While I was flying home from speaking at a neuroscience conference in Jerusalem, Israel, the book I coauthored, Ending Addiction for Good, went to #1 in the drug dependency category on Amazon.com. When I landed at Newark for a brief layover and checked my email, I danced with joy at the news.

Of course, friends congratulated me, some imagining that I’m making money hand over fist from book sales. I’m not. One hundred percent of the authors’ proceeds from the book go to charity, to help those seeking treatment at low cost facilities to receive it. The pride of accomplishment and a job well done comes from knowing that my work is helping to advance the conversation about  addiction treatment, bringing real hope to what is often viewed as a hopeless field.

I am an addict who has been fortunate to have been recovered from alcoholism most of my adult life. But early in my recovery, I was unhappy, plagued by feelings of shame and low self-worth. I wanted to be happy and see others like me find the moments of joy life offers others. That is why I went to graduate school and earned a PhD in Transformative Studies, specializing in addiction recovery. I wanted an “out-of-the-box” degree to find real solutions to addiction – to challenge conventional thought so as to help others find not only recovery, but joy.

And today, I feel two steps closer to that dream – because I know that as those in need pick up Ending Addiction for Good, they may find the most important element of addiction recovery – HOPE.