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The Truth About Addiction and Recovery Paperback – March 15, 1992

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (March 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671755307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671755300
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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87 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Charles on May 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have known people to sober up with 12 Step Programs. And without them. I have been sober for over 20 years and I did not avail myself of AA. According to AA, this is not possible. But AA does not see those of us who simply didn't buy into the disease model - one that oddly enough finds treatment in peer groups - disparaged by one 12 stepper below. Umm - 12 step programs ARE peer groups - nothing more happens than listening and talking - both of which can be quite magical. I just am living proof that you don't need Bill W. to do it. I didn't want to "keep coming back" to rooms of people who only had my "disease" in common. So I surrounded myself with "healthy" people. It was hard. I didn't have the excuse of "my disease talking" because I had to take responsibility for the garbage coming from my mouth. I had to take responsibility for my actions. And I did it all at once. Stanton Peele is not against AA - if it works for you. But there is precious little scientific evidence pertaining to AA (it IS an anonymous program, after all) and when a friend started in AA and worried about the "sick and suffering alcoholics" who left the program, I sought them out and found more than a few - NOT drinking. They were busy holding jobs and being in families and friendships and pursuing interests and did not want AA to be one of those interests. Of course, that is just anecdotal evidence. But it's mine and good enough for me. Just like the AA "evidence" is anecdotal. Good to see somebody not just blinding swallowing the party line.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By joonypie on December 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will be celebrating my first year of sobriety in a few weeks; an achievement that took nearly five years of effort to realize. I really wish that I had come across this book a lot earlier in the process. If I had would it have shortened a long and arduous journey? Did the assumption that A.A. was the only answer prolong a miserable period in my life?

I have read criticisms of A.A. in the past, most long in judgment short in content, that is NOT the case with this book. The author's purpose is not to attack A.A. but to present the reader with all the available facts concerning addiction and recovery, however the facts do contradict the tenets of A.A. and commonly held beliefs thereof. From the very first chapter of this book you are presented with supportable facts and reasonable conclusions about the nature of addiction. The simple yet profound thesis of this book calls the disease model of addiction into question and more importantly makes the reader aware of why the distinction between disease and behavior is a crucial one.

I scarcely cared if I had a disease or not, I just wanted to quit wrecking my life; I was ready to believe anything.... so I earnestly began the suggested steps (the steps are much like insulin to a diabetes patient I was taught, without them I would surely die) but had only limited success and no spiritual awakening. It became clear to me after several years that I had to get ME sober, no one else or nothing else was going to do it for me, only then did I begin to succeed. What, you may ask, does this have to do with the merits of the disease model? I didn't know either until I read this book.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Emanlaer on February 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
I just finished a nine month stint in alcohol recovery. I entered voluntarily, which I'm glad for, but of course I was in the company of many who had been forced by the legal system into the same treatment. As is pretty much always the case, when you get a DUI or some other form of alcohol- or drug-related charge, the legal system thinks your "best" choice is treatment.

So I've been there. And I did the required reading and the required AA meetings. (In fact I'm the secretary of my home AA meeting.) I read "Under the Influence" by Milam and Ketchum. That book of course is reviewed here on, lauded for its brilliance and comprehensiveness, and its followers no doubt enjoy Milam's pokes at the members of the establishment who reject his Disease Model.

I have been saying "I'm and alcoholic" for ten months now. My wife would tell you unequivocally that, sadly, her husband is an alcoholic, but the good thing is he has a disease, so the prognosis can be good. The odd part of this is that I only drank on weekends. I have never heard of a disease that afflicts its host every Friday and goes into remission the following Sunday.

So "The Truth About Addiction" was like a long needed breath of fresh air. Finally, here was a guy saying the kind of things that I had been feeling for months. Interestingly, in the same manner that alcoholics who find for the first time they have a disease are relieved to realize they aren't moral degenerates, I was relieved to realize that I was not the only one who thinks Milam is full of crap.

I'm mixed on the effectiveness of the Twelve-Step model. There are definitely benefits. I personally believe that the greatest benefit of AA is "the fellowship.
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