Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict

The book I have been working on with Stanton Peele will be released on February 4th, 2014. Recover! is now available for sale on Amazon.


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


  • I look forward to reading this. I remember you talking a bit about
    mindfulness, when I came on the old site and think it is a really
    helpful technique to learn. I have used it for a few years now and feel
    quite different and react to situations in a calmer way. Stanton has
    written some good books in the past, and I thought diseasing of America
    was great.
    It may be an idea for you to join the site as the the site owner often talks about
    mindfulness and has written a good book about recovery without the 12
    step method. They have a book review section and around 20,000 members,
    so you may sell quite a few copies. It is great to see people embracing these techniques and writing positive things about them so that others can find a better way to recover.
    Glad to see you have the site back!

    • Hi LovingLife52, thanks for letting people know that this site was back up on your site which is also ” back up” again!

      When you mentioned the Soberista site on your blog I checked it out, and it is filled with lots of good info and has considerably in the past year. The more the merrier.

    • Thanks, Lovinglive52. I’ll go check in on soberistas now!

      • I mentioned it to you publisher who emailed me via my site. I don’t know if she got message as I do not seem to have a reply to my email, but that site is growing very quickly at the moment and has a lot of members who have recently stopped

  • SPJ

    How wonderful ! Yeahhhhhh !!! Add this book to the growing chorus of AA detractors. AA is equivalent to faith healing or leech therapy with no disrespect to leech therapy because it actually works in certain circumstances. I am not for killing AA outright, but I am for defining it as a religious cult based on faith healing and putting it in its appropriate place in medicine and society. AA’s heyday is over and its about damn time.

    • Thanks, SPJ!

      (I hear that Leech therapy helps with cauliflower ear.)

  • violet

    Proud of you, Ilse. Missed you guys. So very glad you are back. xxoo

    • Thanks, Violet. I have missed you, too.

  • Really Great to see Stinkin Thinkin back up. Congratulations on your book Ilse!
    I look forward to reading it. What a great way to start out 2014. Thank you for all of your hard work as you have been instrumental in exposing AA and lighting a fire under many of us to expose AA and NA too!

    • Thank you so much AntiDenial. 2 weeks!

  • SPJ

    I’ll put my prediction here. 2014 will be a year of decline for AA and 2015 will contain at least one class action lawsuit against AA directly or one of many organizations that promote 12 Steps. AA is being proven to be utter religious faith-healing nonsense dressed up as a treatment for alcohol abuse and when people finally realize how damaging it has been to society some are gonna be pissed enough to sue – big time.
    Further, all hospitals should boot AA off the premises because of the liability it represents today. They are places of medicine and not faith healing facilities and allowing AA on premise is a direct endorsement of its validity, of which it has none. Once AA scam artists figure out they can sue the hospital if they are harmed by AA, they will start to do that too. Think about it. When you go to the hospital for any other “treatment”, you have to sign waivers and contracts and other paperwork and that is mostly to protect the hospital. With AA, the sick diseased sufferer simply walks into the hospital to get their dose of AA nonsense treatment. Nothing is signed, there is no protection for anyone from any direction. AA doesn’t work for you? Sue the hospital. The “treatment” was at their facility and, hey, no waivers were signed. It’s wide open. Pay Day !

    • massive

      spj- I do hope this happens and I agree I think the time is here now. Especially having Insurance pay for faith healing cult religious groups as if it is real help. I know they will be sued. They have been but they need to be served and it needs to stick. ” Sue the hospital. The “treatment” was at their facility”

  • SPJ- I hope you are right! That would be awesome. Espechially with the books, blogs, articles and Massive’s documentary it is bound to to help make your prediction come true.

    I agree about hospitals making themselves vulnerable to lawsuits by having 12 step programs under their roof.

  • Here are a few mindfulness related links which people interested in the book may like.
    The first from Smart recovery talking about mindfulness
    and here is a more general piece from the guardian

  • guest

    I’m so pleased to see that this site is active again. Stinkin’ Thinkin’ was extremely helpful to me in getting me to quit AA forever, a decision I have never regretted. Thanks, and good luck!

  • I just read your book and was really impressed. I got in kindle as it is not out in th UK yet. It gives a really good method to recover and talks about many methods that I have found useful – especially mindfulness. I think this will help a lot of people if they are motivated to get well!

    • Wow, Lovinglife! Thanks for reading it. You know, I haven’t even SEEN it yet! Somehow my copies from the publisher were hung up… I can’t wait to get one in my hands 🙂

      • I put a review on my site – I really think the book is good. Really thought provoking.

        • Thanks for the great and thorough review! I appreciate it so much!!

          You know, I only just got a copy of the book today! I haven’t even seen it till just a couple hours ago. 🙂

          • I think your publisher is going to send me a book as a couple of people got in touch with me via my website. It is probably stuck in customs! Which happens a lot to me. I really like the Kindle version as I can just click on the web links on the iPad. Anyway, glad your copy has arrived!

  • When AA Hurts- Psychology Today April 23rd 2014 Stanton Peele had guest columnist Juiet Abrams write a first hand account about how she was hurt by AA and before. Thanks Juliet and Stanton!

  • XNA

    I have just bought this on my Kindle. Glad to see the site back in use.It has been years since I use to post on here.

  • addiction recovery is already tough when you are doing it on your own. this book will really be a great and helpful read to those who need all the help they can get.

  • Anna Gregory

    The most useful recovery book I have ever read!