral addiction treatments with the latest scientific research into brain functions, providing tools and strategies designed to overcome the biological factors that cause addictive behavior along with proven treatments and medications.

Using this scientific approach, you will learn to conquer the physical factors that keep people tied to drug and alcohol addiction. The proven fact is addiction is not a moral failing or an issue of not having enough willpower. It is a disease of the brain that can and must be treated like other chronic medical illnesses —such as diabetes, hypertension, or asthma—in order to defeat the disease.

This revolutionary program can triple the success rate of patients, from 20-30% to 90%

There Is Hope.

By understanding addiction and using 21st-century breakthroughs, for the first time drug and alcohol addiction can be, and will be, defeated.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402218446
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 103,275
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Harold C. Urschel, III is the CEO and Founder of the Urschel Recovery Science Institute and the Chief of Medical Strategy of EnterHealth.com, which have the goal of combining the best behavioral addiction treatments with the latest scientifically proven medications. He is a board certified physician in both addiction and general psychiatry.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One: It's a Disease!

Everything you know about addiction treatment is wrong.

I can safely make this statement to most laypeople—plus an alarmingly large number of health professionals—without fear of being contradicted. Why? Because most people know very little about addiction, and what they do know (or think they know) boils down to this: addicts can quit if they really want to; all they have to do is commit wholeheartedly to their treatment, which consists largely of "talking therapy"—individual or group psychotherapy or 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.

That's the sum total of most people's knowledge of addiction treatment. But it's dead wrong. And it's the main reason that the success rate for addiction treatment is currently only 20—30 percent. This means that 70—80 percent of the participants in any given addiction treatment program will not be successful. No wonder people think that alcohol or drug addiction treatment doesn't work!

Fortunately, recent scientific research has discovered new avenues of treatment by showing conclusively that addiction is a chronic physical disease that attacks the brain, damaging key parts of the cerebral cortex and limbic system. This brain damage cannot be reversed by talking therapies; only select new medications and continued sobriety can do that. But when used together, these new medicines and talking therapies can literally work wonders.

In this chapter we'll look at the new scientific research on addiction and its effects on the brain. (Throughout the book I'll use the word "addict" to refer to both alcoholics and drug addicts, and "addiction" to refer to both alcohol and drug addiction, unless otherwise specified.) You'll learn what happens inside the brain of a person with an addiction, why talking therapy alone doesn't usually work, and how medications can help the brain repair itself, pushing the treatment success rate up as high as 90 percent!

Myths That Lead to Unsuccessful Treatment of Addiction

  • Addiction is a serious brain disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. The shocking statistics say it all:
  • According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 22.6 million Americans aged twelve or older abused or were dependent on a substance during the previous year (9.2 percent of the population aged twelve or older).
  • Of these, 15.6 million abused or were dependent on alcohol but not illegal drugs.
  • 3.8 million abused or were dependent on illegal drugs but not alcohol.
  • 3.2 million abused or were dependent on both alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Approximately 9—10 percent of children ages twelve to seventeen use illegal drugs, and about the same percentage report binge drinking.
  • Each year, well over two million adults use pain relievers for non medical reasons.
  • Over ten million full-time workers between the ages of eighteen and sixty-four abuse or are dependent on alcohol.
  • There are roughly one million drug-related visits to U.S. emergency rooms every year.
  • Americans spend close to $20 billion a year on treatment for alcohol and drug problems.
    Seventy-five percent of alcoholics never enter a treatment program
  • Of those who do seek treatment for addiction, 70—80 percent suffer a relapse soon after "graduating" from these programs.

But perhaps the most frightening statistic of all is the death toll. Alcoholism is the third leading cause of death in the United States, right on the heels of heart disease and cancer. And although no one knows exactly how many additional lives are lost to the abuse of and addiction to drugs, the figure is surely in the tens of thousands per year.

Forty-five-year-old Simon, a high-level chemist at a Dallas-based manufacturer, was referred to me by a drug court judge when he was charged with his second DWI and facing a ten-year prison sentence. His life was in shambles. Alcoholism had put Simon's career in jeopardy and played a major part in the dissolution of his twenty-five-year marriage three years earlier. Since that time, Simon's drinking had progressed significantly. Of his three children, only his son was still speaking to him. Both of his daughters had banned him from their homes after he repeatedly showed up intoxicated and frightened their children. And alcoholism was beginning to take a toll on his health. His blood pressure and cholesterol levels were dangerously high, two classic signs of heart disease. And the whites of his eyes had taken on a yellowish tinge, indicating malfunction of the liver. All of these problems, his doctor told him, were directly related to his alcohol use. And yet he had never sought or received any treatment for his alcoholism.

Simon's story is not unusual. A full 75 percent of alcoholics are not in treat­ment for an illness that causes nearly as many deaths as heart disease or cancer. Why isn't our current treatment system working? At the inception, our ability to prevent and treat addiction is drastically hampered by two myths.

Myth #1: Addiction is a kind of "personality disease." People with addictions are often branded losers, sinners who refuse to face up to their evil ways, or weaklings who can't "suck it up" long enough to throw off their bad habits. The media does much to contribute to this belief. We've all seen the endless parade of stories about Lindsay Lohan, Robert Downey, Jr., Liza Minnelli, and countless other celebrities who bounce in and out of treatment programs. But after spending $80,000—$100,000 a month for treatment, they all seem to race right out to a bar or to meet their dealers, diving head first back into old destructive behaviors. Since they appear to be getting the best possible (or at least most expensive) treatment available, the perception is that it must be their own fault that they can't stay sober; they must not be trying hard enough.

Myth #2: "Talking therapy" is the only significant treatment. Talking therapy is a series of discussions through which the addicted person learns the coping skills needed to deal effectively with stress and other issues related to the addiction. Most health professionals—physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and addiction counselors alike—believe that the best possible treatment for alcohol or drug addiction is some sort of talking therapy, such as group therapy plus individual counseling, coupled with participation in an ongoing 12-step program. Unfortunately, this approach works for only a meager 20—30 percent of patients, a fact that has convinced most healthcare providers that addiction is not treatable.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 — It's a Disease!
Chapter 2 — Changing Your Thoughts from Pro-Addiction to Pro-Recovery
Chapter 3 — Combating Triggers and Cravings
Chapter 4 — Medications to Initiate Recovery and Help Maintain Sobriety
Chapter 5 — Your 12-Step Recovery Program
Chapter 6 — Dealing with Diff icult Emotions
Chapter 7 — Dealing with Dual Diagnoses
Chapter 8 — The Recovering Family
Chapter 9 — Lapse and Relapse
Chapter 10 — Health and Nutrition in Recovery
Chapter 11 — Regaining Enjoyment and Pleasure
Chapter 12 — True Recovery—Maintaining Your Goals for Life

Acknowledgments
Index
About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 21 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 12, 2009

    Educational - concepts that allow the reader to open their minds and to assist those who are in need of a committed change to their life styles.

    This book is helpful to those working in the CD field and are looking for more positive, helpful ways of dealing with clients. This allows the reader to view the addiction process in a new light and give tools that will help when dealing with clients. It allow the reader to open up to new concepts & to take another look at the old concepts in this field. it is a good resource for those willing to make change happen.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 15, 2011

    Hope and understanding.

    My husband died of alcoholism, I have a daughter in recovery and a son in denial. This is a family disease. I have spent most of the last ten years dealing with addiction of those I love. I have read and read and read and this book offers absolutely the best explanation of alcoholism along with viable solutions to this dreadful disease. Thank you Dr. Urschel for giving me hope again. This book is a must read for anyone suffering with an alcoholic son, daughter, husband, wife, other relative or friend. Aloha.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    An absolute must have for those having difficulty with denial and those who support them

    This book deals with the BIOCHEMICAL side of addiction and the availability of options new to the science of recovery from addictions. Chapter 4 was VERY informative re: the newest drugs used to treat cravings and reverse brain damage. This book has changed my life in my approach to being a support person with the biochemical aspect of this world wide disease and focusses on the reality that powerless is indeed a crises that needs to be addressed on a scientific level as well as very useful tips on lifestyle changes. I bought two copies, one for my partner and myself so we could underline and compare our individual insight and usefulness to the things the book addresses.



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    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

    Healing the Addicted Brain

    This was a gift to my husband. He is a doctor specializing in Internal Medicine and Pain Management. He saw Harold Urschel on the Dr. Phil show and was very impressed with what he had to offer. He is also very impressed with his book and incorporates this information to his Pain Management patients.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    There is Hope!

    For anyone who is involved in addiction or knows someone who is this book is a must read! There is so much information contained in here and it offers so much hope to the addict as well as the family.I think every Rehab program and 12 step recovery program should also offer this as part of their program. Thank you Dr. Urscel for your wonderful insights.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Addicited Brain

    great book -very easy to understand

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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