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Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  917 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
Dr. Drew Pinsky is best known as the cohost of the long-running radio advice program Loveline. But his workday is spent at a major Southern California clinic, treating the severest cases of drug dependency and psychiatric breakdown. In this riveting book, Pinsky reveals the intimate and often shocking stories of his patients as they struggle with emotional trauma, sexual a ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Regan Books (first published 2003)
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Petra Eggs
I'd never heard of Dr. Drew Pinsky before I bought this book. Now I know a lot about him - the book is a paean to his thoughts on his own brilliance as a doctor, broadcaster, father, athlete, inspirational speaker, resister-of-sexy-patients and everything else that illustrates he has ascended to the absolute pinnacle of achievement in 21st century America.

Its seems these days that every celebrity has to have a stint or three in rehab for street cred (its so stressful being a multi-millionaire st
Jul 15, 2012 Derrick rated it liked it
I appreciated this candid and honest discussion of Dr. Drew's daily life. I can completely relate to the author, but it was interesting that I found myself relating to the patients as well. Addiction can be a powerful force, and finding the ways to cope with the problems and pain that lead to addiction are important to us all. Not to minimize the effects of withdrawal, but the pain these recovering addicts go through does relate to the challenges we face daily to try to achieve our goals.
The ot
Apr 08, 2013 Liam rated it really liked it
Drew means well. Anyone who's got a familiarity with the ACE network, Loveline, HLN, or the zillion reality shows can see that. And this is Drew doing his work "where the rubber meets the road" as he's fond of saying. So while it's interesting as a look behind the man both on the job and at home, CRACKED is best taken as a summation of Drew's feelings and beliefs re: addiction treatment. And it's a real shock to those of us who either don't have more than a passing acquaintance with addiction, o ...more
Ira Therebel
I read this book first when it came out, about a decade ago, and I absolutely loved it. Reading it now as a more knowledgeable and wiser person I had different (very mixed) feelings.

My main problem with this book is the incredible simplification of addiction issue. This is often done, people paint it all with one big brush making everyone who has a problem with drugs look like part of a well defined formula. But how can it be when he can't even point the finger on why some get realization and ot
Jul 27, 2013 Jenn rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology, 2013
This was an intriguing book. I really enjoyed how Dr. Pinsky detailed the habits, behaviors, and details of his patients' experiences, and the role he played in trying to help them recover. He isn't without compassion, and it is clear that the work he undertakes affects him very deeply. He really knows that connection is one of the key parts of the doctor-patient relationship that facilitates recovery on many levels, and in this book he gives examples of how he keeps at it, even when it seems th ...more
A creepy book. Honest. But still creepy.

There is much brutal honesty about the details of withdrawal in the preliminary stages of drug and alcohol rehab. There is no sympathy given to those who make the addicts condition worse by enabling the self destructive behaviors. The book is too clinical and any truth to be found is in the form of self revelation and confession on the part of the author.

The extent that Doctor Drew Pinsky goes to in explaining his background and resultant motivation combin
May 20, 2011 Patty rated it liked it
Dr. Drew does a nice job of using real-life examples of patients going through substance abuse detox. It flows quickly as you see the different reactions (and defense mechanisms) of those going through addiction and recovery. I did feel that there were some things missing, though. For example, I would have liked to see different sections on the whole recovery process, rather than just the detox stage. There is very little about what happens during group sessions, or the recovery after leaving th ...more
Kevin Veighey
Jul 17, 2007 Kevin Veighey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone, especially Loveline listeners.
"Cracked" is a fantastic book that gives the general public a behind-the-scenes look at how a drug rehab clinic is run and the harsh realities of everything an addict goes through on the road to sobriety. Best of all, it's all from the point of view of the book's author: Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of the nationally-syndicated radio show Loveline.

After finishing it for the first time, I immediately began to read it again from the beginning. There are very few books that make me do that, but this one w
Apr 21, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
After seeing Dr. Drew on Celebrity Rehab, I was interested to learn more about him. This book details a few months in the life of the rehab unit where he is the medical director. It is an extremely honest book in terms of the science behind addiction, the experiences of patients in his program, and about his own personal issues and how they affect his work. It is interesting to see his personal development and how he is changed because of interactions with his patients. I also appreciated his vi ...more
Lesley Henderson
Jan 23, 2010 Lesley Henderson rated it really liked it
I probably enjoyed this book because Dr. Drew fascinates me, from his work on Loveline to his reality rehab shows on VH1. As a mental health professional myself, I'm amazed at how attuned he is to any slight sign of abuse or trauma in people, even when they are asking some seemingly benign (or kooky) question on Loveline. Nice to know that some MD's either take counseling classes or have some intuition about interpersonal relationships! Anyway, this was a good read, and I hasten to say "enjoyabl ...more
Feb 06, 2011 Estie rated it liked it
This book was ok. The writing put me off at first because it is colloquial and juvenile and can be insulting to your intelligence if you are intelligent. If you are not intelligent you might like the fact that it is an easy read. The redeeming feature of this book is the content and that is what kept me reading. It is a first hand account of a rehab facility from the point of view of the doctor. I appreciated getting an inside view of the facility and learning about the ordeals that addicts go t ...more
Ally Hunter
Aug 14, 2010 Ally Hunter rated it it was amazing
I know, Dr. Drew is a little hokey these days with his "celebrity" status. But, once upon a time he wrote a great book on addiction and this is it. I recently lost a friendship to addiction and I decided to re-read this book. Through the stories of different patients you learn about both the biology and psychology of addiction and, sadly, the destruction addiction can afflict on lives. I recognized my friend in so many of Dr. Drew's patients....male or female, young or old, rich or poor, educate ...more
Jan 16, 2010 Kate rated it liked it
I liked this book better than Dr. Drew's newer book, The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America. This was written before any of the rehab shows. I thought it would be entirely about addiction, but mostly it seemed like "a year in the life" or a memoir. Dr. Drew highlights a few cases at the rehab center, illustrating the different types of addiction and how different patients react to rehab - for some patients it works, while for others it takes several more stays in rehab t ...more
Mar 30, 2009 Natalie rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2009
I am completely addicted to the VH1 shows "Celebrity Rehab" and it's spin-off, "Sober House." Not to mention I have been a Loveline fan for years, so when I was at the bookstore perusing and came across a book written by Dr. Drew I had to read it.

A good portion of the book is basically Celeb Rehab in written form minus the celebrities. I guess addiction looks the same whether you are rich and famous or a broke nobody.

What I found was interesting was the running commentary by Pinsky not only abou
Aug 27, 2015 Billie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I've always liked Dr. Drew, but I've never read any of his books. He has always seemed sincere on both Loveline and the celebreality shows I've watched - he shows care for his patients (mostly, those b & c list celebrities trying to get sober - I've watched Sober House and Celebrity Rehab, obviously). This book surprised me. He seems very, very sure of himself and pleased with the way he conducts his 'business'. I would not have expected this attitude based on his treatment of patients in th ...more
Feb 25, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jennifer, people in search of a good recovery read
Recommended to Mary by: gift from Lauren
I find it a little hilarious that of everything I've been reading, this is the book I finished most quickly. That says something, I guess, to the effect of what a quick read it is. I have a lot of respect for (not to mention a slight obsession with) Dr. Drew, and was impressed with this offering from him. Insight into the doctor's side of things can be fascinating, particularly in this case, since Pinsky is apparently a very *good* doctor, and he refuses (for the most part) to provide the cultur ...more
Dec 02, 2008 Alyssa rated it it was ok
This was ok. It was kind of preachy, in an commercial sort of way (you know when three friends are drinking coffee in a medicine add and one of them mentions all of the side effects and warnings as if that is always how people talk to each other). After reading some other reviews and getting about halfway through it, it came to me that its target audience is most likely middle and high school kids (drugs are bad, don't do drugs, or look what can happen), so I am willing to give Dr. Drew some lee ...more
Dec 22, 2012 Cindy rated it liked it
Shelves: medical
MD who works in a hospital with alcoholics and addicts. Very informative and interesting. He is also painfully honest about overcoming his own co-dependent tendencies to become a better doctor.

Some of the info was tough to read as I worry a bit over my children. I never let my kids date in high school so they'd not fall in love and have sex. Now I've learned that kids don't bother with love anymore. They "hook up" or have "friends with benefits". More fool me. When the UHJ said we were living in
Mar 25, 2012 Ellekay rated it liked it
I have been a huge fan/follower of Dr. Drew and the work he does with addiction. "Cracked" is engaging, an interesting read. true to other reviews, you don't get to know any characters too well, as they detox and go to sober living (or disappear) pretty quickly. However, what you get is the feeling of the revolving door of rehab and how similar the effects of trauma on the human condition and the way addicts use to numb pain. I wouldn't say I "enjoyed" the book, but found it insightful. he touch ...more
Jan 15, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
I'm a pushover for Dr. Drew. I tune into Loveline religiously, so reading a book about the life of the host was a semi-dream. The writing was by no means exceptionally good, to be honest I read better things in my old Creative Writing class. However, it was very interesting to be able to look into how doctors are affected by the antics of their patients, specifically addicts. Pinsky puts a lot of his emotions out into his book and I appreciate that, at the same time, I was able to laugh at the r ...more
Feb 16, 2008 Erik rated it really liked it
I've been enjoying "Dr. Drew" Pinsky's advice on "LoveLine" for years, and have been impressed with his reality-TV show more recently. He's clearly in the media spotlight by design, but unlike Dr. Phil or even Dr. Oz, Pinsky has always struck me as having a persona with much more substantial and legitimate medical acumen behind it. This book, published five years ago, helps connect the dots and give some insight into Pinsky's background, career, and medical work with addicts.

[I'll add more later
Jul 26, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who are interested in chemical dependency treatment
Recommended to Susan by: internship supervisor at rehab
Book by Dr. Drew of Loveline/Celebrity Rehab/talk show fame. It's a memoir of sorts about his work as an addiction medicine specialist working in a detox and rehab center. I'm not sure what years he's covering, but I really hope the insurance situation in California has changed since (yeah, not likely), because he tells some real horror stories about that. The medical perspective is interesting, his personal perspective is various, heartfelt and sometimes a little, uh...questionable, I guess. I ...more
May 05, 2009 Steven rated it it was ok
This is a light, easy-reading account of work in an addiction clinic to the stars. The author works hard and cares deeply about his patients. Some of the stories of struggling, desperate addicts, and their enabling or clueless loved ones are fascinating and tragic.

I would have given the book three or four stars had it offered the kind of engrossing account a reader could get lost in. Instead, this is a light read, and probably strikes just the right note for fans of Dr. Drew's call-in show. The
Karen Williams-Villanueva
I'm just starting this one, but I know I'm in for a humbling and learning experience. It's probably the partner to "Broken" by William Cope Moyers. The Hunpty Dumpty image is a perfect metaphorical image for what addicts, and those of us who have been shattered by life experiences, feel like. To read these stories is to come to understand what puts people over the edge and how they are barely held together. It's great to talk about peace and love, it's quite another story to face the underbelly ...more
Apr 01, 2009 Davis rated it it was ok
I didn't find this book all that interesting at all. I'm a recovering addict and I still didn't enjoy this memoir. He seems so selfish and egotistical. The co-dependency admittance of fault was the only part I enjoyed. However, he betrays his real thoughts when he does on a rant about ecstasy. Drew goes off on propaganda about how much it damages the brain, blah, blah. It wasn't so much what he said (some of which was very ignorant) but how he said it.

In short, I just couldn't stomache Drew's eg
May 24, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
Having followed Dr. Drew through 2 seasons of Celebrity Rehab as well as Sober House, I was really looking forward to a peek behind the curtain in Cracked, and I am pretty happy with the results. After reading the book, I feel like I know a little more about what makes this man tick, what drives him to save people. However, something about the book felt a little to contrived for my liking. It almost reads like it was meant for a High School class on addiction. That being said, it was entertainin ...more
Jan 05, 2008 Kirsten rated it liked it
I had been listening a lot to the radio show Love Line while I did my evening hours of typing and so I picked up this book by celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky. Even though he had a cameo in the Olson twins vehicle A New York Minute, I think he's super smart and absolutely knows what he's talking about in terms of addiction and recovery. This book was a fascinating look into the lives of some folks going through that process. It was realistic about their chances and made me root for people who just d ...more
Aug 06, 2012 Alyse rated it liked it
This book made me feel uncomfortable at times. Dr Drew does portray himself in a more human light than has been shown before, at least that I've seen. He isn't just this larger than life tell it like it is dr. He has feelings too- haha. But I don't know, something about it felt off. I read it in chunks. I'd leave it for a few months then pick back up randomly. It didnt hold my attention in any great way and by the end I just wanted to finish it. Sort of wish I'd found this at the library instead ...more
Jan 17, 2010 Moira rated it really liked it
I found the stories of the addicts to be the most compelling part of this book - they are portrayed as so human, flawed but still with redeeming qualities. Each individual story of the fall to such a low is told honestly and with respect. I really appreciated the more educational points thrown in as well, such as the descriptions of different withdrawals. My biggest drawback was that by the end I was finding some of the reflection by Dr. Pinsky to be trite-sounding and a little overblown - I rea ...more
Dec 15, 2008 Nancy rated it liked it
interesting insights on life in a substance dependence treatment center. I waffled between finding Pinsky extremely likable and a bit narcissistic, but I valued the case descriptions, his personal responses to clients, and the glimpse of day-to-day life in treatment (without having to be on the team!). The new understandings of brain science have changed treatment in such a short span of history.
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David Drew Pinsky, M.D., better known as Dr. Drew, is an American radio and television personality and board-certified internist and addiction medicine specialist. He is the host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show, Loveline, which he has hosted since 1984. On television he produces and hosts the VH1 show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, its sibling shows Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew and Sober H ...more
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