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Addiction Is a Choice Paperback – 2002
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From Kirkus Reviews
paper 0-8126-9404-X The pendulum has begun its swing backcould it be that drug and alcohol addictions are not diseases after all, but bad personal choices? Can addiction be overcome by mustering the strength of character to turn away from such choices? Psychologist Schaler (Justice, Law, and Society/American Univ.; Smoking, Who Has the Right?, not reviewed) argues convincingly that society has erred in giving in completely to the AA vision that addiction is a disease, that addicts can't help themselves, and that they need a higher power to be saved. Addiction (which at one time meant only devotion or dedication) has come to mean ``any activity which individuals engage in, deliberately and consciously, and are physically unable to stop themselves from pursuing. Rejecting such a definition out of hand, Schaler maintains that ``people are responsible for their deliberate and conscious behavior. He is sympathetic for those struggling with addiction; he doesn't oversimplify his own or his opponents arguments; and he readily acknowledges his philosophical forefathers (Thomas Szasz, for one, from the last time the pendulum was at this end of its arc). His reading of the results of research into addictionthat it fails to support the disease modelis convincing. And his resulting suggestions for changes in public policy and for individual change demand consideration. If not a new model for viewing addiction, at least a provocative update of an old one. -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A clear and fascinating read. The wealth of information and fresh insights reflect the writer's career as a scholar-teacher-therapist, and especially his many years of research and practical work in the addiction field. The book dispels many myths about addiction and should provide liberating insights to the afflicted. -- Herbert Fingarette, author of Heavy Drinking, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, UCSB
Addiction Is a Choice is a powerful antidote against the twin poisons of anti-drug propaganda and drug prohibition. -- Thomas Szasz, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse
Schaler drives a stake into the heart of the 'disease' concept of addictions. Millions of people have stopped smoking, abusing mind-altering drugs, and drinking addictively on their own, without the intervention of counselors or doctors or programs. Dr. Schaler explains persuasively why and how this happens, despite all the genetic and hormonal predispositions. -- Joseph Gerstein, M.D. F.A.C.P., Harvard Medical School
This is indeed a rare book. Schaler has provided a unique, masterly work which explains addiction from a revelatory perspective. The reader can learn how the controversial area of addiction can be looked at and understood in a new light. -- Morris Chafetz, M.D., Founding Director National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
It's my hope that Dr. Schaler will write a book on ADHD and other common diagnoses. If any community could use encouragement and empowerment it's those children who are told they're minds are somehow wrong, their energy is inappropriate, their capability beneath others, and they need drugs to function. Many of today's physicians and therapists are fooling themselves if they fail to acknowledge the lasting effects such things have on children. I suppose just as with addiction "treatment", the labeling and drugging of children who dont think, speak, and act in total compliance with a school systems rigid methods creates customers for life. Here's to an eventual breakdown of this model of human destruction that exists under the guise of care.
If you are struggling, blaming or seeking solace in outside sources will only make it worse, Schaler argues. The struggles are real, but they are struggles with the problems of living. The avoidance of coping with life, by drinking or taking drugs, will not solve the underlying problems.
Calling addiction a disease does more harm than good. For the person who is struggling, It denies them free will and the ability to make a change in their life. They become slaves to a point of view that there is nothing one can do.
Self-determination is the cornerstone to all well-lived lives, in my view, and I think Schaler would agree. So let’s dispose of the “disease of addiction” model and instead try to improve people’s lives.
The disease model never made sense. If they can't control it then how does treatment help since all treatment relies heavily on cognitive therapy(talking)? Also, how do they stay abstinent if they "can't control" their "addiction"?
This book explains it clearly.
Most recent customer reviews
I have not read your book, and I don't plan to. I watched some of your interviews online and I had to stop everyone.Read more