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Willpower's Not Enough: Recovering from Addictions of Every Kind Paperback – September 26, 1990


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Willpower's Not Enough: Recovering from Addictions of Every Kind + 12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery: Avoiding Relapse through Self-Awareness and Right Action + 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone: Choosing Emotional Sobriety through Self-Awareness and Right Action
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 26, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060919698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060919696
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arnold M. Washton, Ph.D., is founder and executive director of Recovery Options (www.recoveryoptions.us), a private addiction treatment practice located in New York City and Princeton, New Jersey. An internationally recognized addiction psychologist and book author, Dr. Washton has developed an directed several well-known substance abuse treatment programs and has served as consultant to professional sports teams, government agencies, and major corporations.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 44 customer reviews
It helped me gain a better understanding of addiction and recovery.
Laurie Mc Loughlin
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is strugging with an addictive behavior.
Longstreet
This is not your average text book, very interesting read and it goes very quickly.
Jeanne Burman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Cassiopea on September 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I disagree with the last reviewer. This book offers an unusual, and highly useful, perspective on the causes and treatments of addiction. Typically, the goal of most self-help books on the subject is abstinence from use. The present book considers abstinence only the first step in the life-long process of addiction recovery. The book focuses on addictive behaviors and personality traits, how they originate, why they lead to addiction. It gave me terrific insight into why I can quit smoking, but then relapse after a few months. Highly recommended to any thinking person interested in understanding and recovering from their addiction.
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 14, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though the book targets the American readers, i found that it is also useful for everyone as long as they are exposed to addictions of all kinds. This book helps me understand more about myself and the others, help me to learn how to be more compassionate and understanding, not only to myself, but to the whole human world as well. It would be a great loss if you miss this book!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
I thought before I purchased this book that I "might" have an addiction. This book clearly shows how the seed of addiction is planted in childhood. At times the book really hit hard; reading the symptoms and feelings THAT I HAD made me realize there was no denying that I have an addictive personality. The author is very encouraging, but doesn't promise a "quick fix". The book is to be used as a tool to help one on their journey to overcome their addiction(s). I'm happy to say i'm on my way to overcoming 3 addictions with the help of this book and an online 12 step program. I recommend this book to anyone who thinks they might have an addiction.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By M Shep on February 16, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I rarely write reviews of books I've read but had to chime in with the previous reviewer to say that this is a TERRIFIC book for anyone who finds himself/herself ashamed or frustrated by the inability to stop an addiction. It's more than I've gotten from 12-step meetings because it delves into the creation of an addiction from a neuropsychological point of view. That has really helped me recognize what's going on in my head, so I can appreciate the fact that from a physiological point of view, I REALLY AM ADDICTED to some things, and need the group process to fight the battle.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
Being a recovering addict as well as a medical professional, I found this book very helpful in aiding me to explore my own addiction in an objective manner. Further, it offers excellent suggestions for coping, changing, and support. If you are an addict, please read this book. It will help.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Barbara S. Reeves on December 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
According to Webster's New World College Dictionary, "dis" is a prefix meaning, "opposite or lack of." "Ease" means "freedom form pain, worry or trouble." So "dis-ease" must mean "lack of freedom from pain, worry or trouble." I can't think of a better way to describe addiction. "Willpower's Not Enough: Recovery from Addictions of Every Kind" by Arnold Washton and Donna Boundy can help you rediscover that freedom.

That's the whole paradox of addiction - when we started using, drugs and alcohol offered us freedom from pain, worry and trouble. But in the end, they only created more of what we were trying to escape.

Washton and Boundy compare addiction to a bad marriage with five stages: infatuation, honeymoon, betrayal, on the rocks, and trapped. When the addict reaches the trapped stage and finally decides to quit, he attempts to use willpower and self-control. But it doesn't work because he will continue to suffer from the emotional pain that made him use in the first place. It's like he's removed a band-aid to expose a nasty, suppurating wound that won't heal on its own. Eventually he'll put the band-aid back on because he can't, or won't, see the real issue. Drugs are not the problem; the emotional pain is!

"Willpower's Not Enough" looks at the microcosm of addiction - the person - as well as the macrocosm - society. Something is wrong with our country when, at five percent of the world's population, we consume sixty percent of the world's illicit drugs. Our society has created the perfect culture for addiction to thrive, and we are in denial about it. Even Hillary Clinton, when discussing the Mexican drug wars at our border, acknowledged that we need to figure out why our country has such a huge appetite for drugs.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Joanna L. Goode on November 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Willpower is not Enough is the best book on addiction that i have read so far and i have read dozens. it gives a brilliant breakdown of the personality traits that most addicts tend to have, why people become addicts and why they continue to use drugs despite such painful consequences, the typical kinds of families that addicts tend to come from, what drugs really offer the drug addict that make the consequences so worth it, what codependents get out of their obsession, and finally a step by step guide explaining how to pull oneself out of the hopeless cycle of addiction and into healthy living. this book is comprehensive, brilliant, original, brave, and hopeful.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Longstreet on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many books concerning 12-step programs and recovery from addiction; and this is truly one of the best that I have ever picked up. Although the book takes a general approach---combining alcoholism, gambling, sex, food, etc. together---it offers profound insights into all addictions. It is well-written, easy to read, and offers many useful suggestions regarding recovery. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is strugging with an addictive behavior.
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