Off the Rails
One Family’s Journey Through Teen Addiction
by Susa Burrowes
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 21 Aug 2018 | Archive Date 19 Aug 2018
Fearing that they couldn’t keep their teen safe, Hannah’s parents made the agonizing decision to send her to a wilderness program, and then to residential treatment. Off the Rails tells the story of the two tough years Hannah spent in three separate programs—and ponders the factors that contributed to her ultimate recovery.
Written for parents of teens experimenting with high-risk behaviors, as well as those trying to navigate the controversial world of teen treatment programs, Off the Rails is an inspiring story of family love, determination, and the last-resort intervention that helped one troubled young woman find sobriety after a terrifying and harrowing journey.
“A brave, if harrowing, work that addresses the issues surrounding mental health, treatment, and rehabilitation head-on.”
"A powerful work of unfiltered truth about addiction, mother-daughter relationships, and the importance of working together."
“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