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7 Tools to Beat Addiction Paperback – July 27, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this straightforward self-help guide, psychologist and addiction therapist Peele (The Truth about Addiction and Recovery) argues that, contrary to popular belief, the best way to overcome addiction is not through treatment in rehab centers or in formal groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, but rather through self-efficacy and self-reliance. "Successful therapies," he writes, "place the responsibility for changing your addictive behavior on you." Citing statistics from numerous studies, such as one that looked at heroin-addicted American soldiers in the Vietnam War, Peele points out that people quit addictions every day without any professional assistance. In fact, he says, research shows that alcoholics who do not enter treatment programs are more likely to quit abusing alcohol than those who do enter treatment. (Groups such as AA, Peele says, endorse themselves by telling members that there is no recovery without their programs, and so when members believe that they cannot successfully beat their addictions alone, they quickly relapse once they stop attending meetings.) Emphasizing a person’s own sense of responsibility as the driving force behind overcoming addiction, Peele’s book outlines seven tools that can serve as a foundation for successful recovery—Values, Motivation, Rewards, Resources, Support, a Mature Identity and Higher Goals—and includes exercises to help readers design their own program. The ultimate goal: to replace the "immature gratifications" of addiction with a "fulfilling, meaningful life" that includes a strong support structure. Peele tells readers that they have the power to create their own world of health and responsibility. His message will no doubt anger the countless Americans who have been helped by AA and other treatment programs, but could prove useful to those reluctant to seek outside help for their addictions.
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About the Author

STANTON PEELE, Ph.D., J.D., is the author of the groundbreaking books Love and Addiction, Diseasing of America, and The Truth About Addiction and Recovery. An adjunct professor at the New York University School of Social Work and a senior fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, he has won the Mark Keller Award from the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies and the lifetime scholarship award from the Drug Policy Alliance. Visit his website at www.peele.net.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; First Edition edition (July 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400048737
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400048731
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"7 Tools to Beat Addiction," by Dr. Stanton Peel

"As a clinician with a background in substance use treatment, I am always on the look-out for a good non-12-step bibliotherapeutic resource on compulsive-addictive disorders to share with my clients. However, I have long discovered not to trust my own opinion of the book's potential utility to the client and have been relying on a strategy of loaning a book to a few clients as a simple "field test" of its face validity as a didactic supplement to treatment, with an explicit permission to use highlight and underline the salient passages as a means of feedback to myself about what parts of the book "really click" with the clients.

Over the past couple of months I have had a chance to "pilot" Dr. Stanton Peele's recent book with a harmonious title of "7 Tools to Beat Addiction" on several clients of mine. The results are in. The pages that seem to have gotten client-readers' attention (highlighting, underlining, and in-session processing) are from the parts of the book devoted to a head-on challenge to the disease model of addiction. Dr. Peele, a long-standing counter-force to the disease model of addiction, effectively and with clarity deconstructs the disease assumptions, helping a prospective client reader to examine his or her belief structure that stands in the way of recovery. Dr. Peele succeeded in the challenging task of abbreviating the complex key points of his paradigm-breaking title "Diseasing of America" and presenting them to the client-reader in a tactful and easy to understand manner. In doing so, Dr. Peele presents important historical and sociological data as well as clinical and endearing family case-vignettes (see the story of Uncle Ozzie) about the phenomenon of self-change.
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I've binge eaten for decades. This addiction has been an albatross around my neck all my adult life. I quit a 2-pack-a-day smoking habit 25 years ago and quitting smoking was nothing compared to trying to quit binge eating. Bingeing has kept me from living my life fully and has comprised my health. I've spent much of my life feeling like a member of the 'living dead.' I've tried every type of therapy, diet, you-name-it, including Overeaters Anonymous to stop this self-destructive behavior.

I loved the camaraderie of OA and being around people who really got how difficult it is to stop bingeing. It's not a matter of 'just stop eating so much.' I didn't care for the 'powerless' part of OA or the idea that eating disorders are a 'disease.' Some people I met there go to meetings every single day. To me, that felt like substituting one type of imprisonment for another. Besides, many of the people I met at OA were still bingeing regularly and had experienced little success in beating their addictions. I stopped going.

I would consider going there again to speak with others who understand what it means to have an eating disorder, but not because I have any faith in their methods. I'm a spiritual person with a strong faith in God but the OA message did not resonate with me. 'Hand my disease over to my higher power? Make amends for all the wrongs I've committed?' Why should I make amends? I know I'm not perfect, but neither is any other human being on the planet. I see no sense in spending time focusing on everything I've done wrong in my life. I have always tried to behave in an ethical and loving way toward my fellow man. I've fallen short, but I'ved tried to learn from my mistakes and I've done my best.
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By KBM on July 14, 2005
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7 Tools to Beat Addiction is an excellent resource for those addicted to alcohol or other substances and want to enrich their lives while reducing or eliminating their alcohol intake.

7 Tools is much like The Truth About Addiction and Recovery, also by Peele. 7 Tools is a bit of a condensed version of the aforementioned Truth About Addiction. Nevertheless, if you read both books, you will gain information from both books. If you are feeling as if you are suffering and might not be able to focus on the more scholarly Truth About Addiction, then definitely pick up this book. You will be educated about the addiction process, about the pseudo-science that has pushed the disease model, and you will be given the tools you need to moderate your drinking or quit your drinking altogether.

Stanton Peele's research isn't based on feeling, like the AA model of alcoholism-as-a-disease. It's based on numerous studies by many different scientists done over the past several decades that have drawn the same conclusion OVER and OVER again. And, the conclusion is that it's NOT a disease-- despite the AMA and despite AA and despite every single organization that says it is. The proof lies in this point-- that there hasn't been even ONE successful study that has proven otherwise-- even when the study was created to PROVE that alcohol dependence was a disease.

AA ADMITS in it's own data that only 5% of AA members remain alcohol abstinent. The data that has been proven over and over again is that this number is LESS than those that quit drinking without AA. Additionally, a recent Harvard University Study stated that 80% of those that have quit drinking did it on their own. This goes against the disease model and AA approach.
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