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Book Review: There’s an Addict in My Closet by Herbert C. Munden, M.D.

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There’s an Addict in My Closet by Herbert Munden, M.D., is an enlightening book about the realities of addiction. Dr. Munden talks about how chemical dependency is a disease, and not a moral issue or a lack of willpower. Many people have a hard time believing that fact and want to fall back on denial and rationalization. Early in the book, Dr. Munden talks about the dangers of young people getting involved with mood-altering drugs at such an early age. These teenagers have a higher probability of developing a chemical dependency.

In his book, Dr. Munden says, “…chemical dependency occurs when an individual continues to use a mood-altering drug although this use is causing consequences in that person’s life.” The author’s description of addiction and chemical dependency is simplified and easy to understand, which helped me to get clarity on the subject matter. There are many people in my immediate and extended family who suffered from chemical dependency, and this book has been extremely enlightening for me.

There are many great chapters in this book that are helpful and informative. Chapter Five breaks down the physical consequences of chemical dependency, and what each group of drugs does to the body and what withdrawal effects are like. In chapter 10, the author talks about the environment and how powerful it is. He says it’s critical to stay away from old friends and places where the addict use to use drugs or alcohol because of the intense power of neurological events that occur in the brain when old memories are triggered. Chapter 12 is about the effectiveness of the 12 Steps.

The information in There’s an Addict in My Closet is different from anything I’ve ever read or heard about chemical dependency. I highly recommend this book to anyone directly or indirectly involved with people struggling with chemical dependency. This book is critical for family members of alcoholics and addicts because it shows them that they are not alone. Dr. Munden connects with the reader because he shares his personal story and can relate with the experiences of a chemically-dependent individual as well as a family member of one. This is a very informative and interesting read for all!

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