Media Salad Founder and CEO Christine Tatum and her husband Dr. Christian Thurstone‘s advocacy for better addressing adolescent mental health and substance abuse issues has culminated in an important and informative new book “Clearing The Haze: Helping Families Face Teen Addiction” designed to help parents figure out whether or not their child has an addiction problem, and if so, what to do about it.

The book includes the voices and insight of experts in substance abuse counseling, young people in recovery, and parents who have lived the nightmare of adolescent addiction. “Clearing The Haze” moves readers through an overview of adolescent brain development, the warning signs of drug use and addiction, treatment options, what families should expect of therapy, the basics of productive communication, and the difficulties of dealing lovingly with addicted teens.

Thurstone and Tatum encourage families entering the 12th step of “giving back” to consider advocacy for smarter public policies surrounding drug access and addiction treatment. They also provide a list of resources parents may find useful.

A number of people involved in the field of addiction, mental health and advocacy for smarter drug policy, and concerned parents, have given this vital resource for parents their endorsement:

“The mixed messages parents and kids are getting today about addiction is a serious threat to public health. ‘Clearing The Haze’ is a book whose time has come. Every parent, youth – and policy maker – should memorize it.”
–Kevin A. Sabet, PhD, President, Smart Approaches To Marijuana (SAM)

“This book is a must read, especially for parents. ‘Clearing The Haze’ is an excellent resource for anyone who is an advocate for public health, especially in regards to drug access and addiction in youth. This book will provide the reader with pertinent information on teen brain development, recognizing addiction and how a parent can get the help needed to save their child.”
– reviewer BM

“‘Clearing The Haze’ is a book about parenting in this age of widespread substance abuse. Chapter 1 is a brief description of adolescents’ vulnerability to drugs. Chapter 2 describes healthy parent-adolescent communication, and in this context describes how to talk about drugs and how to parent so drugs are less likely to become a problem. The third chapter is about communication with a drug-using teen, and most of the rest of the book describes the process of getting one’s child into treatment, taking part in treatment, and helping a teenage child stay clean and sober after treatment. The focus of the book is partly how to help one’s child stay drug-free or get clean and sober if they’re using drugs, but it’s also about how to maintain good relationships in one of the most difficult situations a parent can face. Every parent would benefit from reading Chapters 1 & 2. Every parent with a substance-abusing teen would find the whole book invaluable. Treatment programs usually include a family component because family involvement is the best way to boost the odds of recovery, but programs don’t usually spend enough time teaching parents the skills they need. Parents who read this concise and very informative book will probably increase their child’s chances of avoiding drugs or, if their child has a substance abuse problem, increase the chances of successfully recovery.”
–Edward Gogek

“‘It’s just weed. Nothing to worry about. Right?’ Wrong….dead wrong. This book should be a must read for parents. Current (new) THC levels are now being investigated, researched, and publicized thanks in large part to Dr. Thurstone and Ms. Tatum. The old thinking about recreational marijuana with low THC levels is very outdated. Manipulated levels of THC today are incredibly addictive and destructive at all ages. ‘Clearing The Haze’ isn’t an opinion piece but a solid presentation based on years of clinical research designed to educate and assist parents in how to address and prevent substance abuse. With +35 years as a law enforcement officer/administrator, the straight forward information the authors presented shook even my thinking on substance abuse.”
–Roger Hair

“This is a timely, well written guide for parents and families contending with the issue of adolescent addiction. As more states liberalize marijuana laws, we can anticipate more child and adolescent exposure and health complications. Dr. Thurstone and Ms. Tatum offer a concise, informative primer on the subject of addiction and how families can successfully intervene. I will definitely make this available in my waiting room and recommend it to parents who are raising teenagers.”
–Doris Gundersen