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Alternatives to Abstinence: A New Look at Alcoholism and the Choices in Treatment

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Is AA the Only Way? Are twelve-step programs the only option for people who want to overcome a drinking problem? If not, do all other treatment methods base their approach on the theory that alcoholism is an irreversible disease? If it is a disease, then why do most general practitioners fail to diagnose it? And why don't medical doctors treat it? If You Have a Drinking Problem, You Do Have Options These are just some of the thought-provoking questions explored in this fascinating new look at alcoholism. People ...
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2001 Hardcover New 1578260817. New. No remainder marks. Professional service from a Main Street bookstore.; 9.57 X 6.43 X 0.90 inches; 224 pages.

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2001 Hardcover N jacket Brand New, Hardcover with dust jacket, clean, tight, unmarked, There are more options than AA and 12-step problems to deal with alcoholism. This book ... examines some of the alternatives by raising thought-provoking questions and providing the answers to many other effective approaches. () Most Americans believe that the only way to control the devastating addiction of alcohol is total abstinence. But now those views are being challenged and the means of treatment re-examined. Alternatives to Ab. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Is AA the Only Way? Are twelve-step programs the only option for people who want to overcome a drinking problem? If not, do all other treatment methods base their approach on the theory that alcoholism is an irreversible disease? If it is a disease, then why do most general practitioners fail to diagnose it? And why don't medical doctors treat it? If You Have a Drinking Problem, You Do Have Options These are just some of the thought-provoking questions explored in this fascinating new look at alcoholism. People really do have many options when deciding how best to beat their drinking problems. In fact, at least a dozen alternative treatment approaches have been found to be at least as effective as twelve-step programs. Most of these methods do not require their clients to think of themselves as permanently diseased, nor do they require people to adopt a goal of lifelong abstinence as a prerequisite to treatment. By helping people who want to cut back their drinking do so, these methods avoid time-consuming and often counterproductive arguments over the need for abstinence. Abstinence is a goal that not only may turn away people in need of help, but may also be unnecessary in order to eliminate their problems. These alternative approaches help drinkers restore their sense of well-being and self-control over many aspects of their lives, not over just their drinking habits.

Why Haven't I Heard of This Before? For years, in fact decades, scientists and psychologists have known about and practiced behavioral treatments for problem drinking and have accepted behavioral (rather than disease) explanations of alcoholism. Yet the general public is largely unaware of them. The popularity of and publicity surrounding the twelve-step treatment industry have given Americans the impression that the twelve-step method is not only the best way to treat alcohol problems, but the only way. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Americans should base their understanding of alcoholism -- a problem that affects millions of people and involves billions of dollars -- on all the scientific facts and theories, not on the testimonies of a few celebrities or of a friend in AA. One approach can not meet the needs of every individual. Before deciding how best to think of and treat the alcohol problems faced by their family members, friends, and the general public, Americans should open their minds to all the professionals' opinions, scientific evidence, and available treatment options. Choices exist -- and people who seek help have the right to choose among them.

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Editorial Reviews

Frederick Rotgers
A readable, informative, and balanced overview of...how problem drinkers might go about getting effective help.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578260812
  • Publisher: Hatherleigh Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xix
1 Another Round 1
2 A History of Drinking 21
3 The Diseased Drinker 37
4 Why the Disease Theory Won't Hold Water 53
5 Bad Behavior 75
6 Attitude Adjustment 95
7 Freedom of Choice 121
Resources 153
Further Reading 173
Notes 177
Permissions 191
Index 193
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2008

    Killer

    Heather will have blood on her hands. Some down-and-out alcoholic will read her book and think hey I can drink socially. It could be me. That's a slippery slope, Heather. I may drink socially for five years, but eventually I'm going to fall out a three-story window and kill myself. Besides, by practicing the twelve steps I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. Why would I even want to be a social drinker? And why would you even want to convince and alcoholic he could drink socially?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2002

    Stepping Out

    Sometimes it seems like 12-step programs have taken over the world! Their adherents zealously insist that the 12 steps/AA is the ONLY way to cope with alcoholism. This book presents a welcome escape from the tyranny of 12 steppers. In a thoughtful, balanced way, the author reports that there really are other answers for alcoholics, answers that might suit some of them much better than abstainence programs do. Ms. Ogilvie carefully examines all sides of the abstainence argument and details a variety of alternative programs. In addition to the very readable narrative, the book contains an extremely valuable appendix that describes more than a dozen different programs/organizations and gives contact information for each as well as a list of therapists who offer moderation training.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2002

    Good Book About a Tough Topic

    Can alcoholics really learn to drink in moderation? While previously I would have dismissed the notion as ridiculous, now I'm not so sure. This book is not the last word on the subject, but there's a lot of material here to think about. A very interesting read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2002

    Helpful and Non-judgmental

    This book made me aware of a whole slew of options I never knew were out there. It has a lot of helpful specific resources, as well. The overview of 'alcoholism' is great for people who are trying to understand and possibly help themselves, or a friend or family member. It is interesting to find out that there is a whole grey area in between being an alcoholic and not drinking at all.

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