The Addiction Inoculation by Jessica Lahey | HarperCollins {Book Review}

{Thank you to HarperCollins for my gifted copy.}

The Addiction Inoculation

The Addiction Inoculation by Jessica Lahey


Book Summary:

In this supportive, life-saving resource, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gift of Failure helps parents and educators understand the roots of substance abuse and identify who is most at risk for addiction, and offers practical steps for prevention.

Jessica Lahey was born into a family with a long history of alcoholism and drug abuse. Despite her desire to thwart her genetic legacy, she became an alcoholic and didn’t find her way out until her early forties. Jessica has worked as a teacher in substance abuse programs for teens, and was determined to inoculate her two adolescent sons against their most dangerous inheritance. All children, regardless of their genetics, are at some risk for substance abuse. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, teen drug addiction is the nation’s largest preventable and costly health problem. Despite the existence of proven preventive strategies, nine out of ten adults with substance use disorder report they began drinking and taking drugs before age eighteen.

The Addiction Inoculation is a comprehensive resource parents and educators can use to prevent substance abuse in children. Based on research in child welfare, psychology, substance abuse, and developmental neuroscience, this essential guide provides evidence-based strategies and practical tools adults need to understand, support, and educate resilient, addiction-resistant children. The guidelines are age-appropriate and actionable—from navigating a child’s risk for addiction to interpreting signs of early abuse, to advice for broaching difficult conversations with children.

The Addiction Inoculation is an empathetic, accessible resource for anyone who plays a vital role in children’s lives—parents, teachers, coaches, or pediatricians—to help them raise kids who will grow up healthy, happy, and addiction-free.

Publication Date:

April 6th, 2021


Parenting/Substance Abuse Disorder/Addiction Prevention

Read Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

My Review:

The Addiction InoculationWeaving in author Jessica Lahey’s personal and professional experiences with research-backed information, this part memoir and part information deep dive gives parents and caregivers the tools to build strong and honest communication regarding substance use and addiction prevention.

Lahey dives into how young brains respond to substances, how genes and lifestyles play a role, and what parents can do moving forward.  I appreciated knowing from a young age about my own family’s risk with substance abuse and so the chapter on how to start the conversation with our own children was especially powerful for me.

For many parents, talking about substance abuse can feel like a bit of a taboo topic and not only does Lahey help normalize these conversations but also gives practical advice on how to have these conversations, starting with very young children through adulthood.

The Addiction Inoculation taught me so much and also highlighted where we could be more proactive in our conversations with our elementary and middle school-aged children, and how to continue having this dialogue as they grow. Just like all the uncomfortable things we need to talk about with our kids but don’t always want to, the more we do it, the more easily it becomes just a normal part of our everyday conversations.

I highly recommend adding this book to your 2021 reading list and if you do read it, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you to HarperCollins for my gifted copy. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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