cover image Saving Jake: When Addiction Hits Home

Saving Jake: When Addiction Hits Home

D’Anne Burwell. FocusUp Books, $14.99 trade paper (314p) ISBN 978-0-9962-5430-4

Without cleverness or false pride, Burwell, a suburban mother of a struggling son, writes the brutal truth about addiction, once a topic on the national backburner but now in the news as it went from blighted urban areas to plush suburbs. She explains how her bright, athletic son, Jake, experimented with weed and alcohol, then graduated to OxyContin and leaving college abruptly. When Burwell sees how thin her 19-year-old boy has become as he spirals out of control in the grip of the drug, she realizes their parenting has failed. She knows the terror and shame that every besieged family feels when Jake admits to her and his counselor: “Drugs instead of food, thought I could control it. I hate my life.” Addiction, Burwell notes, takes a toll on the addict and his family, with her husband’s economic consultant salary supporting a series of rehab facilities, each ending with the son slipping back to his old life. His mother’s writing is sincere and heartfelt, detailing how their son’s addiction almost unraveled their marriage and financial future, while he remains adamant he can defeat his problem alone. Setbacks and relapses cannot dampen our cheering for this mother and family in this potent personal tale of devotion and commitment and an impassioned plea for a national dialogue on a pressing health crisis. (BookLife)