This Monstrous Obsession: Hard Lessons Learned about Addiction (Hardcover)

This Monstrous Obsession: Hard Lessons Learned about Addiction By James L. Baker Cover Image

This Monstrous Obsession: Hard Lessons Learned about Addiction (Hardcover)


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The insidious opioid epidemic has ravaged American homes and communities for far too long. Three million American families have a loved one addicted to opioids, and fatal drug overdose is the number one cause of death for all Americans aged eighteen to forty-four. Though we are deeply familiar with the tragedy and severity of this public health crisis, almost everything we hear about it in the media or online is outdated, irrelevant, driven by profit over patient care, or just plain wrong. What's worse is that many doctors don't understand this crisis, either, because no doctor is required to learn anything about addiction treatment unless they select it as their medical specialty. Both the public and physicians are highly prejudiced against people with addiction and still see addiction as a moral failure or choice rather than a sickness that needs medical attention. In his emotional, thorough, tender, and urgent new book, This Monstrous Obsession: Hard Lessons Learned About Addiction, James Baker, M.D., M.P.H. lays out the truths about addiction care that anybody with a loved one suffering from addiction must know. He writes not only as a veteran of hospice care and palliative medicine but also as a parent who has lost a child to addiction.

Like many American doctors and parents of a child with addiction, Dr. Baker did not know anything about addiction care until he experienced it through his son Macky's addiction and eventual overdose death. Dr. Baker weaves together the latest scientific research on addiction treatment, his reflections as a parent of a child with addiction, and Macky's own thoughts and writings to craft an essential, cutting-edge tome on why this crisis persists and how we must treat it.

Dr. Baker is the inaugural Chair of the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Mental Health and Substance Use, physician consultant for the Massachusetts Consultation Service for the Treatment of Addiction and Pain (MCSTAP), Dr. James Baker has witnessed the wide-reaching, nefarious impacts of the opioid epidemic as both a parent and a medical professional. While a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, he was asked by the White House to join the staff of the Presidential Commission on the HIV Epidemic. He then served for more than ten years in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School before pursuing a career in hospice and palliative medicine. He has presented to Congress on addiction policy, met with federal, state, and local elected officials to advocate for change, and has shared his story on PBS, NPR, BBC, WBZ Evening News in Boston, and in the Wall Street Journal

Product Details ISBN: 9781633889446
ISBN-10: 1633889440
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 200
Language: English