Here is just a sample of the reviews coming from Amazon with the release of S.O.B.E.R.*
Cheryl Bartlett, RN, Former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
This is a powerful story about the devastation addiction plays on the family, not just the individual. Anita shares the lessons she learned that helped her change her fears from anger to love and how that helped her son reach out for help instead of letting his spiral take him to the depths of despair that so often leads to death. I had the great fortune to meet Anita and her commitment to her family and recovery is palpable. She tells it like it is, and was, and that us a message that can help other families facing the confusion and chaos that so often can rip families apart. Thank you Michael and Anita for opening up yourselves so honestly.
Melissa Crouse Business Development Officer, New York Region
Origins Behavioral HealthCare/Origins Recovery Centers
This is a story of recovery. A family in recovery from a family disease. I have worked for the nations' top treatment centers for many years and have witnessed too many families devastated by addiction. I was thrilled to read such a heartening story of hope, healing and recovery. This is one of the most honest and powerful accounts of an American family and how addiction nearly destroyed them. Narrated by Anita, a suburban mom who refused to give up and her courageous young adult son Mike. This beautifully written story is insightful, thought-provoking and powerful. Anita and Mike don't hold back; each generous in exposing parts of themselves--not always pretty--in service of the American family who is still suffering. This compelling story of unconditional love proves that there is hope and that healing happens.
Lauren Springer Family Liaison Turning Point/New Haven, Ct
and mother of Greg.
I didn't even finish reading the introduction of S.O.B.E.R. and I felt that I had connected with Anita. Or perhaps she connected with me. While our sons' journeys have been very different, my journey as the mom of a son with substance abuse disorder is really the same as Anita's. We each needed to find ourselves while we were finding our way in how to best help our sons. Anita put words and a voice to what so many moms feel and think when realizing the truth about the disease that has infiltrated their families. And most importantly, we as parents have as much work to do as our sons. The good news is, we are not alone. As Anita points out, keeping the secret of addiction does not help anyone, and in fact can make us all sicker. There is no reason to hide, be ashamed or keep the secret. Reading S.O.B.E.R. gives everyone in the family a voice.
Paul Hokemeyer, JD, PhD
Never before has the extraordinary connection between a mother and child been revealed with such honesty and depth. S.O.B.E.R. chronicles the gut wrenching and far too frequent deadly battle that rages between addiction and love of self and others. It is must reading for any parent who is faced with an addiction in his or her family and any person who struggles with addictions' seductive and deadly force. It proves in beautifully written prose that which we professionals have known for years- that family participation in treatment is essential and that love is the salve that heals seemingly fatal wounds.
Todd Whitmer Regional Vice President Caron NY at Caron Treatment Centers
Everything is real (the E. R. of S.O.B.E.R.) ... that is the truth and challenge of S.O.B.E.R. and of life. The truth of reality is that we see something more clearly than ever before; the challenge is the pain, fear and bright light of the choices that we have when we are in the middle of unbelievable reality. As an addict in long term recovery I have read most of the addiction and recovery books over the last forty years. I have never read a more compelling and helpful recovery book than S.O.B.E.R. Anita and Mike and members of the Devlin family have opened their lives through honest dialogue about how addiction shattered their relationships at a life-cycle time of Mike going off to college just as the disease is taking hold and when "letting go" was impossible. They write of the treatment experience as well as the challenges of early recovery in a manner that is accessible and that demonstrates courage and perseverance. When some truth confronts us, especially frightening truth, we have a choice, I believe, to either take it in and consider our own situation or to default to the "not me" defense. Read this book, take in what is real for you, I guarantee you will be changed by the experience. Thank you Anita and Mike for speaking these truths.
Marilyn Boutwell, Adj. Prof. of English and Advisor & Coordinator of Graduate Programs in English, LIU Brooklyn
This is not a feel-good, preachy, sentimental story. This is an inspired story of real people facing real fears. These honest voices are raw and compelling, and impossible not to hear. Not once do they tell us what to think or feel. They invite us into their struggles and we go willingly. because we know we will also learn about ourselves. As Mike says, "Whether we are drug addicts, alcoholics, or even neither, we all have a mind that can take us to the darkest places of this universe. We do not need to be afraid to admit these things. It does not make us weak...After all we are all only human."