I’m a producer for CBS NEWS. We’re working on a story that focuses on safety issues coming out of contacts made at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. If you feel you’ve been harassed or “13thStepped” by someone you met at an AA meeting, I’d like to talk with you. Also, if you discovered that person was “court-mandated” to attend AA, please contact me.
The book I have been working on with Stanton Peele will be released on February 4th, 2014. Recover! is now available for resale on Amazon and at my friend’s bookstore, St. Johns Booksellers, in Portland, OR.
Reviews are in!
Recover! goes well beyond brainless, mindless, and choiceless approaches to addiction. Dr. Stanton Peele’s work offers hope for mindful, practical, and liberating addiction treatment and self-help.
–Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Founder, Program in Psychiatry and the Law at BIDMC Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School
12-step treatment worsened my addiction to the point that I nearly died of withdrawal. Stanton Peele’s books saved my life by showing me that I was not powerless and did not need to be rescued by a “Higher Power.” For a step-by-step guide on how to overcome addiction I most highly recommend Dr. Peele’s new book Recover!
–Kenneth Anderson, MA, Founder and CEO of HAMS Harm Reduction for Alcohol
In Recover!, Stanton Peele and Ilse Thompson offer a blueprint to help addicts cope with their triggers, from loneliness and feeling unworthy, anxious, and overwhelmed. Recover! focuses on what’s right in the addict’s life, and adding to it. It’s a hopeful, tangible set of tools designed to give power back to the addict—not give it up.
–Gabrielle Glaser, author of The New York Times bestseller Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink—And How They Can Regain Control
“I am a recovering addict” was the way someone introduced himself to me on my first visit to the USA. He explained he had been in recovery for the past 25 years. The irrationality, helplessness and disempowerment inherent in this statement shocked me. This is what the disease model of addiction does to people. I am in agreement with Stanton Peele that people are not powerless or helpless in the face of dependence on drugs, and the evidence supports this view. This book dispels that, and other myths about drugs. Stanton has come up with another must-read book.
–Professor Pat O’Hare, co-founder and former director of Harm Reduction International
At a time when addiction is being trumpeted as a “brain disease,” Peele slashes through the hyper-medicalized rhetoric to get to the human core of addiction and recovery. This acutely insightful and compassionate book is required reading for anyone struggling with an overwhelming habit.
–Sally Satel, MD, co-author of Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience; lecturer, Yale University School of Medicine
Stanton Peele’s insistence that addiction is not a disease, but a symptom of dysfunctional societies, families, and/or psyches is compelling, compassionate, and almost certainly correct. In Recover!, his most impressive work to date, he lays out a program—both utterly simple and profound—that will quite literally save lives by addressing the root causes of addiction rather than pathologizing its many manifestations.
–Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. & Cacilda Jethá, M.D., authors of The New York Times bestseller Sex at Dawn
In his latest book, Recover!, pioneering addiction expert Dr. Stanton Peele moves on to exciting new ground by providing practical advice and tools for dealing with addiction, based on Buddhist-inspired mindfulness techniques. It is essential reading for those who want to understand the reality of addiction and ways it can be effectively addressed. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to move on from their own addiction or is supporting someone else to overcome their addiction.
–Julian Cohen, author of Drugs and Young People: Essential Information and Advice for Parents and Professionals
For decades, Stanton Peele has been at the forefront of the battle to understand addictions and eliminate the twin myths that addicts are powerless over their addictions and that they have a lifelong “brain disease.” In Recover! he has taken another crucial step toward freeing us from these prejudicial, disempowering misconceptions while truly helping people suffering with addiction.
–Lance Dodes, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (Retired); co-author, The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry
Recover! is Stanton Peele’s most comprehensive workbook. It provides an astonishing array of resources, neatly organized into accessible and sensible tasks, and a final chapter for coping with unexpected problems. In this book you will find guidance on everything you need to address in recovery. Peele writes as if he were a close friend, explaining important concepts carefully and with genuine concern that you truly understand them. You can relax and soak up what he says, feeling your perspective and life change with each sentence. He doesn’t tell you what to do, but shows you the tasks that need to be accomplished and gives you options for moving forward. Many readers may well emerge from this book and think, “I knew that!” True enough, but only after reading Peele, who masterfully re-connects us with our own wisdom.
–Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP; President, SMART Recovery® and Practical Recovery; Past President, American Psychological Association’s Division on Addictions
Stanton Peele’s writing has been a Copernican paradigm shift in the field of recovery. With his Diseasing of America, Peele emerged as a savvy provocateur with the guts to take on the recovery establishment. With Recover! Peele shares his clinical wisdom and compassion with those who are on the path of change and self-acceptance. Recover! is a recovery program of practical perfection without the typical recovery perfectionism.
–Pavel Somov, Ph.D., author of Lotus Effect and Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time
Recover! is a powerful new tool for helping people with addictions heal and grow. Dr. Stanton Peele is a trailblazer who has led each new progressive wave in the addictive behaviors field since the 1970s. Today, Dr. Peele is a leading voice for a new shift in the field, one that refutes the myth that addicted people are victims of a permanent disease that they can arrest only by accepting their powerlessness and lifelong abstinence. Recover! is a how-to guide to recovery through cultivating mindful awareness and self-compassion. The book introduces Stanton’s PERFECT Program, a creative blend of ideas and practical strategies for leaving addiction behind while creating the life you want. Inspiring, hopeful, and a good read as well.
–Andrew Tatarsky, PhD, author, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems; Director, Center for Optimal Living, NYC
Probably the world’s most notable figure in addiction studies, Stanton Peele has written another great book. Recover! really is a self-help book. Unlike most of what you read, it teaches you to help yourself, rather than telling you to rely on a treatment system because helping oneself is impossible. Stanton’s work assisted my recovery many years ago, and he can help you now.
–Peter Ferentzy, Ph.D., author of Dealing with an Addict: What You Need to Know if Someone You Care for Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem
Stanton Peele knows more about addiction than anyone in the world. Every one of his books is a masterpiece. So is this one. The materials in this book are factual, inspiring and helpful for anyone making for change on their own. If you need additional help, take this book to a good therapist. Ask them to help you apply Peele’s materials. You will be very happy with the results!
–Robert M. Muscala, R.N., Addiction/Chemical Health Specialist, Minnesota
In the midst of the turbulence about defining and dealing with addiction, Stanton Peele has consistently articulated one of the few sane voices. Increasingly, research has proved that he is right. Recover! continues and extends his presence at the forefront of advice and help based on common sense and efficacy for those struggling with addiction.
–Liese Recke, Manager of Clinical Treatment, Oslo Norway, and former addict
So, my dear friend Gabrielle Glaser just published a book called Her Best Kept Secret: Why Women Drink and How They Can Regain Control. Since it was released, Gabrielle has been making a splash in the media. Not only is the subject matter timely, but she calls out AA as ineffective and inappropriate, especially due to the complete lack of oversight and accountability built into the program. So, she’s been featured all over the place lately — on the Wall Street Journal Live and was interviewed by Maia Szalavitz for Time‘s Healthland.
Gabrielle interviewed my other dear friend, Monica Richardson (founder of stop13stepinAA.wordpress.com, and whom many of us know as Massive) for her book and featured her story and activism toward making AA accountable and safe.
Since I don’t think about posting on the blog much anymore, I completely botched the opportunity to announce that Gabrielle and Monica were going to appear on Katie Couric’s show last night! Please go catch the interview on the website.
Great job, you guys! So exciting to see you on TV!
A day after a Romenesko reader noted that Roger Ebert was an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor for reporters, A.A. sent a message to journalists on its email list. It says that “our fellowship does not comment on matters of public controversy, but we are happy to provide information about A.A. to anyone who seeks it.”
Check out some of the comments.
“We took a closer look and realized what we had here was a pretty significant drug operation,” said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb with the Seattle Police Department.
“It’s like, show-up early, stay late and get your drugs and in-between,” Whitcomb said. “If you want to learn a little more about AA, we can talk about that too.”
The New Republic review of Anne M. Fletcher’s Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth About Addiction Treatment-and How to Get Help That Works
My favorite two sentences in the Alcoholics Anonymous literature are: “Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its twelve steps are but suggestions.” When a drunk at the end of his tether, Bill Wilson, founded Alcoholics Anonymous in the late 1930s—a spiritual program based on meeting with other addicts—there was a fundamental humility to his ideology: It might work for some.
But that sentiment is often forgotten in the rooms of AA itself, where I spent a lot of time getting sober. There I found that what are suggestions to some are fundamentalist Scripture to others. In the rooms of AA, suggestions and traditions can sometimes feel more like ironclad laws, and when I inadvertently trespassed upon those laws, I was humiliated and rebuked. The predominantly AA-based culture of rehab in America has become one of imposition and tautology: If the program doesn’t work for you, then you didn’t work the program. If you succeed in staying sober, then you did a good job working the program; ergo, the program works.
Parents Accuse AA of Harboring a Predator
LOS ANGELES (CN) – Grieving parents say in court that their daughter was murdered by her sociopathic addict boyfriend because Alcoholics Anonymous concealed his history of domestic violence. Eric Allen Earle allegedly strangled 31-year-old Karla Brada to death on Aug. 31, 2011, after Brada asked him to move out of her condo in Santa Clarita. After the murder, Earle reportedly spent the night sleeping next to Brada and called the authorities when he found her unresponsive in the morning.
Here’s Stinkin’ Thinkin’ in its museum incarnation. All the posts and comments are available to read, but it’s no longer active. We won’t be posting (unless we have a really good reason or feel like it) and the comments have been disabled. You can read our goodbye post here.