Henry Gregor Felsen K. Anthony Edwards - Essay

K. Anthony Edwards

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The] message [in Can You Do It Until You Need Glasses? The Different Drug Book] is clear: "… writing a book telling people how to get off drugs is like mailing a drowning man a set of instructions on how to swim." Written in a "light," humorous vein, Can You Do It reads like a "Laugh-In" lecture designed to make students sit up and listen while laughing at their own or their friends' addiction. The book will have little effect on chronic or about-to-be users. Something else is needed. Some nutritionists, for example, have suggested that a predisposition to addiction can be countered by becoming healthy. This may be one solution, but a more obvious cure—requiring as much effort from the parents as the drug syndicates use to sell the stuff—would be to train children to behave in ways incompatible with drug use and to frequent places where drugs are not likely to be used. If we can learn how to generate parent skills in controlling children so that they have a good chance of exhibiting creative, productive behaviors "addictively," then we will no longer need books to help "drowning" people. While this book is not recommended to eliminate or prevent addiction, it is recommended as a source of reasons to stay alive and perhaps even contribute something worthwhile to the rest of society.

K. Anthony Edwards, "Medicine: 'Can You Do It Until You Need Glasses? The Different Drug Book'," in Science Books & Films (copyright 1978 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science), Vol., XIV, No. 2, (September, 1978), p. 98.