Chasing The High: A Firsthand Account of One Young Persons Experience with Substance Abuse

Paperback | March 15, 2008

byKyle Keegan, Howard Moss, Beryl Lieff Benderly

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Kyle Keegan was like many teenagers: eager to fit in at school, he experimented with alcohol and drugs. Soon, his abuse of these substances surpassed experimentation and turned into a ruthless addiction to heroin that nearly destroyed his life. Now an adult and in recovery, Keegan tells his remarkable story in Chasing the High. Starting with his early days of alcohol and drug use, Keegan charts his decline into a life of crime and homelessness as his need for heroin quickly overpowered all thoughts of family and friends, of right andwrong. In collaboration with science writer Beryl Lieff Benderly, Keegan uses these experiences to offer guidance and practical advice to other young people who may be struggling with substance abuse. In straightforward, easy-to-understand language, and drawing on the expertise of psychiatristHoward Moss, Keegan discusses what is known about the neurobiology of addiction in young people, how to seek treatment, and how to get the most out of professional help. He also covers such topics as available therapies used to combat addiction, how to talk to family and friends about substanceabuse, and how to navigate risky situations. The result is both an absorbing memoir and a useful resource that will help to ease the hopelessness and uncertainty caused by a substance abuse problem. Chasing the High will offer the wisdom of one young man who has been through it all, assuringadolescents that, with commitment and hard work, they too can succeed in beating a substance abuse problem. Part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written specifically for teens and young adults, Chasing the High offers hope to young people who are struggling with substance abuse, helping them to overcome its challenges and to go on to lead healthy, productive lives.

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From the Publisher

Kyle Keegan was like many teenagers: eager to fit in at school, he experimented with alcohol and drugs. Soon, his abuse of these substances surpassed experimentation and turned into a ruthless addiction to heroin that nearly destroyed his life. Now an adult and in recovery, Keegan tells his remarkable story in Chasing the High. St...

Kyle Keegan is now a professional diver. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters. Howard Moss, MD, is Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health. Beryl Lieff Benderly is a freelance science writer. Her books include ...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.1 × 5.4 × 0.5 inPublished:March 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195314727

ISBN - 13:9780195314724

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Table of Contents

ForewordPrefaceThe history behind Chasing the HighWhat to expect from this book1. Crash and Rescue Above the city, steeped in misery Back from the edge Substance abuse and addiction defined Addiction is a disease A hellish journey2. The Early Days of Using My not-so-shady past A forbidden sip One puff leads to another My uncertain future Heroin A rite of passage versus the slippery slope to addiction The ride down that slope Who becomes addicted, who does not, and why?3. The Noose Tightens A moment of truth, and then denial First shot at detoxification Learning the life of an addict Desperate moves Returning to an unfamiliar home "This is your brain on drugs" Different types of drugs of abuse4. Trying to Get Help Overconfidence and denial: do not mix A minor arrest A major arrest Up, down, up, down-the saga of addiction continues A crucial turning point Substance abuse treatment: what to expect Treatment of co-occurring mental disorders5. Recovery What does recovery mean for you? If a relapse occurs6. Looking Back, Looking Ahead "Real" recovery is whatever works for usFAQGlossaryResourcesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"The book provides a wealth of up-to-date information about the neurobiology of addiction and explains why teens are at a higher risk for drug abuse than adults...short excerpts from other addiction memoirs add to Keegan's wrenching story."--Booklist "This heartfelt, powerfully written book is an easy read and a first choice for all collections."--Lorraine B. Wiener, teacher, in the School Library Journal "Chasing the High is an excellent resource on substance abuse for adolescents and their families. Keegan's personal story captures the experience of addiction and recovery in a compelling manner. The authors even make the neurobiology of addiction clear and accessible. It is difficult to find good resources about addictive drugs for adolescents and this book fills the gap."--Charles Dackis, M.D., Director, Charles O'Brien Center for Addiction Treatment, University of Pennsylvania "Chasing the High is honest and intense, yet also extremely informative. Kyle Keegan has written a brave cautionary tale that takes his readers deep inside the belly of addiction. This book speaks to anyone who has ever felt the deadly grip of drugs and alcohol take hold, but also to those who have watched someone they love disappear into a dark cloud of chemicals. Bravo to Kyle for having the courage to share his painful and inspiring story with the world."--Lynn Marie Smith, author of Rolling Away: My Agony with Ecstasy "While the perils of addiction are often lost in detailed data, there remains a lacuna of information on the personal tolls of substance abuse. In Chasing the High we are given an intriguing and very personal snapshot of the initiation, maintenance, and subsequentbattling of severe chemical dependency-intermixed with factual and useful information about additions. Along with the author, we experience the tribulations of the addition- from the crashes to the euphoria to the rehabilitation and optimism of experiencing life without drugs. Chasing the High provides a unique inside perspective on addiction that is often lost in academic texts."--Timothy E. Wilens, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School "Chasing the High by Keegan and Moss is wonderful first-hand account of a young person's development with addiction. With powerful descriptions of the events that led to drug use, abuse, and addiction the authors succeed in weaving a primer on addiction within the developing saga. Engaging and easy to read, this book should be an enormous help for those individuals and families struggling with this disorder to understand addiction. Particularly poignant for this researcher is the repeated focus on the "dark side" of addiction. The author states, 'In fact, you're taking drugs now not so much to feel good as to keep from feeling bad.' The authors illustrate so clearly that seeking drugs to fill emotional holes creates even bigger emotional holes that in turn need to be filled. This phenomenon is the core feature of addiction."--George F. Koob, Ph.D., Professor, Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute