Archive for the Stanton Peele Category

Treatment 4 Addiction Responds to Peele

A “rebuttal” to “AA Is Ruining The World“:

“‘Addiction Expert’s’ Rant on Alcoholics Anonymous”

According to addiction expert Stanton Peele, there’s a dangerous organization that has the entire world’s safety in jeopardy. This organization is comprised of men and women from all races and creeds, rich and poor and is coming to a town near you! In fact, you may already be living right next door to one of their secret meeting hide outs. Their goals are to be happy joyous and free, to help those in trouble, and to mend relationships from the past in order to live a full and happy life free from drugs and alcohol. The organization costs no money and has no rules or regulations, and no leader. What’s even more frightening is that you may work with a member or even have one in your family! They like to remain anonymous to practice humility. Yes, the thing that Stanton Peele believes to be the end of civilization is none other than Alcoholics Anonymous.

Read the rest, if you’re interested in a longer-than-average, Serenity Rant, full of humble sanctimony, passive aggression (like the title), straw men ( “We all know how much parents hate when their kids aren’t binge drinking and stealing from Mom’s purse to buy more crack!”), sarcasm, protestations of humility, quackery, and saccharine. And finally, the ubiquitous accusations of ignorance:

Again, if Peele had read some of our literature before writing his article he may have a more clear understanding of the difference between alcoholics, hard drinkers and normal drinkers.

This is like telling a biologist that if he’d only read Genesis, he’d have a more clear understanding of the origin of life.  Seriously, if you just read it…

Bonus question: What makes them think we haven’t? Do they believe so blindly that they can’t conceive of someone with an intimate knowledge of AA rejecting it?

AA Is Ruining The World

AA Is Ruining The World”

The latest from Stanton Peele:

I was invited to the UK and Denmark to speak by harm reduction activists who are worried about the impact of AA and the 12 steps in their countries. Both Patrick O’Hare, who founded in Liverpool the organization now called Harm Reduction International, and Nanna Gotfredsen, founder and director of Copenhagen’s Street Lawyers, who run a clean needle program and other services for drug users and addicts, watch with alarm as the gains they have made dealing with addicts over previous decades erode. You see, both the British and the Danish governments are increasingly buying into the AA line that abstinence is the best and most achievable goal, both for individual addicts and for their nations.

Read on…



A new comment left on a 2009 Psychology Today blog post by Stanton Peele:

Psychologist / Alcoholic / Addict / AA Member

Submitted by Anonymous on September 18, 2011 – 6:52pm.

I am a psychologist who is clean and sober 17 years. I owe my sobriety to the fellowship (the group of fellow recovering alcoholics) and the program (12 step) of AA. That’s the plain and simple truth.

It amazes me how fellow psychologists who are not alcoholics (or who are but drink their 2-3 cocktails every day freely, denying that they might have a problem) speak against the ONLY “treatment” for alcoholism that works for EVERYONE. Yes, you heard me correctly. AA has a 100% success rate for those who remain in the program long enough to 1) lose the obsession and 2) go through the full 12-step process as it outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Peele responds appropriately:

You should [lose] your license,

Submitted by Stanton Peele on September 18, 2011 – 6:57pm.

you nut.

I wonder if this psychologist thinks you have to be schizophrenic to treat schizophrenics. Maybe you have to have Alzheimer’s in order to treat other Alzheimer’s patients.

Ruth Fowler: Rigorous Honesty in Journalistic Ethics

When I read Ruth Fowler’s defense of the 12 steps in The Fix, I was surprised. Ruth had interviewed me for The Fix a few months ago, for an article on revolutionary addiction experts, and during the “developing a rapport” portion of the interview, she offered me her personal story. Unbidden, she told me that she decided to give up alcohol when she moved to the States and started dating an addict in recovery. She quit only to support him, she told me, but she had since learned to love the hangover-free lifestyle and the bonus weight loss. Her interest in the subject of addiction? Just her innate British curiosity, she said.

I don’t know if lying violates the 12 steps (I don’t see how it could, since everyone in AA lies) but it certainly violates journalistic ethics. In my case Ruth’s deception resulted in an inaccurate, biased and derogatory profile of me (within a couple of days after the article posted, some of Ruth’s nastier observations were edited out and re-written*). For publications with an ethical code (which of course leaves out The Fix), Ruth is poison.

Since the interview appeared, Ruth has kept in touch, oblivious that the story she told me is inconsistent with the the yarn she spins for The Fix. Ruth is alternately a liar, a fabricator of convenient stories, or simply a person who has no idea of what the truth is, even in the most intimate areas of her life.

In short, she is the ideal spokesperson for AA and The Fix.


* The pre-edited version of Stanton’s entry reads:

Few have been as controversial, or caused as much noise, as Stanton Peele. While his argument hasn’t changed much over the last 25 years, and while scientific evidence has emerged to prove it increasingly less relevant, good ole Peele staunchly sticks to his point: that alcoholism/addiction is not a disease or a biological function, is not present at a genetic level, and cannot be studied through science. Addiction is, he believes, a product of culture and an individual’s response to that experience. In this view, what he terms “temperance” cultures–the UK and US–who treat alcoholism with abstinence, have more problems with drinking than France, Italy and Spain, where the people are moderate drinkers with “normalized” attitudes toward alcohol from a young age. Peele’s arguments are relevant but his stubborn resistance to abstinence and A.A., lauding of programs which favor moderation and management, and rejection of proven scientific and clinical studies have proven incredibly controversial, making him a little outdated in a field that’s ever-expanding in knowledge. Now, if Stanton Peele could incorporate his viewpoint in with scientific, biological, genetic, emotional and spiritual ingredients, he’d have his finger on the pulse. But then he wouldn’t be Stanton Peele–begrudger of abstinence, sobriety, Dr. Drew and AA.

The current version reads:

Few figures in the recovery world have been as controversial as Stanton Peele. While his argument have [sic] been vehemently challenged by many AA stalwarts, Peele, who has authored countless books and treatises on the subjects, remained staunchly committed to his thesis that AA is not the only way to teat [sic] addiction, and that alcoholism is not a chronic and progressive disease. Most addictions, he believes, are a product of culture and an individual’s response to their personal experience. In his view, “temperance-oriented” cultures like Britain and the United States, who largely believe in abstinence-only cures, tend to suffer much higher alcoholism rates than nations like than France, Italy and Spain, where people are trained to develop “normalized” attitudes toward alcohol from a young age. Peele’s moderation-management methods are lauded by a vocal minority of addiction experts and advocates, but his willingness to challenge A.A. and the complete abstinence model of recovery, have made him a virtual pariah among hard-core A.A. enthusiasts.

Links and quoted material added by friendthegirl.

“The Heretic”

Hey, Stanton’s on the front page of The Fix this morning.

The Gospel According to Stanton Peele

I think this is the best articulation of his position on addiction I’ve seen.


Stanton Peele on Dr. Drew

Speaking of harm reduction, Stanton calls bullshit on Dr. Drew this morning:

Dr. Drew

But a broader idea is this — if addiction is a medical disease, why are Dr. Drew — and especially CNN’s Laurie Dhue and Jeremy London, an ex-star TV patient Dhue interviews along with Dr. Drew — so down on Charlie Sheen? People don’t get down on cancer victims.

Really, the AA model — and Drew Pinsky’s updated synthesis of medicine and AA — are actually intensely moralistic and judgmental temperance holdovers. One never sees Dr. Drew speak on television about the need for methadone (or heroin) maintenance, or clean needles, or (heaven forbid) safe injection sites or wet housing for alcoholics — so-called harm-reduction techniques that could be seen as reasonable derivatives of the idea that addicts and alcoholics suffer from an incurable disease.


Stanton Peele on Harm Reduction Radio

Kenneth Anderson from HAMS Network is hosting Stanton Peele tonight at (8pm EST; 5pm PST), on Blog Talk Radio for his series on Addiction Treatments That Work:

Stanton Peele on Addiction in the Real World

Dr. Stanton Peele has revolutionized the way we view addiction with the publication of such books as “Love and Addiction,” “The Diseasing of America,” “7 Tools to Beat Addiction” and “Addiction-Proof Your Child.” Dr. Peele has been an outspoken critic of addiction treatment programs such as AA and 12 step programs which are based on divine revelation rather than clinical research. Dr. Peele has also long been an advocate of evidence based approaches to addiction treatment such as Harm Reduction, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Community Reinforcement Approach. We are most pleased and proud to bring you an interview with Dr. Peele on this our first show.


Stanton Peele on GMA

Stanton Peele is going to be on Good Morning America tomorrow, Saturday 2/26 (8 to 9 am) to address the Great National Freakout about Charlie Sheen.

Wet House

Hulahoop brings another story, to which I can honestly say “Who knew?!” Not me…

At St. Paul Wet House, Liquor Can Be Their Life — And Death

Then, for some perspective, read Stanton Peele’s post, “Letting Alcoholics Drink” on Psychology Today.

Stanton Peele is on a Roll

At the Huffington Post:

Addiction: How Its Meaning Is Shifting As We Speak

The definition of addiction shifts. It has shifted over history. It shifted in the 1980s, when cocaine and nicotine were labeled addictive. It shifted again in the 1990s, when marijuana was called addictive. It is shifting under our feet right now as the forthcoming edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, DSM-5, has designated gambling as an addictive disorder.

I bet you’re having trouble righting this in your mind right now. The addiction-labeling committee (there is no such thing — just a substance-disorder one) is having trouble doing so. The head of the DSM-5 Substance-Related Disorders Work Group, Charles O’Brien, explained it this way: “Pathological gambling and substance-use disorders are very similar in the way they affect the brain and neurological reward system.”

In 12 step programs, the description of the hopeless addict/alcoholic includes the mind as the key factor