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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny
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...
Published on 24 Jan 2007 by nskelsey

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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
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, concepts and layout of this book. Not really accessible for someone with low literacy levels or those who like their books to be a bit more user-friendly. Once you get past all that though,...
Published on 26 Jun 2008 by Carol Hart


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny, 24 Jan 2007
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This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
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
By 
Cicelie H (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
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
This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars useful for addicts of every kind following a 12 step process of recovery, 19 July 2013
By 
Helen Woolley "helenchristmas" (Cambridgeshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Layman's terms of 12-step approach to overcoming addictions, 3 April 2008
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This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
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. The reason I loved this book though is because the author, John, speaks directly from his own account to illustrate points but doesn't get drone on with drunk-a-logs. He explains how to practically get abstinent and how to work the steps in an 'idiots guide' style making it easy to grasp what to do! 10 out of 10.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Big Deal by John Coats, 22 Mar 2010
This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
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. It is practical in how it is written and it has helped me to take the necessary step to deal with my addiction to alcohol. I just finished reading the book yesterday.

I found myself recently admitting to myself that I am no longer a social drinker and that alcohol is controlling me! I would consider myself to be a functioning alcoholic which in my terms mean I can drink a bottle of wine a few nights a week and more at weekends and get up and function and go to work. I am a 47 year old woman and this has crept up on me. I Know one thing I want my life to be different I no longer want the feelings that are associated with how this makes me feel. Guilt about not being in control. I have found that I use alcohol to mask issues in my life which need my attention and I am not talking about big hugh problems just small day to day issues.

I am taking the first step today and attending an AA meeting this evening. Thank you John Coats for writing such a wonderful book and the main thing this book has done for me is to allow me to feel good about myself and my addiction.

I hope this review helps someone else like me.

Kind Regards
T.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something that works, 9 Oct 2008
This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
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. Knowledgeable, understanding, honest, funny, John Coats has said it as it really is. I would think that most people who have private and sometimes public battles with alcohol do not feel good about themselves, the life choices they make and the ones that bypass them. The pain felt by the secrecy of dependency or the constant guilt at being a disappointment is directly addressed. This book provides solid, excellent information to help you see that you are not alone and that you are not hopeless. If dependent, you are not weak, which is a common belief, you are unwell. He can help you see how to become well. This isn't a simple cure all. This is a very candid, hard hitting book. He tells it like it is. But he also tells you that it doesn't have to be like this, and he tells it with honesty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully honest, 4 April 2014
By 
Meecymoo (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
Sensible, clear easy to read. Covers all addictions from a 12 Step perspective. Those CBT diehards can still benefit from reading this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions (Paperback)
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 familiar with the AA 12 steps. Well written,honest and down to earth, easy to read and understand.
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No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions
No Big Deal: A Guide to Recovery from Addictions by John Coats (Paperback - 28 Sep 2006)
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