- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: See Sharp Press (January 5, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1884365299
- ISBN-13: 978-1884365294
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,752,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Overcoming Your Alcohol, Drug & Recovery Habits Paperback – January 5, 2003
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Hard look at the addiction treatment industry---also charts the path for those wanting to quit. I heartily recommend this book. -- Bookviews.com, March, 2003. Alan Caruba, charter member of the National Book Critics Circle
About the Author
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 80%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Some reviewers seemed to be offended or bothered by the Desena's constant criticism towards AA and its offshoot programs. Those reviewers missed the point, I think, entirely. AA has-- by it's OWN account-- only a 5% success rate. Some studies have put this rate at between 2-5%. Additionally, because AA adheres to the faulty disease model regarding alcoholism and addiction, AAers believe they are ALWAYS sick and ALWAYS in need of neverending recovery, meetings, contact with their sponsors, contact with other self-professed sick people, ad infinitum. AA is dogmatic and encourages members not to think, just do the program. If members continue to think, and question and criticize the AA credo, they are accused of being in denial. It's a lose-lose scenario.
Desena is attempting to educate the public about the truth of 12 step recovery programs. Common belief is that AA works. The truth is that it doesn't work for 95% or more of those who try it. Actually, it might be a lot less than that because that 5% are only those that remain members. Those members that remain aren't counted because they remain sober, they're counted because they remain members. AA expects these members to have occasional relapses. So, we're not even talking about a SOBER 5%, necessarily. We're just talking about membership.
Harvard University estimates that those that quit without AA have a success rate of between 77-82%.
People need to know the truth, and the truth is hard to find unless we're lucky enough to be exposed to authors such as Desena, Peele, Schaler, Trimpey, Ellis, Fingarette, Horvath, etc. The mainstream media accepts the disease model and AA as the "only" effective treatment as do our schools, courts, etc. The word has to get out that not only isn't AA the only effective treatment, it's the LEAST effective treatment. To go a step further, it's not just the LEAST effective treatment, it's downright detrimental treatment! Imagine being told that you are powerless, have no control, are doomed to suffer from alcoholism and/or addiction your entire life, NEED AA to survive, must go to meetings on a daily basis, must do the steps, accept God into your life, have a spiritual awakening, admit your failures to others, spend your social time with other self-professed sick people, must put your sponsor above your family, live only for today (not set healthy goals for your future), are doomed to death or jail without AA, are doomed to relapse in the future, put the fellowship first at all times, stop thinking independently, stop questioning, listen to the same stories over and over again, etc., etc. Imagine this. This is OBVIOUSLY detrimenal, not helpful. Yet, most of us accept this propaganda as truth. In this book, Desena mentions Hitler's concept of the big lie: repeat it often enough, and people will believe it.
The only criticism I have of Desena's book is that his model to quit your addiction is identical in every single way to Jack Trimpey's model in Rational Recovery. Not only is it identical (Trimpey calls the addictive voice the "beast", while Desena calls it "the parasite"), he even uses the same words to describe the addict's feelings (the word ambivalence in a specific context-- not how it's commonly used). This was a put off.
However, at the same time, I found the book very helpful, and the rest of the book was full of useful information, so I gave it 4 stars. Additionally, as good as Jack Trimpey's book is, it hasn't been updated in awhile and some of the information in it regarding his Rational Recovery program is a little outdated, so this is a good book just because it's newer and the information that Desena has IS up to date. Still, the approach to quit IS so identical, I'm surprised that Desena had the nerve to state it was original. It would have made more sense if Trimpey and Desena collaborated on a new book. The other thing is, if you are just interested in the basic program to quit drinking and not the deprogramming aspect of the book, you can find most of the information on Jack Trimpey's site for free. He offers the basic program (which is identical to Desena's) on his website at no cost, and you can get a great idea of how it works. Desena's website is really jsut a sales pitch for the book.
My understanding of DeSena's material however, compels me to comment to those who find DeSena's material mirroring the Rational Recovery system developed by RR founder, Jack Trimpey. Just as similarities exist between Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, similarities exist between DeSena's and Trimpey's methodologies. And contrary to those who deem otherwise, DeSena does not claim that all his concepts are his sole creations. Rather, he states that through research, personal experience, and many conversations with those who have independently quit their addictions, he codified these addiction-ending methodologies/techniques and gave them names.
DeSena's name for the substance abuser's addictive self-talk is his metaphorical "The Parasite": "Just one won't hurt," "I gotta have it," "You can a few; just don't drive." In contrast, Trimpey presents his "Beast" as a real entity overshadowing the real you. In RR, the "Beast" is not metaphorical or symbolic. This alone is a huge concept difference.
Trimpey devised a Structural Model of Addiction to explain the addictive thinking process and addictive behavior. DeSena explains his model in physical terms through his Dual-Mind Cycle of Addiction. Unlike Trimpey's process, which involves separating the brain into two distinct entities-the neocortex (new brain) and the midbrain, (the beast brain)-DeSena takes us through this thinking process using corporal expressions involving the emotional brain, emotional mind, rational mind and rational brain. Again, this is a vast concept difference and in stark contrast to those who view DeSena's material analogous to Trimpey's. For me, DeSena's empirically valid explanation brought clarity to this often ill explained thinking process, (though Trimpey's explanation is valid and helpful, too). It also laid a solid foundation for applying the addiction-ending self-help techniques that followed.
There are only so many ways to explain cogent methodologies, which help undecided/ambivalent substance abusers make the decision (or to help those who have made the decision) to never drink or abuse other drugs again. In other words, a plethora of verbiage does not exist to describe, "never," or to describe the substance abuser's hesitance, (ambivalence) to make the decision to quit for good. Surely, certain points will overlap with the different methodologies. DeSena's methodology manifests through his Parasite Awareness, Warning, and Neutralize process, P.A.W.N. DeSena ties P.A.W.N. into the easily understood Dual-Mind Cycle of Addiction-a cycle which traces the substance abuser's addictive thinking process to the rational brain's verbalizations of addiction, survival, craving and pleasure messages such as: "Time for a drink," "I need it," and "I want it." Trimpey presents comparable methods through his Addictive Voice Recognition Technique, AVRTsm. While AVRTsm is designed to expose the "addictive voice," it exposes the addictive voice as the verbal manifestation of an actual internal Beast. Once more, it is clear that DeSena's metaphorical Parasite is far removed from Trimpey's real internal Beast. Nonetheless, both processes are viable alternatives to AA's largely ineffective 12-step method and 12-step treatment as promulgated via the majority of America's rehabs and addiction treatment providers in private practice.
I give DeSena's book, Overcoming Your Alcohol, Drug and Recovery Habits, 5 stars. I give Trimpey's book, Rational Recovery, 5 stars. Read them both and appreciate their differences, yet also value their harmony. Most importantly, whether you favor DeSena's Parasite metaphor and P.A.W.N. method, or Trimpey's Beast entity and AVRTsm system, these two books will doubly arm you to help yourself overcome your self-destructive addictive behavior.