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How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics: Using Behavioral Clues to Recognize Addiction in Its Early Stages Paperback


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How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics: Using Behavioral Clues to Recognize Addiction in Its Early Stages + Alcoholism Myths and Realities: Removing the Stigma of Society's Most Destructive Disease + Drunks, Drugs & Debits: How to Recognize Addicts and Avoid Financial Abuse
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Galt Publishing (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967578868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967578866
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #606,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“An innovative and enlightening examination of alcoholism, How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics eloquently describes the biology behind the affliction, how to identify early-stage alcoholism based on behaviors, as well as what to do if you suspect someone you know—or don’t know—has the disease of alcoholism. Every counselor, psychologist, physician, and interventionist should read this book.” —Wallace D. Winters, M.D., Ph.D., emeritus professor of pharmacology, toxicology, and anesthesiology, University of California, Davis; retired FDA medical officer, Pacific region


How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics by Doug Thorburn should be required reading for every teacher, counselor, treatment specialist, physician, clergy member, lawyer, and judge in this country.” —Katherine Ketcham, author, Under the Influence and Beyond the Influence

How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics by Doug Thorburn should be required reading for every teacher, counselor, treatment specialist, physician, clergy member, lawyer, and judge in this country.” —Katherine Ketcham, author, Under the Influence and Beyond the Influence

“Doug Thorburn shows how we can identify alcoholism in its early, hidden stage. His work explains countless tragic events that are otherwise nonsensical. He makes an incontrovertible case that no dysfunction, including poverty, illiteracy, and racism, causes more damage to society than alcohol and other drug addiction. Until we realize the extent of the millions who suffer from alcoholism, we cannot solve the majority of our social ills. How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics is a must read for every social commentator and everyone else who cares about the human condition.” —Shawn Steel, former chairman, California Republican Party

About the Author

Doug Thorburn provides continuing education for the California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators and is the president and founder of the PrevenTragedy Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public on the importance of early identification of alcoholism. He lives in Northridge, California.

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

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Doug Thorburn provides vital information for all of us, in this eye-opening, fascinating book.
Charlene Rubush
Doug Thorburn's book, `How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics', makes us stop and think about the behavior of those around us and what it means.
Carol B.
I highly recommend this book, and Doug's others for everyone who needs his experience and knowledge to educate themselves.
Steve B

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Author Doug Thorburn is not a medical doctor, nor does he have any psychological background that would make him an expert on alcoholics. However, after becoming involved with one he dedicated himself to studying the problem and with the help of several addiction experts has produced this fascinating book. One of the problems with alcoholism is that it has a tendency to not be diagnosed until it is too late and the person has ruined their health and their life. Doug takes the view that by recognizing the behavioral clues we can find the hidden alcoholic while there is still time to prevent tragedy.
The book is divided into three distinct parts. First is a section that redefines alcoholism so that earlier diagnosis and prevention is possible. The second section is a detailed examination of the various clues that point to early-stage alcoholism. The last section discusses middle-stage clues and clues of multiple drug use.
Many of the behavior items listed and detailed are indicative of addictive behavior in general and not necessarily just alcoholism. The primary value in this book is that it is the first one I have seen that is designed for the general public and focuses on the early signs of alcoholism. In fact, many of the professional level books do not deal with recognizing alcoholism at this early stage. "How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics" should be required reading for everyone and especially so for those who deal with counseling others whether in a professional, volunteer, or pastoral capacity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sinistar on June 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
A while back on an online discussion forum, a young woman was talking about her awful experience which was the result of her romantic relationship with an alcoholic/other drug addict. She didn't want to repeat the same mistake and asked if anyone knew of a book that would help her discern people with this kind of problem before she got to involved again. Of course, there was the standard "there isn't a book." I quickly posted and recommended Doug Thorburn's excellent "How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics." This astounding text gives excellent advice on how to recognize the sickness of alcoholism and other drug addiction before you invest your time, heart, wallet and sanity into a potentially dangerous individual. I've seen it all. I grew up in a family shot through the disease of alcoholism, have been romantically involved with addicts, have lost many friends to the disease, and am a recovering alcoholic of 15 years myself. Thorburn correctly puts all the pieces of the puzzle together. If you think you might need this book, you do. Get it and protect yourself.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Arthur M. Jackson on June 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I first saw the title, I was skeptical and worried that this book was a witch hunt for alcoholics. When I read the book, I was amazed, at first at how consistent many of Thorburn's insights were to my experience, and then at how it helped me see my own history of alcoholism. I have 4+ years sober and attend AA regularly. This book helped me see my old behavior from a new vantage point. I gained a new level of clarity of my own defects (Step 4) and it help me articulate many amends (Step 9) in a practical context.

I understand the concern about credentials, but it doesn't really bother me. In my experience, and in talking with hundreds of recovered alcoholics, we were experts at hiding our addiction from the credentialed professionals. I wish more in the healthcare profession would read and at least consider Thorburn's points.

I think Thorburn's point is that, since alcoholism is a progressive disease, and since the alcoholic tends to have increasing destructive behaviors, it is simple common sense to be on the lookout for traits of early alcoholics---not to condemn the drinker, but to protect one's self-interest.

More importantly, if we can identify alcoholics earlier, we can take off our own blinders to their destructive behaviors, and stop enabling them. I, like most alcoholics, needed to hit bottom. I have learned that while we should not deprive an alcoholic of their bottom, if possible, we should try to raise their bottom, leading to an earlier and more likely successful recovery.

This book, and Thorburn's Myths and Realities, is an excellent synthesis of ideas. He has kinda "reverse-engineered" the disease and helped me see this progressive, destructive, and fatal disease from a better vantage point.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charlene Rubush VINE VOICE on June 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Doug Thorburn provides vital information for all of us, in this eye-opening, fascinating book.

It is the book I wish I'd had years ago when I was dealing with alcoholism, and didn't even know it. It might have saved me years of anguish, mental, emotional, and physical illness, and the loss of thousands upon thousands of dollars.

As we live in a drinking culture, everyone can greatly benefit from the knowledge Thorburn provides. In the introduction (p.1) he notes that one of the surprising things about alcoholism is how little experts know, even today. The definition they have agreed upon fails to describe the affliction in its early stages.

Some important points are:

1). The current practice of identifying alcoholism is comparable to waiting till tumors become the size of basketballs before diagnosing cancer.

2). Almost every alcoholic shows signs of the disease years or even decades before it progresses into latter-stage alcoholism, when chances for recovery are reduced.

3). Alcoholics are, usually, intrinsically decent people.

4). The earlier in the career of the alcoholic that private or legal sanctions are applied, the greater the chance of a return to normalcy.

5). Becoming clean and sober requires the imposition of responsibility and appropriate consequences.

The effects of alcoholism are mind-boggling. One alcoholism authority (p.88) estimates that 50% to 70% of all divorces involve alcoholism. The divorces are, in part, due to the alcoholic's propensity to create financial problems, as well as engage in domestic violence as well as non-physical abuse.

They are also often caused by the great tendency in addicts to commit adultery. Caroline Knapp (p.
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