The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence

The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence

by Jessica Lahey
The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence

The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence

by Jessica Lahey


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The Addiction Inoculation is a vital look into best practices parenting. Writing as a teacher, a mother, and, as it happens, a recovering alcoholic, Lahey's stance is so compassionate, her advice so smart, any and all parents will benefit from her hard-won wisdom.” —Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex and Boys & Sex

In this supportive, life-saving resource, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gift of Failure helps parents and educators understand the roots of substance abuse and identify who is most at risk for addiction, and offers practical steps for prevention.

Jessica Lahey was born into a family with a long history of alcoholism and drug abuse. Despite her desire to thwart her genetic legacy, she became an alcoholic and didn’t find her way out until her early forties. Jessica has worked as a teacher in substance abuse programs for teens, and was determined to inoculate her two adolescent sons against their most dangerous inheritance. All children, regardless of their genetics, are at some risk for substance abuse. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, teen drug addiction is the nation’s largest preventable and costly health problem. Despite the existence of proven preventive strategies, nine out of ten adults with substance use disorder report they began drinking and taking drugs before age eighteen. 

The Addiction Inoculation is a comprehensive resource parents and educators can use to prevent substance abuse in children. Based on research in child welfare, psychology, substance abuse, and developmental neuroscience, this essential guide provides evidence-based strategies and practical tools adults need to understand, support, and educate resilient, addiction-resistant children. The guidelines are age-appropriate and actionable—from navigating a child’s risk for addiction, to interpreting signs of early abuse, to advice for broaching difficult conversations with children. 

The Addiction Inoculation is an empathetic, accessible resource for anyone who plays a vital role in children’s lives—parents, teachers, coaches, or pediatricians—to help them raise kids who will grow up healthy, happy, and addiction-free.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062883797
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/05/2022
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 474,180
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jessica Lahey writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Atlantic and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. She is a member of the Amazon Studios Thought Leader Board and wrote the curriculum for Amazon Kids’ The Stinky and Dirty Show. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two sons.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Hi, My Name Is Jess, and I'm an Alcoholic 1

Chapter 2 A Long, Strange Trip: Drugs, Alcohol, and Us 23

Chapter 3 Wired for Risk: A Primer on the Adolescent Brain 44

Chapter 4 Not My Kid: Who Gets Addicted, and Why 73

Chapter 5 Tipping the Scales of Addiction: The Protective Factors That Outweigh Risk 92

Chapter 6 House Rules: Parenting for Prevention 120

Chapter 7 We Have to Talk About It: Starting the Conversation 148

Chapter 8 Everyone's Doing It: Friendship, Peer Pressure, and Substance Abuse 179

Chapter 9 The ABC's of Addiction Prevention: Best Practices for Schools 204

Chapter 10 Healthily Ever After: Preventing Addiction in College and Beyond 233

Conclusion Changing the Ending 254

Acknowledgments 261

Notes 263

Bibliography 281

Index 311

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