The Addict opens a window on the very private world of prescription drug addiction, revealing the harrowing and riveting story of a young woman whose life has been taken over by an impulse that she can't control and a need that she can't extinguish.
Lucy's first appointment with Dr. Michael Stein was on a sunny day in April, and the minute she sat down she said, "I'm here for your program," beginning a series of intimate encounters during the course of a year that took her back to the origins of her addiction and unraveled a life driven by compulsion and the constant pursuit of the next pill. The Addict follows Lucy from the start of her treatment, through relapse, to her eventual long-term recovery, including her breakup with a destructive boyfriend whose own addiction to drugs surpassed hers. This is an unforgettable tale of a young woman living on the edge but determined to take control of her life.
Here also is the deeply personal account of a doctor on the front lines of an epidemic. In this masterful work, Michael Stein brings in other patients whose experiences are like Lucy's but in many ways are completely different. Dr. Stein explains what doctors are thinking and feeling about addiction, and how they make difficult decisions with difficult patients. He also aims to change the way we think about addiction, arguing that it should be treated as we treat diabetes or high blood pressure—as a disease within the medical system.
This affecting and thought-provoking book will resonate with anyone struggling with chemical dependence. In The Addict, Dr. Stein creates a portrait of the intimate bond between one patient and one doctor, a relationship that is profoundly moving and incredibly compelling.
[Stein] loves to listen and analyze. That's what makes The Addict a gripping, illuminating book…Lucy's story alone would not be enough to make The Addict a compelling book. It's the doctor's story that leaps out, and his reluctance to reveal much about himself only serves to make him more intriguing…Dr. Stein has written one other nonfiction book, The Lonely Patient, in which his empathy for the terminally ill and description of what goes on inside his white coat came through. This time, even more hauntingly and successfully, he lets readers make a doctor's experiences their own.