Book Review: An Addict Within

May 17, 2015 Book Review 3

Book Review: An Addict WithinAn Addict Within by Mark Lipp
Published by Naama Group on October 31st, 2013
Genres: Non-Fiction
Pages: 227
Source: complimentary review copy
AmazonBarnes & Noble

Full disclosure ~ I received a complimentary copy of An Addict Within from friend and author, Mark Lipp.  These are my own thoughts and opinions and not influenced by our friendship.

There are 22 million addicts in the United States today.  If the average family is four people, then, at minimum, 88 million people in this country are affected by drugs.  That means the epidemic of drug use is surpassed only by the epidemic of shame and damage that an addict’s usage causes to the family.  The damage done to the lives and relationships surrounding the drug addict is almost unimaginable to those who have never experienced it.  It is profound and real to the family, every single minute.

An Addict Within is a parent’s nightmare. Imagine working tirelessly to provide your family with every comfort only to learn your 15 year old beloved first born has been doing drugs since the age of thirteen. Then imagine that no one believes you, as the parent ~ even your partner, your wife, has doubts about your fears ~ then imagine learning your daughter has graduated from the easy stuff to shooting up heroin before the age of 20.

What would you do? Who do you turn to when even your spouse is not concerned {and then later you find out she even enabled and encouraged the drug use}?

When you’re living in the moment trying desperately to fix a situation that no parent CAN fix, how do you cope? How can you continue to be there for your other children when your every waking thought is consumed by the child in trouble? Hardest yet ~ what boundaries do you put in place to protect the rest of the family from your daughter? And how do you protect your own heart?

In this very real journey of one parent’s nightmare through the past eight years of his daughter’s addiction, Mark confronts these very questions. Raw, powerful, and introspective, An Addict Within is like watching a car wreck happen in front of you ~ you can’t look away; you’ve got to know if anyone survives.

Still needing a bit of refinement An Addict Within is not without merit. I would not hesitate to put this book in the hands of any parent I know dealing with an addicted son or daughter. Overlooking some repetitiveness and general “show don’t tell” writing standard to the meat of the story, and you’ve got a great resource for other family members in the same situation. Just knowing you’re not alone makes a world of difference.

I’m not sure how much knowing Mark, with his larger-than-life personality, helped me to see past the arrogance expressed toward his ex-wife and mother of his daughter and son, to the underlying anger, fear and self-recriminations. The arrogance took away from the narrative and focus of the story ~ Mark trying to save his daughter and himself. Mark’s overwhelming need to ‘fix’ his daughter is a clear underlying theme. How Mark learns to deal with his inability to ‘fix’ her is just as revealing.

Mark is a successful business executive, smart, educated, successful and yet, he was not immune to how addiction can tear a family and a father into pieces. An Addict Within is not for everyone. It can be difficult to read, as a parent, the horrors of watching a child struggle with heroin addiction. Reading this book certainly highlights the devastating consequences to an entire family when one struggles with an addiction. The honesty Mark shared in writing this book and sharing with other families is nothing short of courageous.

Learn more about Mark Website | Facebook | Twitter

Nar-Anon Family Groups  Resource to family members of loved ones addicted to drugs.

Al-Anon Family Groups Resource to family members of loved ones addicted to alcohol.



3 Responses to “Book Review: An Addict Within”

  1. Tara @ Running 'N' Reading

    I can’t even imagine what this must be like for a parent. My brother-in-law is an addict and my mother-in-law has spent many hours in Al-Anon meetings, in counseling sessions, etc. I think that she has come to a really great place with her struggle, but it has taken a long time. My husband still struggles with the fact that his brother is just not going to be the “ideal” he’d imagined. Ugh; so tough! Thanks for sharing your experience of this book, Stacy!
    Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…The Balance Project by Susie Orman SchnallMy Profile

  2. Ronald Gann

    You saying that you’d never hesitate to put this book in the hands of a troubled parent of an addicted child is more than enough for me. I’d read it. Thank you for sharing — there is no greater truth than what you said about knowing you are not alone in the struggle could make all the difference.

    Thank you, again.

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