Everyone who follows my blog knows that when I read a book, if I’m impressed with it, I love to tell the world about it.

However, recently, I read one that, not only do I want to share with it you, I feel I “have” to because of the impact it had on me. It is Mylow Young’s Against the Gates of Hell: A Crack House Exodus.

The title is obvious, it deals with drugs, more specifically, crack cocaine. Amazingly written, Young brings his reader into the story with him when ‘showing’ what each character is going through. I say ‘showing’ because he’s not just telling you, he does a superb job writing in such a way that you can see what he says. That’s the kind of books I love to read. I like to see what’s going on, and to be carried away into the book with the other characters, just like watching a movie. I absolutely loved every word of this book.

On his website, I read the following: “This hope-filled story reveals the internal and external struggles of two men who find themselves in need of God’s grace, love and forgiveness as they fight for their lives against the very gates of hell.”

Part of the story is fictitious, but Young wrote this based on his own life experience, as he struggled with drugs more than half of his life. He states: “Some of the things happened just as you read them, while others were created or embellished through the imagination God blessed me with.

Again, I strongly recommend this book. I couldn’t put it down and read every spare minute I could . . . and yes, for those who know me well, you know that I even read while walking on my treadmill. If I could describe it, I’d say it was both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. But I must add that it was also very educational.

You see, I’ve never done drugs (I very seldom take Tylenol for a headache!), so not only am I totally ignorant on the subject, I really have no idea what anyone on coke or any other drug deals with. To me it was unfathomable because I never experienced it. And now, although this is something I know I’ll never experience, I have a better understanding. I honestly never imagined what an addict goes through and this book helped me to gain that greater understanding, and better insight.

Someone very dear to my husband and I is on different drugs but my ignorance on the subject keeps me from saying exactly what kind they are. I think he’s on hash, but it could be it pot or weed for all I know. I guess he’s taking meth or was that mescaline? I’m not kidding, I really don’t know.

Until I read Mylow Young’s book, all I ever felt for this acquaintance of ours was resentment because he’s wasted a major part of his 50 years away yet complains he doesn’t have any money. As much as I hate to admit it, my response has always been the same (and not at all Christian-like, I’m sorry to say): “If he didn’t waste it on booze and drugs, he might have money.”

Today, I see him very differently and my resentment is gone. I see him as someone with a serious problem. Daily, I pray that he’ll someday overcome this addiction. Perhaps God will use me to talk to him about getting help, or perhaps He’ll put someone else in his path. Either way, I pray that this guy will find the help he needs, the help he deserves.

If there’s anyone in your family or circle of friends who’s battling addiction, read this book, and/or give it to them as a gift. It will change your outlook on the world of drug addiction. I know it certainly changed mine.

I’ve never walked in their shoes, so I’ll never be able to say I understand what they’re going through. But I can honestly say I now have a better understanding.



    • You’re welcome Kate.

      Someone said recently, “nothing is more pleasant than a cold day, a cup of tea and a good book.”

      Curl up in your favourite chair and enjoy. 🙂

  1. You’re welcome Norah. I think it’s great as i got 7 emails regarding this post (even though they didnt commment) in less time than any of my other posts. This book is truly worth the read.



  2. Hi Renee- Ann, Sorry to take so long but I tried earlier and couldn’t get on until you sent me your link. First I have to say, when I started reading I had to flip back to the beginning because I thought,” this can’t be the right blog when I read the title of the book and about addictions. I used to watch the movie on ”interventions” to try to help people and I just couldn’t imagine the real hell people go through. It made me feel that my little hell with my foot was liveable. I can’t believe people pay so much to smoke or do drugs. I know someone I’ve tried to help but just stopped trying because it made our relationship sever ties. You sure have a great blog! I’m going to favorite it to read more later, thanks, Doris

    • Hi Doris

      I had to look twice too. I first heard about this book in the Ereader News Today newsletter. I’m glad it lists the genre of each books it promotes, because it listed it as a Christian book. I didnt even read the synopsis right away, I just downloaded it to my reader.

      I sincerely hope you have a chance to read this book for yourself.



  3. Thanks for posting this and endorsing the book. Addiction is a disease, but one that trying to ‘help’ the person has to be done differently than with most other diseases. I was the facilitator for the support group PLAD (Parents Learning About Drugs) – I have heard so many stories about how difficult it is to live with someone who has an addiction. You mention you will now understand better your friend – and that is a wonderful thing – to not judge them, to be compassionate, to be aware that they did not choose that path (e.g. did not one day thing ‘oh, I think I will become addicted to crack (or whatever it is they are addiction to). I learned that the best way to help a person with an addiction is to not enable them. To not be co-dependent. I also learned the 3 C’s – you did not Cause it, you cannot Control it, you cannot Cure it. One young person told me once – ‘you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink – ESPECIALLY IF HE/SHE IS NOT THIRSTY’. That is the crunch of it. Too many people who have a family member or a friend with an addiction try to ‘fix’ it. Only the person with the addiction can fix themself. This does not mean that we should turn our back on them. We can be there for them, listen to them, try to empathize, not judge them – but we cannot fix them. They must first be ‘thirsty’ for help. One can help them become ‘thirsty’ by not enabling (‘enabling’ is simply making it easier for them to ‘use’).
    This book looks like a good read to learn what it is like for someone who has an addiction in order to understand. For those who want to ‘help’ someone with an addiction, may I suggest the book ‘Co-dependent No More’ by Melodie Beattie. In there will list how to Cope with living with someone with an addiction. (I always silently add my own 4th C – ‘but one can Cope with it. Thank you Renee Ann for sharing this post. You may have opened a lot of eyes and erased a lot of stigma against those with an addiction problem. Sometimes all one can do is love them, love the person they are – hate the illness, but love the person. And, yes, sometimes, all one can do is pray to a Higher Power for wisdom on how to best cope with a loved one’s addiction. Bless you. – Louise

    • Great points Louise. I love the 4 C’s. And thanks also for the reading suggestion. My prayer is that readers will find hope/help/encouragement/ etc in these great books.

  4. Sounds like a very interesting read and I wonder if you should pass it along to your husband’s friend. Knowledge being passed on from someone who knows and who has been through a similar experience has a lot more impact than words from someone who doesn’t and hasn’t.

    And yet he is not your responsibility but I know how you thrive to help him and everyone in their predicament, we all do as that’s what makes us human.

    I appreciate your sharing this post and reaching out to so many about it.

  5. Hi Sarah,

    I wishI I could pass this book to him but sadly, I know he wouldn’t read it. He didn’t finish school and his reading is very poor. I don’t mean this in a bad way, by any means, but he’s actually asked me to write things for him as he doesn’t know how write it It’s so sad.

    Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if his inability to read/write enough to get a decent job might be the reason he turned to drugs in his early days. Now he’s on permanent disibility due to an accident.

    I might never know, but the past doesn’t matter. Only what’s ahead.



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