Off the Rails: One Family's Journey Through Teen Addiction

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Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
She Writes Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 0.8 X 8.4 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author

Susan Burrowes is a presenter, teacher, trainer and project manager who holds a Master's Degree in Communication, but took enough time out of her studies to produce the two extraordinary, challenging, terrible, wonderful children who continue to define her life.
An award-winning author, Susan's day jobs span fifteen years in advertising, eight years teaching in the college classroom and another ten years training professionals in organizations how to communicate with each other, an irony that was not lost on her as she struggled to reach her addicted daughter.
Susan currently works with a team of high achieving young adults in Admissions at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she ponders the question of teen success on a daily basis. She writes about the strength and determination of troubled teens and special needs children.


2019 New York City Big Book Award--Winner in Addiction & Recovery
2019 IBPA Ben Franklin Awards: Silver Medal Winner in Parenting and Family Issues
2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Finalist in Parenting/Family (Non-fiction)
"A brave, if harrowing, work that addresses the issues surrounding mental health, treatment, and rehabilitation head-on."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A powerful work of unfiltered truth about addiction, mother-daughter relationships, and the importance of working together."
--Library Journal

"Susan Burrowes provides raw insight for families faced with the unexpected chaos of a troubled teen. This honest account of one family's journey from a stable, loving home through the bowels of downtown Santa Cruz and three separate treatment centers is a great read for anyone interested in taking a peek behind the rehabilitation of a child gone 'off the rails.'"
--Kristin McCandless, recovery counselor

"This story is inspiring. It is helpful for other parents to hear about how mistakes can help us learn and grow into more effective parents."
--Dr. Catherine Towson, LMFT

"In Off the Rails Susan Burrowes and her wildly defiant daughter Hannah, take us through misdiagnosis, overdose, and treatment for addiction. We hear from mother and daughter: Susan describes the agonizing decisions parents face. Hannah shares the experience from her perspective; a true gift to readers. Struggling families will connect with this compelling book. It clarifies what happens when you send your child to wilderness therapy or residential treatment, how high-risk kids fall through the cracks, how finding help feels impossible, and how schools, professionals, and parents must work together."
--D'Anne Burwell, Author of Saving Jake: When Addition Hits Home

"Alternating voices, Susan and Hannah Burrowes, a frantic mother and her troubled young daughter, narrate an all-too-frequent tale: a beloved child's rapid spiral into addiction and chaos coupled with a woefully inadequate health care system. Off the Rails shines with clarity and unstinting honesty about the pitfalls and sources of help needed not just for a child, but a family to recover."
--Linda Dahl, author of The Bad Dream Notebook

"Off the Rails should be required reading for parents and professionals who deal with families coping with teen addiction. With courage and searing honesty, Susan Burrowes shows the complexity and heartbreak of having an adolescent daughter whose erratic behavior from addiction spins the entire family "off the rails." Writing a two-narrator memoir, Burrowes invites the reader to enter into the intimate thoughts and raw feelings of both mother and daughter as they struggle to chart a path to health and recovery. A dynamic, inspiring read."
--Maureen Murdock, author of Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory

"Off the Rails is a searing account of a family's struggle with their daughter's descent into drug abuse. Told from the perspective of both mother and daughter, it is at once heartbreaking and hopeful, but always devastatingly honest. Eye opening and unforgettable."
--Lauren Kerwin PhD, Psychologist