- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; None edition (April 17, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618219072
- ISBN-13: 978-0618219070
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 70 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sober for Good: New Solutions for Drinking Problems -- Advice from Those Who Have Succeeded Paperback – April 17, 2002
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I strongly recommend the book.
I found this book enormously helpful. Because the findings are presented via real-life "masters" who have successfully managed their problem drinking, I found the lessons easy to relate to and personally relevant. More importantly, the book presented a more nuanced view of recovery than the one many of us have based on the mythology that has sprung up around 12-step programs. It isn't the necessarily the case that problem drinkers have to bottom out before getting better, or declare themselves alcoholics in front of a room full of strangers, or declare themselves powerless, or spend the rest of their life in meetings. In fact, about half of people who give up alcohol manage to do so on their own.
None of this is meant as a criticism of traditional 12-step programs, and book itself does not bash AA. Rather, the book is up front about the pros and cons of various approaches to treatment, presenting a menu of options for problem drinkers to explore. As always, the information given is grounded in the real-world experiences of successfully recovered drinkers.
For me, this is both a useful book and a hopeful book, certainly not the last one I will read on this topic, but a very good place to start.
Finally, one complaint about the Kindle edition of this book: the sidebars in the book are not formatted correctly, so you can only read the first page of information for each one. Often the sidebars contain highly relevant details such as where to go for further information, so its a bit frustrating that they are truncated. Hopefully this will be corrected in future editions.
Update: It's been a little over a year since I reviewed this book, and I notice that the reviews remain polarized. Most love it, but some are very vocally opposed, largely on the basis that the book considers alternatives to 12-step programs. I'm not terribly interested in this debate, but I will stress, as the book does, that people are diverse and respond differently to different approaches. I gave up alcohol entirely for a year (which was my goal), and recently started having occasional drinks on social occasions. I am still experimenting to figure out where my comfort level is, and I may return to complete abstinence. Regardless, I am ecstatic about the progress I've made, and I will continue to recommend this book to anyone facing similar issues. But mainly I recommend taking the plunge and making a change in your life. You won't regret it.
Sober for Good is a book filled with hope. It offers perspectives rarely seen in alcohol-related materials, and I sincerely hope that it gets wide distribution.
I'm a certified moderator (volunteer small group leader) for Women for Sobriety groups, and this book is a driving force in the sobriety of nearly all of the women I meet. Not everyone benefits from AA, and it's incredibly validating to see that other people similar to ourselves have gotten sober (and stayed sober!) using other methods.
The book is put together in a way that allows the reader to go to the parts that relate most to her/his situation, which is particularly important for people still grappling with addiction or newly sober.
You go, Anne. You have a big fan club in San Francisco!