The book titled “Substance and Behavioral Addictions: Concepts, Causes, and Cures”
discusses the theoretical, etiological, and cessation underlying substance use (e.g., alcohol,
tobacco, other drugs, and food addictions) and behavioral addictions (i.e., gambling,
Internet, shopping, love, sexual, exercise, and work addictions).
Steve Sussman, PhD, the author of the book, is a professor of preventive medicine,
psychology, and social work at the University of Southern California. He is well known
for his work on program creation and implementation for substance and behavioral addictions
such as No Drug Abuse and Project EX, which today are known to be exemplary models
for various national and international agencies to follow [e.g., the National Institute
on Drug Abuse (United States), the National Institutes of Health (United States),
and Health Canada]. Moreover, Dr. Sussuman’s work has led him to receive current honors,
such as fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA, Division for Addictions)
and the past president of the Academy of Health Behavior. To date, Dr. Sussman has
published over 500 research items (articles, book chapters, and books). He is currently
the Editor of Evaluation and The Health Professionals. His research is widely recognized
The book by Dr. Sussman is divided into three parts: Addictions and Addictive Effects
(Part 1), Types of Addictions (Part 2), and Resolving the Problems of Addiction and
Future Directions (Part 3), respectively. Part 1 draws the reader in by giving a general
framework regarding the items that surround the addiction theoretical background and
thus giving both an introductory background to those learning first time about addictions
as well as refreshing to those who are researchers in the field. Following this, Part
2 focuses on the more specific types of addiction, manifestations of addiction, and
how the terms of addiction have arrived. This part is important because later on in
the book there is an overview of each term, which provides both a textbook and story
presentation to the readers of the book. Part 3 is geared more for the experts in
the field as well as psychology researchers and clinicians, because it focuses on
ways of treatment development as well as ways for improvement. Dr. Sussman even claims
further that the book is primarily designed for the audience to be students (upper-level
undergraduate or graduate students), researchers, and clinicians who have an overall
interest in the depth of addiction from various perspectives, which is why I can whole-heartedly
recommend the distribution of the parts of the book.
Another feature of the book is that it considers all types of addictions, despite
they are not being officially recognized in the DSM-5. Dr. Sussman provides his opinion
that these are not officially recognized yet due to the need for additional research
support. Furthermore, because of these essential additional research support, Dr.
Sussman provides a comprehensive outline at the end of the book that may help upcoming
researchers, clinicians, and the experts alike to develop potential paradigms and
methodologies in scientific research.
One other recognizable item of the book is that it is the first book to look at comorbidity
of substance and behavioral addictions with each other and also with behavioral addiction
types with each other. To date, several books have looked at them simultaneously or
have drawn comparisons and contrasts. In this case, though, we see an important look
at how both addictions interact with each other on an empirical basis.
On the whole, I highly recommend the book due to the novelty, strengths, and overall
framework that Dr. Sussman presents. If searching for a book that can both provide
both captivating and strongly compelling overview of concepts, as well as providing
recommendations for treatment and reasoning for the cause of these addictions, I highly
recommend this book.