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Addiction and Art

Hardback
, 184 pages

61 color illus.

ISBN:
9780801894817
April 2010
$29.95

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Addiction and Art

Highly Commended in Psychiatry, 2011 BMA Medical Book Awards. British Medical Association

Addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs is one of the major public health issues of our time. It accounts for one of every five deaths in the United States and costs approximately one-half trillion dollars per year in health care expenditures and lost productivity. Its human costs are untold and perhaps uncountable. Addiction and Art puts a human face on addiction through the creative work of individuals who have been touched by it.

The art included here presents unique stories about addiction. Many pieces are stark representations of life on the edge. Others are disturbing contemplations of life, meaning, and death. Some even reflect the allure of addiction and a fondness for substance abuse. A panel of addiction scientists, artists, and professionals from the art world selected the 61 pieces included here from more than 1,000 submissions. Accompanied by a written statement from the artist, each creation is emblematic of the destructive power of addiction and the regenerative power of recovery.

Stunning and occasionally unsettling, this unique portfolio reveals addiction art as a powerful complement to addiction science.

Patricia B. Santora is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Margaret L. Dowell is an adjunct professor of education and art at Mount Saint Mary's University and at Carroll Community College. Jack E. Henningfield is the vice president for research and health policy at Pinney Associates and an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a coeditor, along with Santora and Warren K. Bickel, of Addiction Treatment: Science and Policy for the Twenty-first Century, also published by Johns Hopkins.

" Addiction and Art is an excellent beginning to creating better awareness and understanding of those struggling to recover from addiction. The book should become required reading for drug abuse awareness programs throughout the country."

"An innovative way to complement the science and research of addiction."

" Addiction and Art is a strange book but, if one of the functions of art is to make us think, then such strangeness works."

"An important book; recommended for all collections."

"There is also something expressed, something that provides an observer with an understanding of the feeling of addiction, and it is this that makes this book such a fascinating read. Art—that universal language—gives us an insight into the personal aspects of addiction that science alone is unable to explain."

"A worthwhile book, not only for the many striking images it presents, but also for showing how an involvement with art might for some prove therapeutic."

"Reading through it is hard work, but it is worth the effort."

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