I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

THE CHEMICAL CAROUSEL: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction by Dirk Hanson

Genre: Nonfiction/Science/Addiction
Rating: Excellent
ISBN: 9781439212998, $20.95, 472 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction by Dirk Hanson is an in-depth look at addiction science and medical treatments for drug dependence and alcoholism. An experienced science and business journalist, author Hanson, brings a complex and widely misunderstood subject out of the shadows and into the light of understanding. In this groundbreaking and highly readable examination of addiction science and the biological, emotional, and scientific underpinnings of substance abuse, The Chemical Carousel breaks through the myths, while presenting the surprising and cutting-edge facts about addiction and its medical origins. Hanson leaves no stone unturned in this invaluable examination of why people become addicted. This is not a textbook or scientific paper, however. Rather, The Chemical Carousel is a book for the rest of us: friends and families of addicts, support groups, and healthcare professionals alike."

The Chemical Carousel is presented in four parts–a history, addictive substances, cures, and a conclusion. It is well researched, written and edited, providing the most current/contemporary information available. I didn’t know we had a ‘science’ of addiction...great!...and if so, this book should be required reading.

I found Hanson’s research to be helpful in clarifying the problems, such as: the difference between the disease of alcoholism (a brain chemistry disorder characterized by continued compulsive use of alcohol despite severely adverse consequences) and alcohol abuse (the deliberate overuse of alcohol–binge drinking). With a deeper, educated understanding about addictions, this book may help to dissolve the common view of the addict as an immature person who lacks will power and is at the mercy of his/her addictive personality.

If you, a friend or family member have an addiction problem, read this book. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, and you may, if you are looking, find the help you need.

Kaye Trout - May 24, 2009