I recently began reading A Million Little Pieces. It's a memoir by James Frey. Frey is a former drug addict and the book is his story of recovery.
The book is intriguing to me on so many levels but mostly because it is a world that is so foreign and removed from my reality. While I can be obsessive at times, addiction has never been a problem for me. And the use of external stimulants, depressors, and other altering chemicals is something that I cannot relate to at all. I can probably count every drink I've ever had (the number hovers around 35 or less), I've never smoked or used an illicit drug, and you can probably fit the number of OTC medicines and perscription drugs I've used into a shot glass. The last one is due largely to being blessed with good health (and an aversion to pain killers) more than anything else.
I am naive to the psychology of drug and alcohol use and abuse. Just as many people can't understand the psychology of eating disorders - no matter how much I try to explain it to them, I will never appreciate or understand the full scope of factors that drives someone to use and then absue alcohol and drugs. It's so easy for me to not use either substance. Cough medicine makes me feel wonky and weird and I couldn't imagine what stronger drugs would do to me. I don't even like the affect of caffine and have thus not consumed more than one or two cups of it in the last 5 or so years.
This is why I find the book so interesting. It exposes me to a world that I will likely never know first hand. And while I can't understand it fully, it helps me appreciate on some feeble level, what percolates beneath the surface of every recovering, surviving chemical abuser.