Home / Books / Book Review: ‘Alive Again’ by Howard C. Samuels, Psy.D. with Jane O’Boyle

Book Review: ‘Alive Again’ by Howard C. Samuels, Psy.D. with Jane O’Boyle

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Alive Again:  Recovering from Alcoholism and Drug Addiction is an eye-opening and honest account of how devastating addictions can be to the addict and immediate family. Nothing can tear apart a family quicker and leave more devastating scars for a lifetime.

There are many books about recovery out there. However, I haven’t seen a book that so thoroughly goes into the root causes of addiction before. The book is clear and well-written. It is also encouraging and hopeful for those addicted to substances. Dr. Samuels’ message is that there is hope for everyone, regardless of how bad you think you are.

Dr. Samuels believes that the root cause of all addictions stems from a fundamental lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. Most addicts have a low self-image of themselves. This can have many causes but some of the most noteworthy causes are in the hands of parents who are incapable of unconditionally loving their children and/or who are unavailable to their children. This can start a negative cycle of uncertainty and lack of self-esteem for children and teens.

Once kids become older, if they feel unloved in their family of origin, they may start feeling flawed and never good enough, regardless of what they do. There is no more overwhelming feeling for a child than feeling down deep that they are worthless and cannot measure up to anyone. This can hurt so much that kids and teens will start reaching for drugs and alcohol to numb their pain. Once a teen starts drinking or doing drugs to numb this kind of pain, she will feel trapped by the false sense of self-confidence that the high gives them.

Dr. Samuels knows first-hand how hard it is to feel so low. But he finally had a light-bulb moment and was able to turn his life around once and for all. Once he did, however, he educated himself and got a doctorate in psychology in order to be able to get to the root cause of addictions.  He has not only recovered himself, but has started an addiction treatment center in Los Angeles where he has helped hundreds of addicts to live more hopeful and productive lives which is free from addiction.

Thank you so much, Dr. Samuels, for such an inspiring and hopeful book. This book is especially useful for today’s drug-ridden culture.

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