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Alternatives to Abstinence: A New Look at Alcoholism and the Choices in Treatment Hardcover – April 27, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hatherleigh Press; First Edition edition (April 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578260817
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578260812
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,648,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A readable, informative, and balanced overview of...how problem drinkers might go about getting effective help. -- Frederick Rotgers, Psy.D., Assistant Chief Psychologist, Smithers Alcoholism Treatment and Training Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY

From the Back Cover

Over 50 Million Americans Struggle with Alcohol. Is Total Abstinence the Only Answer?

Chances are, you or someone you love has a drinking problem. Most of us think the only solution is the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. We readily accept that alcoholism is a disease and that the only path leading to a lasting recovery is quitting cold turkey. But what if this conventional wisdom is wrong?

Now Heather Ogilvie shows that there really are Alternatives to Abstinence in this groundbreaking book. This balanced and unbiased look at our current methods for treating problem drinkers will open your eyes to a world of treatment options beyond AA.

Alternatives to Abstinence will show you:


• Why current attitudes toward alcoholism stem more from "folk" theories than from scientific evidence.
• How expanding treatment options will lead to greater overall recovery rates.
• How decades of well-established research contradict popular beliefs about the nature of alcoholism as an irreversible disease.

and give you:


• Descriptions of twelve alternative treatment options that are at least as effective as twelve-step programs.
• A comprehensive listing of public and private organizations, as well as individual therapists, specializing in alternative or traditional treatments.

Finally, Americans will be able to discuss and treat problem drinking without the misinformation that has plagued us in the past. If AA has not worked for you, there are Alternatives to Abstinence.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Marren VINE VOICE on July 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This relatively recent compilation of treatment methods for alcoholism is a well-researched summary of alternatives to the popular AA-style abstinence method. The book has an agenda, as will any work on this subject--Ogilvie asks why, in a world where medical treatments are increasingly being tailored to fit the individual, treatment methods for alcoholism other than complete abstinence are so controversial. A very useful resource.
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50 of 62 people found the following review helpful By "d0ct0rdry" on July 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
King Solomon was wrong. There is something new under the sun. Here we have a book on the moderate drinking vs. abstinence controversy-and it was not written by a professional controlled drinking advocate, nor by a lifetime member of the 12-Step/Alcoholism crusade. Ogilvie said that she did not have any special expertise nor any personal experience with alcohol problems until her publisher approached her about writing this book. Why the publisher, Hatherleigh Press of New York, should be so interested in a book on this subject was not explained. The book is very unlikely to be a best seller. It is known that the alcoholic beverage industry once supported the alcoholism-is-a-disease movement (because calling alcoholism a disease shifts blame and focus from the substance, alcohol, to the victims, the so-called alcoholics). It also seems to me that the industry is now quietly backing the moderation advocates. But the motivations of the publisher, whatever they may be, are totally mysterious.
The book opens with a foreword by A. Thomas Hovath, PhD, a professional therapist and the President of SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery, an alternative to AA, is supposedly an abstinence program, but Hovath makes no secret of his personal and professional preferences for moderation. A decent man who believes strongly in his philosophy of behaviorism, Hovath declares: "Drinking problems do not occur as a result of a disease process. Drinking," he says, "is a learned behavior." Despite this assertion, Hovath's language is almost exclusively that of a healthcare provider. He speaks of "patients" in a "healthcare setting" giving "informed consent" to "providers" who must "honor the patient's rights.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I know of many people who have a drinking problem who don't want to stop drinking (socially, etc) and others who can't stop drinking. This book is a real eye-opener for those who thought that the only way to deal with a drinking problem is to quite cold turkey. The author did a good job presenting the information in an easy-to-understand way and I thought the section on the history of alcohol in the United States was very interesting and gave perspective on our notions that liquor is a "demon". I have passed my copy on to a friend who is a family counselor and she is already recommending it to her clients.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes it seems like 12-step programs have taken over the world! Their adherents zealously insist that the 12 steps/AA is the ONLY way to cope with alcoholism. This book presents a welcome escape from the tyranny of 12 steppers. In a thoughtful, balanced way, the author reports that there really are other answers for alcoholics, answers that might suit some of them much better than abstainence programs do. She carefully examines all sides of the abstainence argument and details a variety of alternative programs. In addition to the very readable narrative, the book contains an extremely valuable appendix that describes more than a dozen different programs/organizations and gives contact information for each as well as a list of therapists who offer moderation training.
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