In his book Cracked; Putting Broken Lives Together Again: A Doctor’s Story Drew Pinsky describes the clinical stories from his own experience of helping people to overcome their addiction, which has led them to total broke. All the cases, the personal stories of cocaine, heroin, alcohol, Vicodin or any other addiction have it their root the destructive emotions and feelings of guilt and blame for different personal psychological traumas they’ve suffered while children. The treatment diaries, Dr. Pinsky opens for the readers tell the true stories (maybe, slightly changed for the purpose of privacy) of people, who got stuck in addiction. The book is not about formulating some golden rule to help addicts, or about how to understand that someone is an addict or anything like this. Dr. Pinsky, by exploring the personal stories emphasizes that addiction is not something that could be treated in several days or even months by way of withdrawing the signs of it. He states that recovery time is very long and difficult and the period after getting rid of physical symptoms of addiction can be called the new birth for the person, who since then is going to learn ‘walking-talking’ by his/her own.
What impresses much is that Dr. Pinsky does not put himself in a position some superior person, who appears to be the only hope for the ‘lost’ people. He positions himself on the same plain with those, whom he helps. Doctor reflects upon the events in his own toddler life and getting that formative trauma when his mother had been taken by the ambulance because of the miscarriage, pointing out that similar traumas are common and can affect every person.
Upon the whole, the pathology of addiction is explained in the book and the cultural leverages that direct it – from media messages: “Take a pillow!”, “Have a beer!” to the life circumstances, where the person is left alone to cope with definite situations. Doctor tries to dispel the myth that addiction is something that can be forced away by will – he underlines that addicts are unable to overcome this problem on their own. And the first person, who should understand this fact is the addict himself and submit to the process of recovery.
Among the book characters are Katherine, an opiate addict, who screeches for sundry privileges in the unit, exposing her deep personal disorder; Mitch, the son of the pro football star, who always has somebody to blame for his alcoholism – his father, his wife, his boss, or whoever. He returns to the clinic periodically to come out and start all over again. Or Amber, who is an attractive and young model, who suffered sexual abuse in the past and got domineering husband and to cope with the circumstances took Oxycontin, cocaine, and Klonopin. The range of characters in Pinsky’s book is vast, he depicts “every possible facet of society, from the rich to the destitute to the socially prominent to the disconnected, …who share …
Posted by: Winter Fowkes