Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Achievement and Addiction: A Guide to the Treatment of Professionals

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Achievement and Addiction: A Guide to the Treatment of Professionals

Article excerpt

EDGAR P. NACE, M.D.: Achievement and Addiction: A Guide to the Treatment of Professionals. Brunner/Mazel, New York, 1995, 264 pp., $32.95, ISBN 0 876 307 535.

In Achievement and Addiction: A Guide to the Treatment of Professionals, Dr. Edgar Nace has tackled one of the more challenging tasks of our profession: the treatment of any addicted patient, which calls for a psychiatrist's broadest knowledge, sharpest skills, and strongest commitment. However, when the addicted patient is a professional with title and status, the demands on the therapist rise exponentially. Nace comes to our aid with a compact, but thoughtful guide to the treatment of the addicted professional. Whereas previous publications have dealt with the problems of the physician and, occasionally, the nurse addict, I know of no other text that includes the spectrum of professionals that his book does.

In 14 chapters he introduces basic concepts, lists the special problems of certain professional groups, and closes with a discussion of treatment options. Specifically, Nace devotes the first four chapters to an outline of management principles designed for the professional patient, but applicable to any patient. His discussion in Chapter 2 on conceptualizing the problems of dependency in the professional will be useful to both the novice and the experienced psychiatrist. Chapter 3, a review of the neurochemical mechanisms in the etiology of addiction, is outstanding. It is one of the clearest and most succinct presentations I have read of our current understanding of the basic biochemical mechanisms of addiction. In fact, the chapter can be highly recommended by itself. It provides a review of fundamental information on addiction which in other texts often appears complicated and confusing.

In chapters 5 to 10, Nace summarizes the current data on the treatment needs of physicians and medical trainees, nurses, pharmacists, attorneys, and executives. …

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