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Drunks, Drugs & Debits: How to Recognize Addicts and Avoid Financial Abuse 1st Edition

23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0967578835
ISBN-10: 0967578833
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Editorial Reviews


...valuable reference with useful suggestions and tools that could make a big difference in lives affected by another’s addiction. -- Counselor - The Magazine for Addiction Professionals - Review by Lindsay E. Freese, MEd, MAC, LADC

From the Publisher

The author wishes to acknowledge the most important (but by no means all) of the authors whose shoulders on which he has stood. The most important of these include James Graham (The Secret History of Alcoholism), James Milam and Katherine Ketcham (Under the Influence), Terence Gorski (numerous works), Vernon Johnson (I¡¦ll Quit Tomorrow), David Keirsey (Please Understand Me), Eve Delunas (Survival Games Personalities Play), and David Parker and Ralph Stacey (Chaos, Management and Economics: The Implications of Non-Linear Thinking). He would also like to publicly thank Jeff Bezos for having founded Without this vast resource for research, this book would have been far less complete.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Galt Pub; 1st edition (February 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967578833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967578835
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,363,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a tax (Enrolled Agent) and financial (Certified Financial Planner-licensee) professional who became involved with an alcohol and other-drug addict in the early '90s. I barely survived the ordeal. Vowing "never again," I decided to learn everything possible about addiction. What I discovered was fascinating, empowering and designed to protect more than just me (alcoholism causes misbehaviors and if we observe such poor behaviors, there is likely addiction). Over the years, my role has evolved to addiction "researcher" who serves as a bridge for information about addiction between the few who "get it" and the mass of people who've never been introduced to the ideas.

You can find the results of my research in my books and online addiction report. The latest, "Alcoholism Myths and Realities," debunks the myths of addiction and eliminates the stigma of alcohol and other-drug addiction. Eliminate that stigma and we are far more likely to identify the disease when it threatens our health and safety, which is what my third book, "How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics," is all about (it uses behavioral clues to identify addiction in the early stages of the disease). My second book, "Get Out of the Way!" helps drivers spot likely DUIs before they become tragically obvious (you'll never again look at the road the same way). My first book, many readers of which think is my most important, is "Drunks, Drugs & Debits," and while focusing on identifying addicts in the hope of avoiding financial abuse, is actually a comprehensive look at addiction designed to give a "gut feel" for the disease. Read it cover to cover and you'll never again knowingly enable a practicing addict.

I'm very proud that a google search of "early-stage alcoholism" generally lists me in the top two or three positions, which shows how few are focusing on this overlooked stage of addiction, when the addict is most destructive of others.

For those who know personality type, I'm a scientifically-minded INTJ married to Marty, an inventive ENTP. We live in Northridge, California with our three cats, Tuxeda, Whiskers and Marmalade.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Alcoholism and drug addiction are part of one of the biggest problems of our society. According to author Doug Thorburn alcoholics alone are estimated to be between seven and fifteen percent of all adults. If this isn't a big enough problem by itself each alcoholic also adversely affects three or four other people. Because of their problem they often bring financial and emotional ruin not only to their self but also to the ones they love, and who love them, the most. Recognizing this problem and intervening early is what the book "Drunks, Drugs & Debits" is all about.
By far alcoholism is the predominant focus of the book but most of the information also applies to drug addicts. The author does a good job of presenting the information from a neutral and factual perspective as he examines alcoholism, factors that tend to exacerbate it and why some people seem to be more prone to it than others. One of the best chapters deals with recognizing the addict and why it is hard to identify them when you know them personally.
Of course, the debits part of the book is about how addiction often results in financial abuse of others; including friends, spouse, parents, partners, children.
Doug even includes a section on recovery for the non-addict who is trying to move forward in life and relationships. "Drunks, Drugs & Debits" is recommended if you have an addict in your life, think you may have one, or are one of the many people affected by one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Many many books have been written about addiction, alcoholism, the causes, the treatment, and the theory. This is the first book that looks at the fallout and the consequences of the disease as it pertains to those that are put in contact with the drunk or addict. It then goes on to tell the innocent how to protect themselves from the storm especially financial, that surrounds an addicted life. I am one of those whom the the author so vividly describes. I am a recovered alcoholic with 28 years of sobriety in AA. It was only after years and years of being hurt, lied to, financially abused, and mistreated by my self centered addiction to alcohol that the loved ones in my life did finally take action to protect themselves from the insanity of my behavior and take measures to protect themselves. If they had been able to read this book, I am sure they would not have taken so long. To this day, I am filled with gratitude toward those loved ones who said to me "It's over, stay away from us and do something about your problem." These were the people that eventually saved my life even though they may never really know that. However, this book is not about saving the addict/alcoholic even though it may. It is about saving the victims and lessening the incredible losses financially and emotionally that this disease inflicts on the lives of the survivors that have addicts and alcoholics in their lives. It is the only book I have ever read that was written for this forgotten segment of our society. READ IT AND PROTECT YOURSELF! The effects of alcoholism and drug abuse which are the same diseases in my opinion, upon the lives of the innocent or non addict is clearly shown by the author.Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By charlesmorrison on May 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Things I enjoyed about this book:
- how much new first-hand thought went into it -- you're not necessarily staying within the AA paradigm.
- I like how many outside resources are brought in. I have read *dozens* of books on Alcoholism and spoken with about 50 professionals in the field, and I have never heard of most of works you bring in. There is a staleness and paralysis to most of the thinking about alcoholism.
- Type Theory. Why haven't people who have worked in the field of substance abuse thought of the idea that if a person is a certain type, an artist for example, then it would help his recovery if you encourage him to do something that he might like rather than send him to Boeing corporation, for example, and make him do accounting? I have visited a couple of rehabilitation facilities, most notably Schick Shadel up here in Seattle (which specializes in the "aversion" method) and they are extremely depressing places. Not just because they are filled with addicts -- but the institutionalized feel of the places gives me the creeps. If I was not an alcoholic before I went into such a place, I might become one just from going there. And the idea in these places seems to be sometimes that if you don't want to do accounting then you're in denial and you're resisting, not following the 12 steps, etc. These places are so institutionalized, and staffed by some of the toughest, gravelly-voiced, nicotine addicted people -- I couldn't stop thinking of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
- p. 151 discussion of how therapists get confused when trying to work with alcoholics. I have heard this before, but your discussion was clarifying.
p. 179-180 "Enabling as a Property rights issue." That is a very rich idea. and the air and everything else.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By TJR1000 on September 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is an eye opening look at addiction and the havoc it creates in human relationships. Many of the destructive and dysfunctional behaviors experienced in relationships can be traced to alcohol or drug addiction. Addiction can mimic commonly known psychological illnesses, such as ego-mania and narcissism, making addiction very difficult to detect in its early stages. In fact, the early stage addict may display a high level of social competency and adjustment. People who become involved with the early stage addict will often regret it when the addiction progresses and behavior deteriorates. By the time an addiction becomes apparent, persons involved with the addict may have already suffered extreme psychological and financial abuse.
Because addiction is so destructive, and can be difficult to detect, subtle behavioral clues are important to identify potential problem relationships. The author has developed an indicator to identify likely addicts. Sixty symptoms and behaviors are listed which are seen in addicts. This information allows the reader to organize their observations and intuitions into concrete conclusions about problem relationships. It is then easier to escape, avoid, or change the relationship before severe damage is incurred.
As a manager, I have found the book helpful in identifying potential addiction problems among employees. After reading the book, the extent and destructiveness of addiction becomes apparent. The book will allow managers to identify addiction early and possibly even screen out employees in the hiring process. If the addict is not hired in the first place, the high cost of dealing with addiction problems can be avoided entirely.
The book is well written and enjoyable to read. I recommend it highly to everyone who deals with people.
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