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Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol [Paperback]

Patt Denning PhD , Jeannie Little LCSW , Adina Glickman LCSW
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 15 2003 1572308001 978-1572308008 1
Twelve-step programs that insist on abstinence are beneficial to many--but what about the millions of Americans who try to quit and fail, just want to cut down, or wish to work toward sobriety gradually? This groundbreaking book presents the Harm Reduction approach, a powerful alternative to traditional treatment that helps users set and meet their own goals for gaining control over drinking and drugs. The expert, empathic authors guide readers to figure out which aspects of their own habits may be harmful, what they would like to change, and how to put their intentions into action while also dealing with problems that stand in the way, such as depression, stress, and relationship conflicts. Based on solid science and 40+ years of combined clinical experience, the book is packed with self-discovery tools, fact sheets, and personal accounts. It puts the reader in the driver's seat with a new and empowering roadmap for change.

Winner--American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award

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Frequently Bought Together

Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol + How to Change Your Drinking: A Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol (2nd Edition) + Responsible Drinking: A Moderation Management Approach for Problem Drinkers with Worksheet
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"Imagine if all that counted in helping people with drug problems were science, compassion, health, and common sense.  Imagine if the bottom line were simply a matter of helping people get their lives together, one step at a time, in their own particular way.  Read this wonderful book, and what you imagine just might become real. "--Ethan Nadelmann, PhD, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance

"At last, a user-friendly guide to harm reduction! If you or someone you care about are seeking an alternative to abstinence-only programs, I highly recommend this book. It offers ample solace, support, information, and the skills you need to understand harm reduction and use it to make positive changes in your life. The authors are compassionate and pragmatic, and their extensive experience is reflected on every page."--G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle

"Over the Influence is not only the best-named book about recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, it is also the best written, most concise, and most emotionally real of all the books in the field. Denning, Little, and Glickman translate the controversial concepts of harm reduction into practical guidelines for people who want to improve their lives--whether or not they achieve abstinence."--Lonny Shavelson, MD, author of Hooked: Five Addicts Challenge Our Misguided Drug Rehab System

"This book will bring optimism and hope to readers with a range of addictive problems. Dr. Denning and her coauthors don't demand abstinence, nor attack the integrity of those who don't attain it. Instead, the harm reduction approach encourages people to make changes that improve their lives, no matter how long it takes or how many setbacks they encounter. A brave, caring, and radical book."--Stanton Peele, PhD, JD, author of The Truth about Addiction and Recovery

"Denning, Little and Glickman take the concept of harm reduction and apply it broadly and eloquently. This guide is sure to provide users, their families, their therapists, and their communities with tools to address the complexities that characterize drug use, misuse, addiction, and treatment. I highly recommend it to everyone who is, knows, or cares about a user of intoxicating substances."--Marsha Rosenbaum, PhD, Director, Safety First Project, Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco


"The authors sufficiently demonstrate how such a program should be administered....Both the theoretical basis for this type of treatment and the corresponding choice of techniques are sound and appropriate tor the drug-using population. Furthermore, the book is written in a very clear and understandable manner, making it easy for the reader to incorporate this approach within his or her repertoire of therapeutic responses....Case illustrations provide clear and specific therapeutic suggestions....This book makes a very important contribution to the literature....The book is practical, realistic, and systematic in its approach. The authors demonstrate a keen understanding of human nature and clearly understand the drug-abusing population....For all those treatment providers who have desired options beyond the traditional orientations of treatment, this book is highly recommend."--Criminal Justice Review
(Criminal Justice Review 2003-11-17)

"Presents the Harm Reduction model in a very informative and easy to read format....Positive reinforcement is provided throughout the book enhancing the reader's subjective experience of success as opposed to the frustration frequently encountered in many self-help books related to substance use. The authors demonstrate many of the core principles of cognitive therapy in their manner of relating to the reader. This book is an excellent resource for mental health professionals and the clients they treat."--Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews
(Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews 2003-11-17)

About the Author

Patt Denning, PhD, is Director of Clinical Services and Training at the Harm Reduction Therapy Center, San Francisco. Widely recognized as an expert on drug treatment and dual diagnosis, she is one of the main developers of harm reduction psychotherapy. Her publications for professionals include Practicing Harm Reduction Psychotherapy.

Jeannie Little, LCSW, Executive Director of the Harm Reduction Therapy Center, is a licensed clinical social worker and certified group psychotherapist.

Adina Glickman, LCSW, is Assistant Director for Peer and Academic Support at Stanford University. A licensed clinical social worker, teacher, and writer, she maintains an independent therapy practice in the San Francisco Bay area.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary New Approach to Drug Treatment April 18 2004
Format:Paperback
Anyone troubled by drug or alcohol use but not interested in cold turkey, all or nothing approaches to such problems, really ought to take a good look at Dr. Patt Denning's "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol." Denning and co-authors Jeannie Little and Adina Glickman address substance use in terms of the interplay between the individual and a variety of social, emotional and biochemical factors. The complexity of this framework does much to influence the kind of relationship that same individual might have with substances considered terminally toxic in other treatment circles.
At the heart of this mode of treatment is the notion that people use drugs for particular reasons that may well be obscured in recovery programs where complete cessation of drug use is a condition of treatment. Denning and other harm reduction therapists adhere to the principle that people who use are capable of doing so sensibly, modifying conduct in ways that reduce harm to themselves and others.
Drawing on forty years of clinical experience and addressed to the general public, "Over The Influence" offers a valuable discussion of drugs and other substances along with a review of various psychological and social considerations that enter into patterns of usage. This revolutionary book presents new options in thinking about drugs. It is a must-read for those involved in legal, educational, and personal questions of substance use or misuse.
Anyone troubled by drug or alcohol use but not interested in cold turkey, all or nothing approaches to such problems, really ought to take a good look at Dr. Patt Denning's "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great information May 16 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lots of helpful information and feelings of incredible support as I start on this journey! I breathed a sigh of relief.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Social Worker Supports Methods April 15 2008
By S. Ingersoll - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I deal with a majority of clients who are either court ordered or desire to change their substance (inc'l alcohol)use behaviors. I have been practicing some level of harm reduction by my own intuitive sense of helping people reach their own goals. But, this book has brought me to a new level of understanding what harm reduction can really look like and how it can be put into practice in my office. Realize though, that this book is written for the user and not the clinician; I still see it as highly useful for the clinician to read. It is an easy and engaging book that I hardly wanted to put down. I have so many clients this might be useful for. However, know that even if you are already harm reduction friendly, that this is still a revolutionary approach; it will take a while to really wrap your mind and practice around this philosophy in the way its prescribed in this book. If you are a user who wants to make changes in your substance use but aren't ready or willing to quit, then this is the best book you could possibly buy for yourself. It gets past all the shame and judgement associated with traditional therapies and gets to the heart of why you use, how you can make changes or not make changes, and who you are in relation to your drug of choice. Heck, I think this can help anyone with ANY behavior they are thinking about changing. I have already recommended it to some of my clients and am begining to incorporate these ideals into my practice already.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary New Approach to Drug Treatment April 18 2004
By Katherine Carroll Craven - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Anyone troubled by drug or alcohol use but not interested in cold turkey, all or nothing approaches to such problems, really ought to take a good look at Dr. Patt Denning's "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol." Denning and co-authors Jeannie Little and Adina Glickman address substance use in terms of the interplay between the individual and a variety of social, emotional and biochemical factors. The complexity of this framework does much to influence the kind of relationship that same individual might have with substances considered terminally toxic in other treatment circles.
At the heart of this mode of treatment is the notion that people use drugs for particular reasons that may well be obscured in recovery programs where complete cessation of drug use is a condition of treatment. Denning and other harm reduction therapists adhere to the principle that people who use are capable of doing so sensibly, modifying conduct in ways that reduce harm to themselves and others.
Drawing on forty years of clinical experience and addressed to the general public, "Over The Influence" offers a valuable discussion of drugs and other substances along with a review of various psychological and social considerations that enter into patterns of usage. This revolutionary book presents new options in thinking about drugs. It is a must-read for those involved in legal, educational, and personal questions of substance use or misuse.
Anyone troubled by drug or alcohol use but not interested in cold turkey, all or nothing approaches to such problems, really ought to take a good look at Dr. Patt Denning's "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol." Denning and co-authors Jeannie Little and Adina Glickman address substance use in terms of the interplay between the individual and a variety of social, emotional and biochemical factors. The complexity of this framework does much to influence the kind of relationship that same individual might have with substances considered terminally toxic in other treatment circles.
At the heart of this mode of treatment is the notion that people use drugs for particular reasons that may well be obscured in recovery programs where complete cessation of drug use is a condition of treatment. Denning and other harm reduction therapists adhere to the principle that people who use are capable of doing so sensibly, modifying conduct in ways that reduce harm to themselves and others.
Drawing on forty years of clinical experience and addressed to the general public, "Over The Influence" offers a valuable discussion of drugs and other substances along with a review of various psychological and social considerations that enter into patterns of usage. This revolutionary book presents new options in thinking about drugs. It is a must-read for those involved in legal, educational, and simply personal questions of substance use or misuse.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enlightened perspective June 6 2009
By Kevin Dyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you've had it with the narcissists in AA with their stories and still can't find a voice in all that wilderness, this book is perfect. Honest and forthright, this takes on the establisment's misdirected disease-model and offers helpful, pragmatic, and easy-to-implement strategies to take care of yourself--and as a consequence, those around you. Essential.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerless? No April 2 2010
By spiralings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I fully recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with alcohol and drugs. I happened across this book accidentally after about 10 years of problem drinking. Unlike most other traditional approaches that base success on being dry and sober, this one does not. The authors fully understand how difficult it is for us, the drug users, to quit just like that. The thought makes us want to use our drug of choice more and more.
Tradional approaches base much on admitting powerlessness over the drug. This works for some, but many others don't want to be told they are powerless. This book helps you to take power into your own hands. A change...ANY change is a great one in the right direction.
I was a little scared of this book when I first started reading it. I had quit drinking a week or 2 before starting this book. What I immediatally took away from the first couple chapters was it was telling me it was ok to drink. I almost used it as an excuse to begin drinking again excitedly and just employ the tactics found within. I did not. I have not drank in 7 months, and read this book, among others, during that time.
In the end, I feel powerful that all my choices are in my hands and can be controlled. All things enjoyed can be done safely. I do not have to surrender to a higher power.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVING APPROACH TO MANAGING DRUGS AND ALCOHOL Nov. 26 2010
By AnnieBananny - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
in most This is a really good book, giving a loving and understanding approach to 'controling' problems with alcohol and drugs. It gently guides the person with the problem through steps s/he can take to reduce the potential harm that can come from consumption of one or both these drugs, while at the same time helping the reader understand that there is/was a reason for starting the usage, and that reason is probably valid.
Instead of saying that abstenance is the only answer, it says that using will probably continue, but that it doesn't have to put oneself, or others, 'in harms way'. It says that AA is successful for some, but certainly not for all, or even the majority, because its approach is either/or, and most people find that impossible.
As a mother of an adult son who has problems with drinking, and perhaps with drugs, also, I find it refreshing to find an approach that I can discuss with him in a non-judgmental way, and perhaps help him to reduce possible harm to himsefl and others.
I strongly recommend this book for anyone who has problems with drugs and/or alcolol, as well as those who have loved ones needing some constructive guidance.
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