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Catastrophe is the story of a Jewish mother who discovers, much to her shock and horror, that not only is her once well-grounded, beautiful, talented, and King David–educated daughter gay, but she’s also a down-and-out drug addict, hopelessly hooked on highly addictive Cat, a synthetic amphetamine containing the substance methcathinone. When Anne Lapedus Brest discovers the secret life of her daughter Angela, this mother’s formerly safe life of Shabbos dinners, shopping centers, and family gatherings is shaken to the core as a dark world, filled with lies, desperation, pawn shops and forged checks, overcomes all daily occurrences. It’s a story that will resonate with every parent, brother, sister, husband, wife, or friend of an addict: the helplessness, the frustration, the denial, the terror, the false promises, the financial ruin, the shameful degradation, and the noose of unconditional love. Catastrophe is also a wake-up call to addiction, the scourge that affects one in every eight South Africans, that spans across religion, color, and creed, sparing none along its ravenous path. Told in an easy-to-read and often entertaining way, the book informs and educates on the tell-tale signs of addiction and gives practical help and insights to the loved ones of addicts to help navigate their way through it.

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