Recovery Without TreatmentPatrick Biernacki
In this unique and controversial study, Patrick Biernacki contrasts heroin addicts who recovered through treatment facilities with those who overcame their addiction without treatment. A significant contribution to the drug literature, Pathways from Heroin Addiction examines how more than one hundred opiate addicts were able to free themselves from their dependence without undergoing treatment.
After explaining the theoretical framework for the analysis, Dr. Biernacki presents the various stages through which addicts move in resolving to stop using drugs, in breaking away from their habits, and in maintaining abstinence. Especially important in this study is the chapter on "Staying Abstinent." It shows how former addicts were able to manage and overcome their drug cravings, a phenomenon that for years has perplexed drug researchers.
Dr. Biernacki assesses the competing biomedical, sociological, and psychological perspectives of drug addiction and challenges the current treatment philosophy. As the first work which deals exclusively with how addicts can recover without treatment, Pathways from Heroin Addiction makes a unique and important contribution to the literature on drug abuse and will be of broad interest, especially to those in treatment facilities.