Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again [Secure]
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eBook by Drew Pinsky, Ph.D.
eBook Category: People
eBook Description: Dr. Drew Pinsky is best known as the co-host of the long-running radio advice program Loveline. But his workday is spent at a major Southern California clinic, treating the severest cases of drug dependency and psychiatric breakdown. In this riveting book, Pinsky reveals the intimate and often shocking stories of his patients as they struggle with emotional trauma, sexual abuse, and a host of chemical nemeses: alcohol, marijuana, Ecstasy, heroin, speed, cocaine, and prescription drugs. At the center of these stories is Pinsky himself, who immerses himself passionately, almost obsessively, in his work. From the sexually compulsive model to the BMW-driving soccer mom, Cracked exposes, in fast-moving, powerful vignettes, the true scope and severity of addiction, a nationwide epidemic.
eBook Publisher: Harper Collins, Inc./HarperCollins e-books
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2007
1 Reader Ratings:
It's the second week of a warm August. Early morning. The first one in my family to rise from bed, I shuffle into the kitchen, start the coffee, and get the newspaper at the end of the driveway. We live in a ranch-style home perched on the edge of a canyon in the hills above Pasadena, with deer and coyotes on the prowl, and it's so lovely and quiet at this hour I might as well be five hundred miles from the harshness of the city.
The headlines snap me back to reality. I read the Los Angeles Times sports section, sip coffee between box scores, and enjoy the quiet. Soon my wife, Susan, joins me, followed by the triplets, age ten, who gobble down breakfast, give us kisses, and go off to summer camp.
Outside, the sun begins its climb into a clear blue sky, and I know it's going to be, in the words of Randy Newman, "another perfect day" in L.A.
Perfect for some, perhaps. But not for my patients in the chemical dependency unit at Las Encinas Hospital, a no-frills, twenty-two?bed facility popularly known as "rehab." The truth? For many who occupy those beds, it's their last chance before death. To me, it encompasseseverything from desperation to the miracle of giving someone a second or third chance at life, at a better life, actually, than they ever dreamed of being able to have.
From the time I back out of my driveway, it takes me twenty minutes to get there. Once I enter the unit, the warm sun is replaced by the low-voltage hum of fluorescent lights. The perfect L.A. day disappears like a song fading from the radio. I step on linoleum, not grass. And when I look up, instead of endless blue sky, I see Ernesto fromOperations staring back down at me from inside the ceiling, where he's fixing the air conditioning.
"Good morning, Dr. Pinsky," he says warmly.
"How's it going?" I wave. Then, as I do at the start of each day, I grab my stethoscope, get an opthalmoscope from under the med cart, and pick up the list of patients I need to see.
Today's list is topped by Mark Mitchell, a good-looking thirty-five-year-old in his third day of detox. Mark has been in and out of our care numerous times. His father is a former pro football player turned car dealer, a local celebrity who shows up in gossip columns, has his photographs hanging in restaurants, and seems like a great guy. The truth? He couldn't give a shit about his son. Mark's been hospitalized here at least five times--I can't remember exactly--but he's familiar enough that we've nicknamed him "Mitch." Each time he comes in he looksolder, his face creased, grayer beneath his eyes, moving slower.
At the moment, fortunately for me, Mitch isn't as bad as when he was brought in--smelling of vomit and urine, and barely conscious.
But he's still a wreck. Sprawled on his bed--imagine the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle before it's put together--he's tremulous, paranoid, and disorganized. It's normal, all part of the withdrawal from alcohol. The early shift, which admitted Mitch, has already put him on heavy-dutymedication to prevent his withdrawal from turning into the DTs, a potentially fatal syndrome where the outflow from the central nervous system is so disorganized that breathing, blood pressure, and other vital functions fail.
Good morning--yeah, right.
Not for Mitch. I stand there for a moment, observing his condition. It takes him several moments to notice I have entered the room. Once he sees me, Mitch jumps to his feet and grabs a piece of paper from the top of his dresser, shoving it toward me as if it were a weapon....