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

Jessica Lahey. Harper, $26.99 (304) ISBN 978-0-06-288378-0
“Effective prevention requires us to understand why a kid picks up that first mind-altering chemical,” writes journalist and teacher Lahey (The Gift of Failure) in this powerful guide to countering youth substance abuse. After battling her own alcohol addiction in her 40s, Lahey vowed to “figure out how to prevent my children from having to travel the same path.” She offers a look at the history of various anti-drug campaigns (such as D.A.R.E.’s scare tactics) and the science behind adolescent behavior and addiction, and tackles such topics as the destructive spiral of shame and silence, the connection between stress and substance abuse, and the importance of “self-efficacy” in kids. Lahey offers no shortage of advice: turn off phones and TVs to make time for open conversations about addiction, respond without judgment if kids mess up, and spell out family expectations (“We don’t take illegal drugs”). Most memorable are the experiences of Lahey’s former students, such as one who made a moving turnaround after a stint in rehab. Urgent and practical, this is a must-read for parents, teachers, and anyone working with teenagers. Agent: Laurie Abkemeier, DeFiore & Co. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/18/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-288380-3
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