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Stern, H.R. (1980). Psychoanalysis of Drug Dependence: The Understanding and Treatment of a Particular Form of Pathological Narcissism. J. Winstead Adams, New York: Grune & Stratton, 1978, 329 pp.. Mod. Psychoanal., 5(1):104-106.

(1980). Modern Psychoanalysis, 5(1):104-106

Psychoanalysis of Drug Dependence: The Understanding and Treatment of a Particular Form of Pathological Narcissism. J. Winstead Adams, New York: Grune & Stratton, 1978, 329 pp.

Review by:
Harold R. Stern

This commendable book, both scholarly and well-written, presents an elucidation and a clinical application of the theory of narcissism to the drug dependent/drug abusing personality. The techniques needed to approach and involve drug abusers in the treatment situation are clearly explained. The author competently spells out the modern psychoanalytic reflecting techniques and demonstrates how these techniques are applied through his ample presentation of his case transcripts.

As Adams describes it, the inner mind and the external world of the narcissistic drug dependent personality, is populated by needs, symbols, and a morality that differ greatly from those of the non-drug-dependent narcissistic personality. Herein lies what appears to be a subtle weakness in his thesis.

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