It’s available! In both paperback and Kindle formats. The Soul of an Addict: Unlocking the Complex Nature of Addiction, by D.J. Mitchell.
Addiction is more complex than it may seem. Written for the non-addict who seeks to understand substance addiction, The Soul of an Addict shows that addiction not just a disease or a choice. Using statistics, anecdotes from the lives of addicts, and the author’s personal experience with addiction and recovery, the book argues that addiction affects all aspects of human existence, including identity, purpose, life structure, and morality. It serves as a religion in the addict’s life, and any approach to recovery must also provide these essential needs. With one in seven Americans struggling with substance abuse, this book brings a timely analysis for anyone concerned about addiction.
“A must-read… As a therapist I will be recommending this book to my clients.” –Milt McLelland, CMHC, Roots Counseling Center
For more information, click here.
Want a free look? Download the Introduction and first chapter here!
Want a sneak peek at Madarach’s Secret before it’s published? Download the first two chapters free!
“This is really well written! I love how you promote love, curiosity and communication. Can I go live on Parisa, please?” –A test reader.
My first non-fiction book is coming soon. The Soul of an Addict: Unlocking the Complex Nature of Addiction argues that addiction is far more complex than most models accept. Is it a disease? A choice? Yes. But it’s also more than either of these. In fact, addiction has the sociological characteristics of a religion.
The book is supported by statistics, anecdotes from my work with addicts, and stories from my own struggle with addiction. It will be available in two weeks.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter Twelve, “What Is Recovery?”
Jenna was in her fifth round at a treatment facility when I met her. She dropped out before the end of the program and went back to using drugs.
Nate got clean and sober the first time he went to treatment and never used again.
Ben was sentenced to treatment by the court after his fifth conviction for DUI. He went to avoid prison, yet he got clean and stayed clean for many years.
Vivian had a spiritual experience after an alcoholic binge, attended Twelve Step meetings and never drank again.
Dan found sobriety in a church run by a pastor in recovery.
Al got sober through Twelve Step meetings while in prison for vehicular manslaughter.
Vern failed at treatment facilities and methadone clinics for years, but after doing some time in jail and living in his car for a year, he finally got clean in a Twelve Step program.
Treatment takes many forms, and has varying rates of success. But, whether an expensive rehab facility, a publicly funded treatment center, a church-based support group, or a cost-free Twelve Step meeting, some form of support is usually necessary to help us get out and stay out of our addiction. The reason is simple: If we knew how to stay clean and sober without treatment, if we could envision a way of life sufficient to replace addiction, we would have given up drugs already.
Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is big business in the United States. In 2017, nearly three million people underwent treatment. It’s estimated that Americans spend $30-35 billion a year attending rehabilitation centers for drug and alcohol abuse.
That doesn’t include the nation’s largest single “treatment” system: prison. According to researchers Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner, nearly half of all federal prisoners, about 100,000 people, are incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses. It’s estimated that half a million nonviolent drug offenders are incarcerated in state and local prison systems.  At an estimated $30,000 per prisoner per year, that’s another $15 billion expense that falls to the taxpayers.
In 2016, some 168,000 people on parole or probation were returned behind bars not because they committed a new crime but because of technical violations such as staying out past curfew. Sawyer and Wagner argue that the justice system is structured to promote failure, not to reward success.
It’s worth noting that those who go through treatment are more likely to be white (about 80%). Those who go to prison are more likely not to be white (about 70%). The rate of addiction does vary slightly between races, but perhaps not as expected. Of the three most populous races, whites lead in substance abuse problems with 7.7%. Blacks have a rate of 6.8%, and 6.6% of Hispanics struggle with substance abuse. Yet blacks are six times more likely to be incarcerated for drug offenses than whites.
Jacob, a young African-American man, was arrested for drug-related offenses. While represented by a public defender, he was sentenced to four years in prison. Later, he managed to pay an attorney several thousand dollars to have the judge reconsider the sentence. It was reduced to one year followed by a court-ordered drug treatment program. Financial resources clearly make a huge difference in the outcome of drug offenses in the criminal justice system.
There’s another troubling statistic. In 2017, more than 20 million Americans sought treatment for a substance abuse problem. Only 12% of them actually received treatment. That’s a huge improvement over prior years. In 2014, for example, only 7.5% of those seeking treatment actually received it. But still: out of every eight people who seek treatment, seven do not receive it. The most common reason cited, by almost half of those who could not obtain treatment, was lack of insurance coverage. They couldn’t afford the cost.
 Bose, Table 5.10A.
“What America Spends on Drug Addictions,” Addiction-Resources.com, 2005 (https://www.addiction-treatment.com/in-depth/what-america-spends-on-drug-addictions/, accessed August 14, 2019). There are many more recent estimates on what Americans spend on the substances themselves, but I was unable to find a more current estimate of the cost of rehab. Gabrielle Glaser, “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous,” Atlantic Feb 2015 (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/, accessed August 15, 2019). “Offenses,” Federal Bureau of Prisons, Aug 9, 2019 (https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp, accessed August 14, 2019).
 Bose, “Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables, 2018 (https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHDetailedTabs2017/NSDUHDetailedTabs2017.pdf, accessed May 15, 2020).
 NAACP, “Criminal Justice Fact Sheet” (https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/, accessed May 15, 2020). Numbers for Hispanics were not included. Also see Alana Rosenburg, et. al., “Comparing Black and White Drug Offenders: Implications for Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice and Reentry Policy and Programming,” J Drug Issues 2017 47(1), 132-142 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5614457/, accessed May 15, 2020): Blacks are more likely to be incarcerated for smaller offenses; 49% of Blacks and only 10% of whites in the study were convicted of marijuana possession compared with 7% of Blacks and 50% of whites convicted for heroin possession.
 Rachel N. Lipari and Struther L. Van Horn, “Trends in Substance Abuse Disorders among Adults Aged 18 or Older,” The CBHSQ Report, SAMHSA, Jun 29 2017 (https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2790/ShortReport-2790.html, accessed August 15, 2019). Compare Rachel N. Lipari, Eunice Park-Lee, and Struther Van Horn, “America’s Need For and Receipt Of Substance Abuse Treatment in 2015,” The CBHSQ Report, SAMHSA, Sep 16 2016 (https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2716/ShortReport-2716.html, accessed August 15, 2019) reports that 10.6% of those who sought treatment received it in 2015. The percentage receiving treatment has
 Bose, Table 5.50A, shows 421 of 1,033 (41%) surveyed either didn’t have health insurance, or had health insurance that didn’t cover treatment.
Elm, an Outlander and a deserter from the army, lives in shame and fear. If the King’s men find him, he will surely be executed. His one pleasure is an ancient and forgotten cave temple. There he dreams of better days, and of his landlord’s beautiful daughter.
Teha, Commander of the Army, owes his position and standing to the order established by the gods. When the King takes a heretical priest as an advisor, everything Teha believes in stands in jeopardy.
In a forgotten city in the mountains, an old monk uses spiritual gifts to seek an ancient prophecy of peace and justice. Aided by a mysterious old woman, he works to prevent a war in the realm of the gods that would devastate the world of men.
A routine decision by the King sends these three men on a collision course that will change the world.
This novel follows three men, and the women who inspire them, through tumultuous events in a world of swords and violence. It is a world of diverse gods, prophecies and mystery, kings and priests, and a world in which a few privileged people live in peace while the vast majority experience war.
I started this book almost thirty years ago. Inspired by a Hindu temple I visited in India in 1987, it became a complex work told in three voices. Yet though it portrays people who believe in different gods, it is also an allegory about how we view God, and about misconceptions of power and violence.
As I write this, the paperback version is available here. The Kindle version should be available in a day or two.
If you decide to read it, please give it a review!
Just in time for Pentecost… Steve’s Grace is FREE on Kindle!
(All I ask is that you post a review.)
Our friend, Joshua Pettit, has just published a book of amazing photos of southern Utah. Paired with musings from his struggle with chronic pain, the book is intended to be both beautiful and inspirational.
Here’s a sample:
Your words and self talk are what define you and your perceptions in life.
Change those to fit your desired point of view, that’s
all you need to do to be the most unique you.
I tell myself that I am too sexy for my shirt,
and this is how all the birds look at me.
Peace in the Paroxysm is now available on Amazon, coming soon to Kindle.
(Full disclosure: I edited it for him.)
This week only, Steve’s Grace is available for FREE on Kindle. Download it here.
Steve’s Grace is now available in both paperback and Kindle!
Comments so far:
“An interesting and entertaining read.”
“I really enjoyed it! The story was riveting and inspiring!”
My latest novel, Steve’s Grace, is now available on Kindle!
Steve Grace isn’t a bad guy. But he’s not a good guy, either. He’s an accountant for a crooked company. He hates religious people. He cheats on his wife, but he thinks every husband does.
A trip to Las Vegas isn’t unusual, but this one goes far beyond anything he imagined. Haunted by shame and with his marriage in jeopardy, he wonders if he’s been too quick to dismiss God.
With the help of a therapist, Steve’s memories begin to return, and he realizes he did something truly unforgivable. Overcome with horror, he has a psychotic episode and loses all memory of the trip and the weeks since he got home.
A stay in the mental hospital brings his memories back. Confronted with the magnitude of his sin, he decides to give his life to God. He gives out sandwiches to the homeless, joins a church, and rescues a young prostitute. But is his newfound faith real, or is he still crazy?