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Publisher's Summary

The Addiction Inoculation is a vital look into best practices parenting. Writing as a teacher, a mother, and, as it happens, a recovering alcoholic, Lahey's stance is so compassionate, her advice so smart, any and all parents will benefit from her hard-won wisdom.” (Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex and Boys & Sex)

In this supportive, life-saving resource, the New York Times best-selling author of The Gift of Failure helps parents and educators understand the roots of substance abuse and identify who is most at risk for addiction, and offers practical steps for prevention.

Jessica Lahey was born into a family with a long history of alcoholism and drug abuse. Despite her desire to thwart her genetic legacy, she became an alcoholic and didn’t find her way out until her early 40s. Jessica has worked as a teacher in substance abuse programs for teens, and was determined to inoculate her two adolescent sons against their most dangerous inheritance. All children, regardless of their genetics, are at some risk for substance abuse. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, teen drug addiction is the nation’s largest preventable and costly health problem. Despite the existence of proven preventive strategies, nine out of 10 adults with substance use disorder report they began drinking and taking drugs before age 18. 

The Addiction Inoculation is a comprehensive resource parents and educators can use to prevent substance abuse in children. Based on research in child welfare, psychology, substance abuse, and developmental neuroscience, this essential guide provides evidence-based strategies and practical tools adults need to understand, support, and educate resilient, addiction-resistant children. The guidelines are age-appropriate and actionable - from navigating a child’s risk for addiction, to interpreting signs of early abuse, to advice for broaching difficult conversations with children. 

The Addiction Inoculation is an empathetic, accessible resource for anyone who plays a vital role in children’s lives - parents, teachers, coaches, or pediatricians - to help them raise kids who will grow up healthy, happy, and addiction-free.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2021 Jessica Lahey (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

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A must-read book for all parents

I’m a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who comes from a family of addicts, with nearly 9 years sober and a 12-year-old son, one of my biggest fears is that he’ll struggle with addiction. There are many books that talk about prevention methods and communication styles with your children to help them avoid substance abuse, but Jessica Lahey by far has written one of the best books I’ve read on the subject. I’ve worked in a dual diagnosis treatment center and have a mental health YouTube channel, and with so much pseudoscience and nonsense out there, I really look for books and suggestions that are evidence-based, and that’s exactly what Jessica Lahey provides in this book. Although there were some studies I had read about before, Jessica not only introduced me to new ones, but she also has a unique perspective on what the research means and how we it can help our children.

From the start of the book, I really connected with Jessica’s personal story of addiction and sobriety as well as her fears of her own children struggling with addiction. Jessica is not only a teacher, but she helps young people struggling with substance abuse so she has a ton of experience. In this book, she covers every important angle when it comes to addiction in young people. She discusses risk factors such as genetics and home environment, and then she dives into a ton of different proven strategies for parents to connect with their children and have authentic conversations around substance use. Later, she explains why traditional prevention methods like D.A.R.E. failed and what the research teaches us about how young people need proper social and emotional learning both at home and in schools.

Whether you’re a parent, an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, a teacher, a doctor, or anyone who might interact with young people at some point in your life, you need to read this book. I got sober in 2012, and the addiction epidemic hasn’t slowed down. It takes a group effort and amazing books like this one from Jessica Lahey to educate ourselves and end this crisis that we’ve been dealing with for decades.

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