In this straightforward self-help guide, psychologist and addiction therapist Peele (The Truth about Addiction and Recovery) argues that, contrary to popular belief, the best way to overcome addiction is not through treatment in rehab centers or in formal groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, but rather through self-efficacy and self-reliance.""Successful therapies,"" he writes,""place the responsibility for changing your addictive behavior on you."" Citing statistics from numerous studies, such as one that looked at heroin-addicted American soldiers in the Vietnam War, Peele points out that people quit addictions every day without any professional assistance. In fact, he says, research shows that alcoholics who do not enter treatment programs are more likely to quit abusing alcohol than those who do enter treatment. (Groups such as AA, Peele says, endorse themselves by telling members that there is no recovery without their programs, and so when members believe that they cannot successfully beat their addictions alone, they quickly relapse once they stop attending meetings.) Emphasizing a person's own sense of responsibility as the driving force behind overcoming addiction, Peele's book outlines seven tools that can serve as a foundation for successful recovery--Values, Motivation, Rewards, Resources, Support, a Mature Identity and Higher Goals--and includes exercises to help readers design their own program. The ultimate goal: to replace the""immature gratifications"" of addiction with a""fulfilling, meaningful life"" that includes a strong support structure. Peele tells readers that they have the power to create their own world of health and responsibility. His message will no doubt anger the countless Americans who have been helped by AA and other treatment programs, but could prove useful to those reluctant to seek outside help for their addictions.
Reviewed on: 07/26/2004 Release date: 07/01/2004 Genre: Nonfiction