NEW! Over the Influence, 2nd Edition
The Harm Reduction Guide to Controlling Your Drug and Alcohol Use … completely revised and updated. Including data, charts, and user-friendly worksheets
Over the Influence is about harm reduction, a radical approach to understanding and managing drinking and drug use that is realistic about how entwined and important alcohol and drugs can be in your life. It recognizes that alcohol and drugs are sometimes a problem, sometimes not, sometimes devastating, sometimes helpful.
Over the Influence offers people who use alcohol and drugs a nonjudgmental guide to exploring both the benefits and the harms of their use. It asks questions like “why do you drink?”, “what benefits to you derive from your drugs?”, “how did you end up in trouble?”, and “what would you like to change?” The science of harm reduction is translated into step-by-step strategies that readers can use to figure out which aspects of their habits may be harmful, what they would like to change, and how to put their intentions into action.
Harm reduction is bigger than just alcohol and drugs. It is about self-knowledge. It is about choice. And it is about developing your own path out of harm’s way, whatever the harm may be. Though focused on alcohol and drug use, harm reduction is a paradigm shift away from a dichotomous “either/or” model to a continuum of benefits and harms that can apply to anything in your life about which you are concerned.
Over the Influence is based on respect for self-determination, choice, and each individual’s power to change. Unlike rehab, or “the miracle of 28 days,” harm reduction is realistic about how long and difficult change can be when it comes to long-held habits. This book offers options and tools. It is full of specific guidance about safety, about how to drink or use drugs moderately, and about achieving abstinence, if that is your goal.
Reading this book will change your perspective; it will probably help you change your habits; it might even save your life. It will certainly influence how you view all the choices you make.
About the Second Edition:
In this second edition, we have expanded and updated the drug facts section. We have also added many more interactive materials so that people can use the book as a guide to change their drinking and drug use patterns. We have added a great deal of important research and, in general, this book includes more data to support the perspective and tools that it offers readers. Each chapter presents an evidence-based model for how people get into trouble and how people change, followed by self-reflective exercises to personalize each step of the process.
This new edition is full of original graphics that illustrate the concepts and models and serve as mnemonics that will stay with readers. And the larger format makes it easy to fill in forms and graphics. For owners of this book, all forms and worksheets can be downloaded from the Guilford website.
Available in bookstores and Guilford Press
Advance praise for Over the Influence
“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: The First and Last Days of the War on Drug
“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
“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
“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, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico
“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
“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