"No other writer has captured the essential truths about illness with as much clarity."
With compassion and insight, Michael Stein tells the true story of one young woman addicted to Vicodin, following her from the start of treatment, through relapse, into long-term recovery. THE ADDICT takes us into the heart of the fastest-growing drug disorder in the United States—the addiction to prescription painkillers—and into the mind of a doctor who wants to help and understand his patients. Written in a deeply personal style from the front lines of an epidemic, it is filled with moving and thought-provoking stories about how addicts think, feel, and talk about their conditions. In this intimate story, Stein shows how common misperceptions about getting and staying sober persist at every level of the addiction-care system. And he creates a searing portrait of the personal bond between doctor and addict, which he believes can be the key to sobriety
Praise for THE ADDICT
"The Addict is more than a narrative about the forward and backward steps that lead from addiction to recovery. It's a useful, sensible, and often inspiring guide to how the medical profession does - and should - treat the sick, and the sick at heart." -Francine Prose, The Oprah Magazine
"Dr. Stein has known addicts well since his early training, and he is drawn in an almost Sherlock Holmesian way, toward trying to fathom and analyze their behavior. He loves to listen and analyze. That's what makes The Addict a gripping, illuminating book." - The New York Times
“The Addict is a beautifully told story of addiction, but from the perspective of a physician whose vast experience working with people caught up in substance abuse reveals itself not in cynicism but in great insight, empathy and compassion. Stein’s experience and his writing skills provide a window to what it is about being human that drives us to addiction and what it takes to be rescued."
-Abraham Verghese author of The Tennis Partner and Cutting for Stone
"The Addict is a detailed, rewarding story of Dr. Michael Stein's work to help get one patient on the road to recovery. Stein's pithy insights...and vivid prose break up the main narrative with lively, welcome portraits of addicts in (his) practice.... Stein writes well, and Lucy's story ends with a satisfying and deeply sad surprise." - The Boston Globe
"Stein shows that addicts are people who you encounter every day and that addiction knows no class lines. It's an eye-opening look into the murky world of addiction, and it shows why it is so hard for some people to quit." - St. Petersburg Times
"The Addict is a quiet and determinedly hopeful book about humanity, viewing addiction as if does in a highly compassionate light....In writing this book, Stein has honored the reality of the struggle of his patients who suffer from addiction." - Providence Journal
"Lucy's story exemplified the journey through addiction toward recovery and it here inspires Stein to a meditation on what it means to be in the grip of a desire so powerful that it can make you abandon all others... Recounting Lucy's tumble back into drug use, his dismay and resignation are poignant and palpable. Stein's prose is strongest at its most medical." - Kirkus Reviews
"Stein re-creates his heartrending struggle to help patients over their addictions...and brings to life his all-too-human patients in a narrative that is as readable as any work of compelling fiction." - Library Journal
"Though not intended as a primer on addiction, The Addict is authoritative, informative, and thought-provoking. It is also heartwrenching. The Addict is not only a book for our times, it is a call to re-examine our own family dynamics and to ponder the possibilities for positive change." - The Phoenix
"In this absorbing tale of a year spent treating a young woman addicted to the painkiller Vicodin, Dr. Michael Stein wastes no time distilling the complex, frustrating but often fulfilling relationship between a doctor and his patient... Most absorbing are Stein's ruminations on his own career, why he chose the specilaty that he did and how working with addicts has affected how he considers his own life as well. He experiences both failures and successes. The fight is hard, but he finds it worthwhile, and readers are likely to agree." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch