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Sex, Drugs, Gambling, and Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions Paperback – August 1, 2003
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About the Author
Top customer reviews
Horvath's workbook is based on 2 premises: that addiction is an extreme version of habit and that overcoming addiction occurs using the same processes we use to change other habits. These ordinary processes include: increasing self-awareness, identifying and resolving conflict, discovering and developing alternative behaviors, using support from others, not acting on temptation, and being persistent.
Horvath doesn't agree that addiction is a disease and he believes moderation is possible and worth considering. He also, quite correctly, I believe, asserts that most people in AA benefit more from the social support rather than from total acceptance of the 12-step philosophy, and some people will benefit only from AA and NA, while some won't benefit from any approach.
When working this book, I gained the most insight from the cost/benefit analysis. Early in my addiction, there were many benefits. Drugs helped me cope with anxiety, depression, and boredom. They improved my social ability (or so I thought), gave me a sense of belonging, helped me feel self-confident, prevented pain, gave me energy, made me more creative and most importantly, produced euphoria. But over time, one by one, without my realizing it, these benefits were slowly replaced with their polar opposites and a tally of negative consequences too long to list here.
There are also three informative chapters on dealing with cravings, and Horvath suggests many support groups that are alternatives to AA and NA, but good luck finding them unless you live in California. "Sex, Drugs, Gambling, & Chocolate" is one more nail in the coffin of my addiction, and if you're like me, you need all the help you can get.
David Allan Reeves
Author of "Running Away From Me"
If you don't feel quite as strong as that, this book is a competently written work that you may find helpful and even very motivating, and empowering. This handbook is very informative, and information is power. On some level I was already aware of the principles and theories presented, but the author put them into focus for me and affirmed what I already knew about bad habits, associations, cravings, etc.
I definitely recommend this book.
Dr. Horvath's books is a good guide. I don't follow it to the letter, but often find myself using the exercises he recommends for clients, more or less in the order he prescribes.
The book feels like it is written a little too simply in places. However, better too simplistic than too dense to read. It is a practical and useful work.
John McConnell, Ph.D.
San Diego CA
This workbook offers a different approach. The book suggests accepting the benefits that are associated with the addiction and weighing them against the associated costs (material, emotional, etc...) The book helps find alternative methods for achieving the benefits, without the negative impact. The result is a solution that may not require total abstinence from the substance or activity. The book does recognize (and recommends) that in some cases, abstinence is the best method for approaching some addictions. The book points out that you are capable of making good decisions.
If you're struggling with one or more addictions I recommend using this book. If you're reading this, chances are you or someone you care about is struggling. There is hope. Whether you use this method or the traditional 12-step approach, there is hope. Don't give up. Don't get discouraged. If you're reading this, you're already headed in the right direction. Don't be afraid to ask for help.