Book review – a non disease, ┬ánon-12 step, approach to recovery from addiction

Some people are frustrated with the dominance of the only universally approach available to conquer addiction – the 12-Step Program, developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Millions of people have found recovery, solace and help with the “Drug/Behaviour-of-Choice” Anonymous programmes, but there are aspects of the “fellowships” that trouble many and 12-step is by no means the universal solution. Peele and Brodsky argue that despite the AMA’s and AA’s views that addiction is a disease and lifelong, there has not been a single successful study to prove addiction is a disease or that it cannot be overcome. Though the science is now pointing at ADHD as being a major predisposing cause of addiction.

By far the greatest majority of people give up addictions on their own. This book sets out an alternative approach, to seeking help from higher powers and the believe in lifelong disease of “addiction”. Peele and Brodsky cite several thorough sociological studies that show addiction, whether abusing credit cards, smoking cannabis or crack cocaine, is a symptom of a life out of control, not the cause. They discuss why and how people become addicted – when their lives lack meaning and hope, during painful transitions and when they lack the life skills or coping skills to ride out the rough edges of life.

The book is intelligently written with well substantiated with studies and offers an effective “Life Process Program” for overcoming addiction, with self-help, stress management strategies and achieving one’s goals.