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No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions [Paperback]

Dr Robert Lefever , John Coats
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

28 Sep 2006
Drug addiction, alcoholism, anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating, compulsive gambling, sex-addiction, compulsive overspending, smoking, compulsive overworking, compulsive risk-taking, compulsive helping and compulsive controlling are here discussed as among the many different manifestations of addictive disease.

These apparently disparate behaviours share the characteristics of being excessive, of being mood-altering and of having increasingly negative consequences in the lives of those who are enslaved to them. The damage caused by addictive disease usually extends to parents, partners, children, spouses, friends, relatives and colleagues.

There is increasing evidence that addictive behaviours are related to genetically mediated malfunctions in the production, metabolising and reuptake of neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine etc.) within the brain and Central Nervous System.

This book explains, in a clear and practical way, the thoroughly tested Twelve Step path to recovery and freedom from addiction. The book is informed and enriched by the author's own life and work. In recovery from a number of addictions, John worked for many years in the addictions field.

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No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions + Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down: 50 Things Every Alcoholic and Addict in Early Recovery Should Know
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The Sow's Ear Press (28 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955367700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955367700
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'... people with addictions will find guidance, help and encouragement. Their families will find information and reassurance ... For professionals who work with addiction, No Big Deal is an inspiring resource to use with clients ... an important addition to the literature.' --Andrew Stilwell, Free 'n Easy magazine, January 2007

About the Author

John Coats was in active addiction to alcohol, cocaine and other addictive processes for nearly twenty-five years.

He trained under Dr Robert Lefever at The Promis Recovery Centre, in Kent, and was subsequently Counselling Team Leader at The Diana, Princess of Wales, Treatment Centre, in Norfolk and Director of Treatment at East Coast Recovery, in Suffolk.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny 24 Jan 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book! Because of an increasing contact with addicts of all kinds I wanted to get a good understanding of how recovery courses can work. Based on the 12-step programme developed by AA (like the wheel it works so why necessarily try and re-invent it) John Coats has written a book that is so easy to read that you are worried that getting on to the path of recovery cannot be that simple.

Coats's gift is being able to put into very simple english something that could be extremely complicated and that makes it particularly good for the likes of people like me who aren't at the university end of the educational spectrum. He religiously avoids the treatment jargon of the day (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Neuro-linguistic Programming, Transactional Analysis and the like) and has come up with something that a person with no formal education can get to grips with. If it has a fault (and it seems churlish to write this given that the first objective of an author is to produce a jolly good read), it is such a good read that you find yourself wanting to go straight on to the next chapter, whereas the idea of the book is to pace yourself and to do the 'courses of action' after each section. I read the whole thing in two afternoons because I couldn't put it down! I shall now go back and do it properly.

Although I am not a 'professional' I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone struggling with addiction and wanting to start looking at ways to deal with it, or to friends and family who want a better understanding of how the addict's mind works and how they have got to the place they are. It is full of hope and down-to-earth practicality based on a programme that has worked for millions of people over many decades.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life-saving and life-changing 22 Aug 2008
It would be no exaggeration to say that this book helped to save my life. If I hadn't read this book I would probably have carried on drinking. If I had carried on drinking it would have killed me sooner or later. It's also true to say that this book helped to change my life in some very positive ways. It pointed me towards the Twelve Step programme and explained to me how to use it. I've never been happier than I am now and I'm much better at dealing with setbacks nowadays. As another reviewer said, this book is the real deal.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars best practical book on 12 Step recovery 16 Aug 2008
An excellent read, written by a recovered alcoholic. A practical guide to how to work the 12 Steps (AA) which the author sees as the best way to overcome the emotional and spiritual emptiness at the core of all addiction. This book really makes sense of what the 12-Step approach is all about and why it works - mostly because John Coates has clearly 'been there'. The book is particularly good at explaining the dishonest, sordid and compelling way that the addictive process/personality takes over the mind of the addict so that he lives in a kind of self made hell of his/her own denial. Working the Steps is a powerful exit strategy from this. Partly because 'denial' is counter-acted by seeing in other members of AA the denial we cannot see in ourselves! The book examines having relationships whilst in recovery, how to make amends to people we have hurt, interspersed with the authors own autobiographical account of his recovery. Each of the steps is discussed with practical examples of how they should be worked. Coates is an excellent recovery role model, now 14years recovered and being the director of an addictions agency in Norfolk. It should be borne in mind for anyone exploring recovery for the first time, that AA is not the only route to addiction recovery - the other main ones being Human Givens, Rational Recovery (check out the books of Jack Trimpey and de Sensa) and the Cognitive Behavioural approaches (CBT, REBT, Cognitive Analytic Therapy). Ultimately everyone has to make up their own mind out how to recover - and find out through practical testing which is the best route for them. This review written by a qualified addictions counsellor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A helpful book written by someone who knows his stuff and has been there. I like the fact that it addresses all addictions.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable companion 4 Oct 2006
I commend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who knows that their life has become unmanageable due to substance misuse or any compulsive behaviour that has become a problem to them.

This book absolutely achieves its aim - to provide a guide to getting and staying well using the 12-step programme. To enable the reader to benefit from such an aim, the work must be extremely readable, very comprehensive, motivating and packed full of easily understandable, straightforward advice and explanation. No Big Deal achieves all of this in abundance.

The style is personable and extremely readable. I found it to be a compelling read, which was un-put-downable right from the introduction. Its pages sustained and inspired me throughout. It does not purport to be a theoretical or academic overview of addiction but it implores the reader to stop and think at every corner of their journey more than any such academic work ever would. The author's story and personality permeate this book's pages. Not only is he happy to share his own experiences of addictive disorder but the richness of the language and imaginative explanations illuminate the true joy of recovery.

I particularly liked the use of actions proposed throughout the book. Unlike many so-called self-help manuals, No Big Deal does not claim that it will cure the reader but by following the clear instructions the reader will find remission from their ailment. It provides signposts on where and how to get help as well as throwing reassuring light on the new and potentially bewildering world of recovery that the reader will find themselves in.

As a therapist in a treatment centre, I have found this book to be a hugely beneficial source of information and inspiration!

No Big Deal is a pleasure to read and it is certain to be an invaluable companion to a great many people on their journey towards recovery and beyond.

Steve Roberts
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully honest
Sensible, clear easy to read. Covers all addictions from a 12 Step perspective. Those CBT diehards can still benefit from reading this.
Published 20 days ago by Meecymoo
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book
Interesting book for those either suffering from addiction, affected by addiction or working in the field of addiction, this book is of particular interest to those who are... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mel B
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like this Book at all!!
It is very hard to read. Uninteresting. Does not have any sort of flow. I thought it would be an intense experience and written from a personal view but from page one I found it... Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by P. Mulvihill
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and funny
Written by an ex addict this is an informative journey though the 12 steps based on the authors experience and others he now treats. Told with warmth and British humour.
Published on 27 Oct 2010 by BertieBox
5.0 out of 5 stars No Big Deal by John Coats
I will start by saying this is a fantastic book!!! It is a book for anyone who may think they have an unhealthy addiction to anything. Read more
Published on 22 Mar 2010 by Martina M
5.0 out of 5 stars Something that works
This is a wonderful book. I think it should be read by everyone on the planet as much of it refers to how we should be living. Read more
Published on 9 Oct 2008 by Eileen
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard going
Bought this book following the recommendations of other reviewers, but found it really hard going. I'm a professional person with a degree, but even I struggled with the language,... Read more
Published on 26 Jun 2008 by Carol Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars Layman's terms of 12-step approach to overcoming addictions
I loved this book! I was already familiar with Dr Lefevre's works which had initially opened up my mind to working a 12-step programme and recovery. Read more
Published on 3 April 2008 by Ms. H. A. Heywood
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