The Path to Addiction...

"and other troubles we are born to know."

by Richard McKenzie Neal



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 10/12/2008

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 496
ISBN : 9781438916743
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 496
ISBN : 9781438916750

About the Book

While this book is technically a sequel, the hope was that there would never be reason to continue the first book’s storyline.  That book was left open-ended because we can never be sure of an addict’s long-term sobriety.  Given the longevity of his addiction, his drug of choice and history of failures, the probability was high that my son could relapse again.


He had been clean and sober for 30 months (18 months in prison and 12 months back home) before his regression was triggered by a prescription pharmaceutical.  Vicodin was prescribed and that led my son back to the streets for methadone and from there it was just a matter of time before reconnecting with his old friend, heroin.


My son’s meltdown and the mind-numbing ugliness of the fallout are documented in-depth, during the early chapters of this book.


In an effort to better understand the profound difficulties that addicts struggle with, and why they seem powerless to control their lives, the mid-section of the book is devoted to research.  The book covers addictions in general, the history of worldwide drug usage, the pros and cons of the various treatment programs, the debate over the difference of opinion regarding the numerous models, the causal triggers and the pharmaceutical companies.


Every addict has two personalities, but the general public only sees the manifestation of the unsightly one…the good one goes unnoticed, even when they’re clean and sober.  The indistinguishable one is no different than you or me; he’s just overpowered by his unwanted tenant…addiction.  I’m trying to point out that no one “wants” to be an addict.  Once clean, the addict knows that he must always be strong and vigilant because his co-pilot is always waiting in the wings for his chance to once again, take over the flight controls.


About the Author

Richard McKenzie Neal


One should never equate education and/or intelligence to wisdom…


Richard was born in Hope, Arkansas (Bill Clinton’s boyhood home), in 1941 and his father was gone prior to Richard turning two years old.  He never knew the man, but attended his funeral as a sixteen-year-old.


Before boarding a Greyhound bus for California, at seventeen, Richard knew two stepfathers and a number of others who were just passing through.  During those teen years, before succumbing to the beckoning allure of the outside world, Richard worked at an assortment of low-paying jobs.  Summers were spent in the fields…picking cotton and/or watermelons and baling hay.  He also worked as a plumber’s helper and a carhop at the local drive-in burger stand.


After dropping out of school, eloping and landing in California, he soon realized how far out of his element he had ventured.  And without the guidance of his “Constant Companion,” Richard would have spent a lifetime floundering in a sea of ignorance and ineptness…and this book would not exist.


This is Richard’s second book driven by his son’s heroin addiction.  He had hoped not to author a sequel, but the first book (Fridays With Landon) was left open-ended due to historical concerns, which resurfaced.  For 25 years the family has endured the emotional highs and lows associated with the chaotic, frustrating and more often than not…heartbreaking task of rescuing one of their own, from the always ebbing and flowing tide of addiction.


The intent of this book is to bring closure…one-way or the other.  The author advances several possible scenarios for the ending of this, his last book.  But only one of those possibilities is favorable…


Both books were written after retiring from a very rewarding, thirty-six years in the oil industry.