Mere Addiction

By: Michael J. Bryant


Mere Addiction offers an insiders perspective on the fundamentals of alcoholism and addiction. Justice Jonathan C. George (Superior Court of Justice, Ontario) notes: “Michael, humbly, challenges you to view addiction, and the addicted, in the way it (and they) should be. Stigma free, without condemnation, and worthy of the attention we provide others in crisis.” Dr. Ray Baker (Addiction Medicine, UBC) refers to Mere Addiction as, “a deceptively simple masterpiece of perceptive analysis…”

This book is highly reviewed and endorsed by: Thea Weisdorf, MD (University of Toronto); Justice Jonathan C. George (Superior Court of Justice, Ontario); Ray Baker, MD (University of British Columbia); and Sharon L. Acoose, PhD (First Nations University of Canada).

  • ISBN: 978-1-926476-22-3
    Price: $18.00
    Binding: Paperback
    Date: 2018
    Rights: World
    Pages: 81
    Size: 6″ x 9″

  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

    Bail for Bonzo
    Distilling Addiction
    Within a Forest Dark
    The Wasteland
    The Others
    Metaphors & Morality
    12 Step Programs
    Harm Reduction
    Indigenous People & Addiction
    Bonzo’s Verdict

    APPENDIX: Do I Have a Drinking Problem?
    About the Author

  • Michael J. Bryant

    Michael J. Bryant was the 35th Attorney General of Ontario, the 2nd Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs, author of a Canadian Glob & Mail #1 best seller, 28 Seconds, Supreme Court of Canada Law Clerk, and Harvard Law graduate. Michael is currently the Executive Director and general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

  • After reading Mere Addiction, I felt that my 20+ years in the field of Addiction Medicine were for naught. Its realism and humility will resonate with all who live, love and work with people who are substance dependent. However, Michael’s words demand that what really needs to be done is to become better listeners, not enablers.

    Thea Weisdorf, MD

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Family and Community Medicine
    University of Toronto

    This is a must read for every justice system participant and anyone whose life has been touched, either directly or indirectly, by addiction and mental health. Mere Addiction is evocative and insightful. While it is a series of stories and collection of memories, it is much more than that. It is a critique of prevailing thought and an assessment of how people like me approach addiction and mental health in the courtroom. It is a plea to alter the way in which we think about it. Michael Bryant’s perspective is unique. He has held high political office, practiced law in the trenches, and more importantly has a “lived experience” to draw upon. This book will force you to question your preconceived notions of addiction, mental health, effectiveness of treatment models, and the recovery process. Michael, humbly, challenges you to view addiction, and the addicted, in the way it (and they) should be. Stigma free, without condemnation, and worthy of the attention we provide others in crisis. And why? Because addiction is an ailment and not a moral failing.

    Justice Jonathan C. George

    Superior Court of Justice (Ontario)
    Member, Kettle & Stony Point First Nation

    Impressed by Michael’s incisive reasoning and dry humour during our first encounter at Canada’s Summit on Recovery in 2015, I read and thoroughly enjoyed his wonderful memoir, 28 Seconds. Mere Addiction, a deceptively simple masterpiece of perceptive analysis of addiction and its current mismanagement, offers some sound suggestions for correction that, although proven, are currently politically unpopular. It contains language and images of the sort that work miracles in people with this cunning disease. I love this man’s work - and as a seasoned expert witness, feel fortunate to have never faced him under cross-examination in the courtroom.

    Ray Baker MD

    Addiction Medicine
    Associate Clinical Professor UBC (Medicine)

    Mere Addictions very much triggered my inner demons. I always said that I would have loved to have been a Vampire; I do love them so, they live forever, don’t they? This is a strongly written piece of work that brought back my East Hasting’s life and my days living on Skid Row in Regina. This book is raw and full of diversity and truth. Oh the excuses we made as addicts, just so juicy and self-absorbed. Addicts are very selfish fools. They live on the edge every day watching, waiting, lurking like those Vampires, for their next Trick or Dealer. It’s all about Chasing the Dragon, but you can never go back to that very first time! It will never be the same as that first fix, drink or sexual experience… Vampires live on, the Addict will die!

    Sharon Acoose, PhD

    Indigenous Social Work
    First Nations University of Canada
    Member, Sakimay First Nation