Cover: Drug-Impaired Professionals, from Harvard University PressCover: Drug-Impaired Professionals in PAPERBACK

Drug-Impaired Professionals

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$41.00 • £32.95 • €37.00

ISBN 9780674001749

Publication Date: 05/05/2000

Short

368 pages

5-3/4 x 8-7/8 inches

World

“I started out snorting a couple of lines a night and ended up injecting and snorting about three grams a day.”—That could be your dentist talking.

“I worked a lot with hangovers and made lots of mistakes when coming down off acid.”—That might be your nurse.

“The patient was waking up and I was out cold.”—And that was some unlucky patient’s anesthesiologist.

Professionals trusted with our well-being are the last people we suspect of drug addiction. And yet they are at least as likely as anyone else to abuse alcohol and other drugs—a well-kept secret finally aired and fully examined in this powerful book. Drawing on more than 120 personal interviews with addicted physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, attorneys, and airline pilots and those who treat them, Robert Holman Coombs gives us a startling picture of drug abuse among “pedestal professionals.” He discusses addiction as an occupational hazard for those with the easiest access to drugs, the greatest sense of immunity to their perils, and the most extensive means (and reasons) for hiding their problems. Throughout, the interviewees’ eloquent and often harrowing testimony reminds us of the human drama behind the exhaustive research and analysis presented here. Their bittersweet stories bear out Coombs’s contention that recovering addicts, free of their magical elixirs, can become more complete people than they were before addiction.

From the biological, psychosocial, and spiritual roots of addiction to the equally diverse approaches to recovery, to the merits and failures of government drug policy, Drug-Impaired Professionals offers a clear and complete overview of a complex problem that affects nearly every family in America.

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Books influence us in untold ways, and the ones that influence us the most are often read in childhood. Harvard University Press Senior Editor Julia Kirby is reminded of this on the anniversary of the birth of one of this country’s most celebrated economists. This month would have brought Thomas Schelling’s one-hundredth birthday—and he got closer to seeing it than many mortals. The Nobel laureate economist died just five years ago, after a brilliant career as both a scholar and an advisor to US foreign policy strategists. What better day to dip into his classic work