This stimulating book shows how children construct their identities from their experiences, how trauma disrupts this development and how drugs misuse can become the way they adapt to extreme situations. It also shows how drug misusers have used their own experiences and resources to eventually form healthy identities. Essential reading.
The combination of the courageous revelations of the contributors and Etherington's careful and considered research approach is to be valued and prized... I hope this book is read by those in power, those who believe they know what to do with addicts... Congratulations to Kim Etherington and gratitude to the participants.
With each reading, I have come into contact with a further dimension of the book that I had previously not encountered. It is, without a doubt, a valuable resource for anyone wanting to move beyond the familiar stories commonly associated with drug misusers. I suggest it would be an excellent core text for students interested in gaining a more enriched understanding of how social and cultural factors can impact on an individual's life. In addition, there is much within this book that offers support to those currently negotiating their own difficult relationship with drugs as well as professionals wanting to enhance their work within the field of drug misuse... I have no hesitation in recommending this book. It is an inspirational, multilayered book that offers much to a wide range of readers.
If this book were made a compulsory read the helping professions might encourage more inclusive practice. I will certainly add it to the various reading lists under my influence as an educator. The core of the book, and its impact, comes from the experts by experience, who chart our journey through the underworld of human suffering. If that sounds extreme, I dare you to read it. As ever, when you really stop and listen you hear the patterns of abuse that underpin the seemingly random behaviour of the more obviously distressed. And for those of you who find comfort and refuge in diagnostic labels, be prepared to feel uneasy. This is the world of relating where little comes between you and the horror of the other person's life experience. You might want to cry or switch off for a while, but hopefully you will continue to see the person in the story... This book left me full of hope. Is there anything more awesome than bearing witness to the human spirit restoring itself from having been broken?
I welcome this study by Professor Kim Etherington because it is part of the process of understanding our drug problem and the whole chain of issues that lead to addiction. It is the stories of real people, and in doing so it holds a mirror not just to other people's lives but to our own.