Over the Influence
The Harm Reduction Guide to Controlling Your Drug and Alcohol Use
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"Just say no" just doesn't work for everyone. If you've tried to quit and failed, simply want to cut down, or wish to work toward sobriety gradually, join the many thousands of readers who have turned to this empathic, science-based resource--now thoroughly revised. A powerful alternative to abstinence-only treatments, harm reduction helps you set and meet your own goals for gaining control over alcohol and drugs. Step by step, the expert authors guide you to determine:
*Which aspects of your habits may be harmful.
*How to protect your safety and make informed choices.
*What changes you would like to make.
*How to put your intentions into action.
*When it's time to seek help--and where to turn.
Updated to reflect a decade's worth of research, the fully revised second edition is even more practical. It features additional vivid stories and concrete examples, engaging graphics, new worksheets (which you can download and print for repeated use), "Self-Reflection" boxes, and more.
Mental health professionals, see also the authors' Practicing Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, Second Edition.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Why Harm Reduction?
1. Welcome to Harm Reduction
2. Why Do People Use Drugs?
3. When Is Drug Use Harmful?
4. Why Do Some People Get into Trouble While Others Don't?
5. How Do I Know If I Am in Trouble?
6. How People Change
7. You Don't Have to Quit to Change
8. Substance Use Management
9. Taking Care of Yourself While Still Using
10. How Can I Tell If Harm Reduction Is Working?
11. Finding the Right Help
12. A Letter to Family and Friends of People Who Use Drugs
What You Should Know about Drugs: A Quick Reference
Patt Denning, PhD, is Director of Clinical Services and Training at the Center for Harm Reduction Therapy (CHRT) in San Francisco, which she founded with Jeannie Little in 2000. CHRT provides a full range of harm reduction treatment services and trains hundreds of professionals each year. Widely recognized as an expert on drug treatment and dual diagnosis, Dr. Denning is one of the principal developers of harm reduction psychotherapy. She is a Diplomate Fellow in psychopharmacology and a certified addiction specialist through the American Psychological Association's College of Professional Psychology. With Jeannie Little, she is coauthor of Over the Influence, Second Edition (for the general public), and Practicing Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, Second Edition (for mental health professionals).
Jeannie Little, LCSW, is Executive Director of the Center for Harm Reduction Therapy (CHRT) in San Francisco, which she founded with Patt Denning in 2000. CHRT provides a full range of harm reduction treatment services and trains hundreds of professionals each year. A certified group psychotherapist, Ms. Little was the first to implement harm reduction therapy in a group setting and has since adapted harm reduction therapy for widely diverse communities. With Patt Denning, she is coauthor of Over the Influence, Second Edition (for the general public), and Practicing Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, Second Edition (for mental health professionals).
"Patt Denning and Jeannie Little are true heroes when it comes to treating people with addiction problems. Anyone who cares about this subject--or is living through it--should read this superb book."--Johann Hari, author of Chasing the Scream
"A highly informative, practical, passionate, and moving guide. Harm reduction focuses on the ways you may be using substances to cope with personal problems--and how you can find better solutions. The stories in these pages are reminders of the power of the human spirit."--A. Tom Horvath, PhD, ABPP, President, Practical Recovery, San Diego, California
“If you want to change your drug or alcohol use, read this book! The authors are pioneers in the field of harm reduction and they provide a wonderfully clear and useful guide to how to do it."--Maia Szalavitz, author of Unbroken Brain
“Denning and Little have long been at the forefront of the harm reduction movement, and they keep the momentum going and cover all the important bases with this updated edition. This book provides meaningful information and choices instead of one-size-fits-all advice."--Anne M. Fletcher, MS, RDN, author of Inside Rehab and Sober for Good
“After years of struggling with more traditional attempts at recovery, I found this book. What a treasure! I don’t know what I would do without the simple, straightforward skills these authors teach.”--Joshua M., San Francisco
"In this welcome update of a classic, Denning and Little show how harm reduction entails accepting people--including yourself--exactly as they are. Now even more practical, this step-by-step, gently reader-friendly guide helps you lessen the harmful impact of drugs or drinking in your life."--Gabor Maté, MD, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
"This empowering, hope-inspiring book invites you to chart your own path--at your own pace--toward positive change. If you are looking for an evidence-based, helpful, and effective resource for drug and alcohol users, this is it!"--Terry Morris, Director, Syringe Access Services and 6th Street Harm Reduction Center, San Francisco AIDS Foundation
"Invaluable and up to date. I highly recommend this book to any alcohol or drug user who is questioning whether and how to make changes."--Katie Witkiewitz, PhD, Regents' Professor, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico
"Over the Influence has been a big help."--Ron S., San Francisco
"The book offers many beautiful suggestions for handling life."--Paul R., San Francisco