The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This was one of our top selling books of 2021 because we made a very large sale to a liquor industry organizaiton that addresses youth alcohol prevention. That said, it's a meticulously well researched – as well as very personal – book about what it takes to teach our kids about the risks of alcohol abuse and it should be on every parent's bookshelf. And don't wait until your kids are teens to read it. In order to prevent your kids from becoming addicted to substances, it's best to start when they're really young. But I picked it up when my kids were both over 21 and I had recently tackled my own alcohol use issues and it was every bit as useful! 

— Becky

Now available in PAPERBACK!

— From Hardcover Nonfiction


The Addiction Inoculation is a vital look into best practices parenting. Writing as a teacher, a mother, and, as it happens, a recovering alcoholic, Lahey's stance is so compassionate, her advice so smart, any and all parents will benefit from her hard-won wisdom.” —Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex and Boys & Sex

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.

About the Author

Jessica Lahey writes about education, parenting, and child welfare for The Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Atlantic and is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. She is a member of the Amazon Studios Thought Leader Board and wrote the curriculum for Amazon Kids’ The Stinky and Dirty Show. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two sons.

Praise For…

“Substance abuse is a complex topic, but Lahey separates myth from reality in this deeply researched resource for parents and educators. As a therapist, I know I will be recommending her book to many families for years to come.” — Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

The Addiction Inoculation is a vital look into best practices parenting. Writing as a teacher, a mother, and, as it happens, a recovering alcoholic, Lahey's stance is so compassionate, her advice so smart, any and all parents will benefit from her hard-won wisdom.” Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex and Boys & Sex

"Urgent and practical, this is a must-read for parents, teachers, and anyone working with teenagers." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Hard and tremendously important conversations are at the core of The Addiction Inoculation. But thanks to Jessica Lahey’s wit, compassion, and beautiful writing, reading it feels like having those conversations with your most entertaining friend who also happens to be an expert in substance abuse research, education, and child development.” — David Epstein, author of Range and The Sports Gene

“Take your blinders off and let the wise and beloved Jessica Lahey show you precisely how to protect your kids from the allure of substance abuse. Rich with dialogue drawn from her personal and professional experience, Lahey demonstrates that constant communication on this difficult subject fosters the strong trusting connections that will keep our kids safe. Compelling, compassionate, and comprehensive, this is the definitive how-to on a topic we ignore at our peril.’’   — Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult

This book is going to help a lot of people.  — Jenny Lawson, New York Times bestselling author of Furiously Happy

"It's an important book for the parent who says, 'This could never happen to my kid.' Because it could." — New York Times

"This book combines expertise with humble personal experience to show how modeling, believing in our children, and valuing learning instead of accolades will go a long way toward preventing addiction." — Library Journal

"Lahey compassionately lays out the societal pressures that can result in toxic stress and aggressive behavior. . . . Foundational advice to steer young adults away from the urges and temptations that lead to substance abuse." — Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062883780
ISBN-10: 006288378X
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: April 6th, 2021
Pages: 336
Language: English

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