The Experience and Science of Chronic Addiction
By: Henrietta Robin Barnes, M.D.
This was an excellent read. Hijacked Brains is a book written by a doctor about taking care of her patients who suffer with chronic addiction. I love her approach both as a health professional and as a caring human. This book is science meets humanity. She teaches a lot about the brain chemistry of addiction and how drug use changes the brain. It really validates that addiction is a disease. She makes an interesting observation that substance abuse should be considered a pediatric condition, as 90% of drug addicts begin using before age 18. When has society ever thought of addiction as a pediatric issue? It’s so hard to get society to see addiction as a disease. She talks about the stigma, resilience, relapse, and long term maintenance of a chronic condition. Substance abuse disorders are both physical and mental. It’s high time we address all aspects of addiction. I can feel her love as a doctor with the way she shares stories of her addicted patients’ experiences. She doesn’t speak with condemnation. She speaks with the desire to help them manage their chronic illness. You can tell she sees the person and not just their addiction. I highly recommend this book to anyone working in any area of health care. All health professionals will have patients who are addicted or whose family members are. I also strongly recommend this book to those struggling with current or past substance abuse. It brings about an understanding of the brain chemistry behind the cravings and learned behaviors. It can make you understand a part of yourself that you battle with.
I borrowed this book from my college library. I definitely want to purchase it to keep and highlight in. It’s the kind of book that you don’t want to put down. It really makes you think. The book is available on Amazon here. You can also ask your local bookstores to order it to the store for you to support your local economy.