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The Truth about Addiction and Recovery [Paperback]

Stanton Peele
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.66
Price: 8.71 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 1992
In this revolutionary analysis of addiction, Peele and Brodsky draw on years of research to refute the contention that addictions are biologically based diseases that last a lifetime. Examining addiction within the context of people's lives, they show that addictive behavior is a way of coping with situational stress--and that it can be overcome without medical treatment or 12-step groups.

Frequently Bought Together

The Truth about Addiction and Recovery + 7 Tools to Beat Addiction + Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception: Understanding Self-deception - How the Lies We Tell Ourselves and Others Perpetuate Our Addictions
Price For All Three: 31.65

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Product details

  • Paperback: 430 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (1 Sep 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671755307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671755300
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE GROWTH of addiction treatment in the United States, predicated on the idea that alcoholism and addictions of all kinds are diseases, is a public-relations triumph, and not a triumph of reason or science. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best on Subject 1 Jan 2008
By Kendra
Format:Paperback
The Truth About Addiction and Recovery has to be the best, most comprehensive book on the subject. The book is cogent and intelligently written. It's impeccably sourced. It was a delight to read and have EVERY single question and doubt I've had answered somewhere in this volume.

I'm troubled by the reviewer who titles his review, Disturbing, and states, "Any work that claims to be THE definitive answer to an enormously complex problem should be approached with caution." That sounds like a rational statement. However, Stanton Peele's research isn't based on feeling, like the AA model. It's based on numerous studies by many different scientists done over the past several decades that have drawn the same conclusion OVER and OVER again. And, the conclusion is that it's NOT a disease-- despite the AMA and despite AA and despite every single organization that says it is. The proof lies in this point-- that there hasn't been even ONE successful study that has proven otherwise-- even when the study was created to PROVE that it was a disease.

AA ADMITS in it's own data that only 5% of AA members remain alcohol abstinent. The data that has been proven over and over again is that this number is LESS than those that quit drinking without AA. Additionally, a recent Harvard University Study stated that 80% of those that have quit drinking did it on their own. This goes against the disease model and AA approach. Many can moderate their drinking successfully or quit successfully altogether. This goes against the disease model and AA approach, too. Stanton Peele's book shows us the studies and data that support that once addicted DOES NOT MEAN ALWAYS ADDICTED. Unless, of course, one has bought into the AA philosophy and has now accepted that they are permanently sick and out of control.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is life after AA!!! 28 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is NOT a book for people who are perfectly happy in AA; there are plenty of books out there for you. This book is GREAT, however, for those of us who have ended up feeling as though AA has outlived it's usefulness, or those who wonder if they ever really belonged in "the Program" at all. I spent nearly five years in AA, and that it saved my life at the time I joined I cannot deny. Eventually, I had to leave--I simply couldn't stand it any more. I began to wonder: was I truly diseased,or had I just been an immature, insecure person who drank to drown a mountain of fear? I began looking for alternatives, and found this book. I've been drinking again for five years, with no dire consequences; nobody would guess I ever needed AA! I can't recommend this book enough. There are NO miracles here, NO faith-healing, NO catchy little phrases--just lots of good, rational common sense for those who want to move on--whether you choose to drink again or not.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong words to inspire and empower the reader: 19 Dec 1996
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is for people who are serious about making
changes in their lives. The author doesn't tread lightly;
instead while he acknowledges that many factors affect
our lives, only we have the ability to change for the
better; and that we can do this in spite of all obstacles
WHEN WE ARE READY. Whether you are heavily into drug
(or computer!) use, addicted to nicotine, or are just an
'average joe' with no obvious problems, I believe this
book can change your life for the better.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Understanding and Analysis of Addiction 14 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book trounces the idea that addiction is a biologically determined disease that requires 12 step treatment. Even herion addicts say that cigarrettes are the most addictive substance -- and most people quit smoking on their own.
Most people who use cocaine (and other drugs) do not use it regularly, those who use it regularly do not become addicted and those who become addicted recover on their own. Sound outrageous? Citing several thorough sociological studies, this statement becomes more and more believable as you read this book.
I used to think that behavioral compulsions, like addictions to sex and food, were different from substance abuse. Surely shooting heroin involves a chemical dependency, whereas overeating or spending all your money on porn and peep shows is a sign of psychological escape, right? Some say that all such behaviors are biological, but that sounded preposterous to me. This book drove home the idea that ALL addiction, be it abusing credit cards or smoking crack cocaine, is a symptom of a life out of control, not the cause. The book clearly illustrates how people become addicted when their lives lack meaning and hope, during painful transitions, and when they don't have the life skills or coping skills to ride out the rough edges of life.
Why is smoking crack considered more addictive than sniffing powder? People who smoke crack are generally people who live in the desperation of the inner cities, so they have less *motivation* to overcome their addiction, not a stronger drug.
Any serious student of sociology or psychology should read this book.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The fact that the reviewer from Oz talks about codependence shows how ingrained a lot of this 12-step rot is. AA and other Programs that work in this way do so through fear, shame, guilt and control. The Higher Power that is often talked about isn't anything outside of ourselves, rather it is us. We choose whether we engage in practises that are unhealthy or not and there's nothing supernatural about it. This is an excellent book which goes some way to dispelling a lot of the myths surrounding alcoholism and addiction. Just because millions(?) of people are engaged in something doesn't mean that it isn't a heap of old nonsense. Highly recommended.
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