What springs to your mind when you hear someone has an addiction? Drugs, gambling, porn, coffee or even smart phones? Maybe none of those, some of those and maybe even all of those. It has got you thinking though hasn’t it?
In Addicted?, authors Matt Noffs and Kieran Palmer examine the ways in which addiction affects all of us and what we can do about it, and explore the changing definitions and terminology that surround addiction. It is neither a textbook, nor a memoir, but in a way a mixture of the two. Addicted?, for example, does incorporate real stories of addiction, from addicts themselves. There are many interesting, and true, stories, all of which offer a greater understanding into the potential causes of addiction. There are a plethora of reasons – genetics, upbringing, or culture for example. But, often one of the primary causes is trauma. Once we come to appreciate the impact trauma can have on the mind, body and spirit, then we can support and help these people live a happy and healthy life.
The underlying push of Addicted? is to challenge the assumptions and myths surrounding addiction (you have an addictive personality, or all people who use drugs are the same) and offer a more sensible approach. Noffs and Palmer demolish the stereotypes and support these challenges, and show that the science behind it all is more complicated than the myths and assumptions show. For example, studies show that gamblers experience a similar dopamine release to that experienced by drug addicts. The duo also take on the media, challenging the ways in which addiction is depicted and portrayed in the popular media.
Both Noffs and Palmer have plenty of experience in the treatment of addiction. Noffs is the co-founder of the Street Universities, and the CEO of the Noffs Foundation, Australia’s largest drug and alcohol treatment service provider for young people under 25. Whilst, Palmer is the Clinical Programs Manager at Ted Noffs Foundation, where he started as a frontline worker over a decade ago.
Whilst Addicted? cannot replace the advice of a doctor or health professional, it does help pave the way towards getting help, through exercises, tips and meditation techniques. Addiction has a long history in Australia, and this book offers a place where you can be helped, or be the helper. Addicted? aims to help everyone around us, to get us all thinking and prompt us into action. It’ll provoke your mind, kick start conversations and hopefully spread a more accurate and helpful message about addiction to a wider audience.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Matt Noffs and Kieran Palmer’s Addicted? is available now through Harper Collins Australia