Tough Love (Revised Edition)

Pauline Neff, Author Abingdon Press $13.5 (158p) ISBN 978-0-687-01825-3
Having a child addicted to alcohol or drugs is one of the most heartbreaking and challenging problems that parents may face. Here, in a revision of her bestselling 1982 book, Neff offers practical, loving and completely updated help to those struggling with that situation. Although the specific 12-step program that Neff stresses does not exist everywhere, parents can adopt the principles she outlines and form support groups with other parents. Central to Neff's approach is ""detachment from the abuser,"" which entails allowing the abuser to ""bottom out"" without ""padding the corners"" (often called ""enabling"" in other references). This method, argues Neff, provides one of the few hopes for the abuser and his or her family. It is also terrifying, however, to parents who lack the support and distancing of the tough-love approach. By far the largest part of Neff's book is devoted to the stories of seven families who have faced the crisis of the addicted child and come through it stronger and more spiritually intact. In short, this book should be required reading for every parent with a child in trouble. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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