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Almost Alcoholic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Drinking a Problem? (The Almost Effect) Paperback – March 27, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The stories in Almost Alcoholic are so powerful. I just loved this book!"
--Jeanne Segal, PhD, psychologist and founder of HelpGuide.org

"Insightful and self-reflective, Almost Alcoholic provides readers with an important opportunity to look within and consider the nature of their own relationship with alcohol."
--Ryan M. Travia, M.Ed., Harvard University Health Services

"A stunning achievement. Almost Alcoholic shines light on behavior that has thus far largely escaped scrutiny--namely drinking that is definitely causing problems even though it doesn't rise to a diagnostic level--and not only helps individuals understand the costs of their drinking but goes further, offering practical advice and solutions for those so afflicted."
--J.Wesley Boyd, MD, PhD, Staff Psychiatrist, Cambridge Health Alliance and Children's Hospital Boston Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"The Almost Effect Series of books captures the fundamentally human experiences and helps readers interpret what the symptoms might mean--both for themselves and others. The Almost Effect collection should be required reading for those interested in psychology and human behavior."
--Howard J. Shaffer, PhD, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Division on Addiction at the Cambridge Health Alliance, co-author: Change Your Gambling, Change Your Life

About the Author

A nationally recognized expert on alcoholism, Robert Doyle, MD, is a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is on the medical staff at Harvard's prestigious teaching hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital.
Clinical psychologist Joseph Nowinski, PhD, was assistant professor of Psychiatry at the University of California-San Francisco and associate adjunct professor of Psychology at the University of Connecticut. He is currently a columnist for the Huffington Post and works in private practice.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Almost Effect
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616491590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616491598
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is for those who are worried that they may be becoming alcoholic. It's an easy-to-follow tool kit that could likely turn-around lives...if allowed to. (Why wait till you're at the bottom of the hole to dig out?) This book offers a hopeful alternate detour away from a personal landslide. In addition to potential alcoholics, the book is for people who are concerned that someone they care about may be on the path to possibly becoming an alcoholic.

The book sheds light on common perplexing questions: "How many drinks a night are too many?" Or, "What if I never drink alone, can I be alcoholic?" Or, "He came home drunk last night, and doesn't remember a thing. Should I worry?" Usually, it's the other person wondering this, not the problem drinker (if only one could be just a tad more self-aware while developing a drinking problem.)

A hidden benefit to this book is that it may help un-diagnose someone who's worried they are becoming an alcoholic, but aren't. There are so many self-investigation jumping-off points in this book, that anyone will be hard pressed to finish it without discovering that another substance, or activity, plays a role in one's life much like alcohol does for the almost alcoholic (like sugary treats).

Part 1 focuses on explaining what an "almost alcoholic" is, with chapters called:

What is Almost Alcoholic?
Becoming an Almost Alcoholic
Your Relationship with Alcohol
Making the Decision to Change

These chapters cover concepts like drinking to relieve stress, drinking alone, and the looking forward to a drink/drinking as indicators of being in the midst of developing a problem with alcohol.
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Format: Paperback
How many times have you heard someone proclaim, "Well at least I'm not an alcoholic!" Many people will have definite ideas about what consitutes problem or addictive drinking, but this is the first book that I have come across that breaks down the continuum of behavior from social drinker to out-of-control dependancy in a thoughtful, helpful and introspective way. It asks some probing and difficult introductory questions like, "What is my relationship to alcohol and drinking" or, "Do I use alcohol to soothe uncomfortable feelings like loneliness, worry or hurt." What I especially like about this book, is that the assessment section is concise and takes up only about the first third of the narrative while the solutions sections make up the core of the book. After discussing five key signs that may indicate problems, the authors then embark on a thorough dissection of things that are keeping patterns stuck. These solutions are varied and creative and definitely stay away from a one-size-fits-all recipe for reducing alcohol consumption or avoiding worry if current consumption is not a problem for you.

So thoroughly has drinking and alcohol become part of our adult culture, that we may not necessarily see what a sneaky poison it can be in our lives and relationships. And once it enters a family system, it may be very hard to get it out. This book helps the interested reader to evaluate patterns of behavior and make changes proactively, if necessary. The writing is also gentle and nonblaming around some issues that may be quite sensitive and difficult. Thank you, Drs. Doyle and Nowinski, for expanding these important internal and external conversations around drinking in a way that will hopefully have lasting impact.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you ever had a sneaking suspicion something wasn't quite right, nervously surveyed the roadside for police presence or left an unpleasant and lasting impression on the guests attending your cousin's wedding as a result of your alcohol consumption, this book is for you.

After reading the Almost Alcoholic I am left asking myself some questions. Which is to say that I think the book serves the purpose in allowing the reader to self assess. I found the book very interesting and the idea of raising awareness of the Almost Alcoholic concept inspired. I think the concept of the book is a huge leap forward in enlightening people of the dangers of drinking in what now may be described as "moderate" but could be dangerous for some. Without a doubt this book is a great and meaningful work that is sure to be recognized in opening up increased dialog and understanding on the subject.

Overall the book offers considerable insight through the use of characterizations of relatable thorny, demoralizing and unaddressed emotional issues presented in an understanding, compassionate and non-judgemental way.

Initially you might consider this is just another book by the medical community yet again denying us another one of our pleasures.

But after reading the book a second time it almost seems like an entirely different book. The first time I blew through it on a weekend hoping to reassure myself that in fact I didn't have an issue with alcohol despite knowing that I had most definitely had my own slippery slope "Almost Alcoholic" experience over the course of the two years prior to my divorce. After abstaining for several months I was hoping for a reality check which in fact the book delivered.
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