You Can't Do It Alone: The Daytop Way to Make Your Child Drug Free

William B. O'Brien, Author, Ellis Henican, Author
William B. O'Brien, Author, Ellis Henican, Author Simon & Schuster $20 (288p) ISBN 978-0-671-72837-3
Reviewed on: 06/28/1993
Release date: 07/01/1993
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In 1957, a young man was brutally murdered in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood by a gang of drug-addicted teens. Feeling compelled to address the drug problem that had led to such a tragic incident, O'Brien, a Monsignor, founded the first Daytop drug rehabilitation center in Staten Island in the early 1960s. Today, Daytop Villages exist in California, Florida, Texas and overseas, as well as throughout New York. Unlike most other drug rehabiliation programs, a majority (88%) of Daytop graduates remain drug-free. How is this so? Mainly, it appears, because of Daytop's emphasis on a combination of discipline and love. Using elements from Synanon and 12-step programs, and based on the debatable conviction that addiction results from an overly permissive upbringing, Daytop seeks to create a family atmosphere that will require total honesty and taking responsibility. Group meetings are of utmost importance, and addicts are required to work their way from menial chores to more ``desirable'' duties. Passionate and outspoken, O'Brien, writing with freelancer Henican, is critical of politicians, the media and others whose misguided ``war on drugs'' and ``just say no'' campaigns have done little to eradicate the problem. The book ends with a plea for more effective--and loving--drug rehabilitation efforts. (July)
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