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More than 100 widespread myths about drug and alcohol abuse are enumerated and then dispelled in this book about the reality of addiction. Questions such as Does proper parenting and involvement prevent alcoholism? and Do alcoholics lack willpower? are addressed, and a myriad of addiction-related falsities that the general public and even medical professionals have considered true are identified and refuted. Specific attention is paid to defining and understanding alcohol addiction, including guidelines on ...
More than 100 widespread myths about drug and alcohol abuse are enumerated and then dispelled in this book about the reality of addiction. Questions such as Does proper parenting and involvement prevent alcoholism? and Do alcoholics lack willpower? are addressed, and a myriad of addiction-related falsities that the general public and even medical professionals have considered true are identified and refuted. Specific attention is paid to defining and understanding alcohol addiction, including guidelines on identifying symptoms of alcoholism in social settings and detailed information on the biological difference between the disease in its early and late stages.
"Read it and be prepared to change your thinking on this important topic." —Michael Shermer, publisher, Skeptic magazine; columnist, Scientific American; author, Why People Believe Weird Things
"Every person on the planet should read this book. ...offers hope that help and healing is possible." —Cynthianna Appel, Fearless Reviews
Posted June 3, 2005
Alcoholism Myths and Realities contains and refutes over 100 incorrect statements about alcoholism, some of which you have probably said yourself. The two primary themes of this book are (1) alcoholism is caused by biology rather than environment or bad morals, and (2) alcoholism can explain a great deal, perhaps most, of the misbehaviors we observe in people around us. Even when alcoholism is obvious to all, people often do not identify alcoholism as the cause of the alcoholic's other misbehaviors, but instead take both to be manefestations of some immorality. However, the biology of alcoholism shows us that some people are born with livers that process alcohol differently than most people do, and consequently are able to build up a much higher concentration of toxic chemicals in their brains before they feel sick. These chemicals shut down and eventually damage the neocortex of the brain, leaving nothing to moderate the instinctive, aggressive impulses of the limbic system. With this in mind, it makes more sense to assume that the alcoholism is the cause of misbehaviors, rather than another kind of misbehavior. If someone repeatedly misbehaves but alcoholism is not obvious, it still makes sense to assume that alcoholism is the cause of these misbehaviors. For one thing, it gives that person the benefit of the doubt, and for another, 10% of people in the US are alcoholics, so you have a pretty good chance of being correct anyway. It can take decades for chemical dependancy to develop to such a degree that the alcoholic can no longer hold a job or put up appearances of leading a healthy life, so the steriotypical down-and-out alcoholic, constantly craving his drug, is often not the typical alcoholic. Before this, he likely would have been drinking copiously for many years but was able to keep his excessive use hidden. When alcoholics drink, however, their behavior in ALL stages of the disease is characterized by reckless, cruel, or destructive misbehaviors, whereas when nonalcoholics drink, their behavior is not. Doug Thorburn shows that an astonishing variety of misbehaviors are associated with alcoholism. Not only were most cult leaders, serial killers, and mass murderers alcoholics (including political tyrants such as Peter the Great and Joseph Stalin), but alcoholism is also common among con men, embezzelers, politicians, racists, and ordinary violent criminals. It is estimated that 80% to 90% of incarcerated prisoners, as well as perhaps 50% of the prison guards, may be alcoholics. This and other of Doug Thorburn's writings have changed the way I look at the world. What previously appeared to be a disturbing abberation, an incomprehensible contradiction, a motiveless malignancy now seems a perfectly understandable effect of alcoholism.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.