Synopses & Reviews
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 became a ruthless addiction to heroin that nearly destroyed his life.
Now in recovery, Keegan tells his remarkable story in Chasing the High. Starting with the early days of alcohol and drug use, Keegan charts his decline into crime and homelessness as his need for heroin surpassed all thoughts of family and friends, of right and wrong. He then goes on to use 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 along with the psychiatric expertise of Howard Moss, MD, 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 therapies which are used to combat addiction, how to talk to families and friends about substance abuse, and how to navigate risky situations. Both an absorbing memoir and a useful resource for young people.
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.
About the Author
is a professional diver. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters.
Howard B. Moss, MD, is Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health.
Table of Contents
1. Crash and Rescue
Above the city, steeped in misery
Back from the edge
Substance abuse and addiction defined
Addiction is a disease
A hellish journey
2. The Early Days of Using
My not-so-shady past
A forbidden sip
One puff leads to another
My uncertain future
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
Returning to an unfamiliar home
"This is your brain on drugs"
Different types of drugs of abuse
4. 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 disorders
What does recovery mean for you?
If a relapse occurs
6. Looking Back, Looking Ahead
"Real" recovery is whatever works for us