The Meaning of Addiction: An Unconventional View / Edition 1

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A controversial and persuasive analysis of addiction

A tour de force, a spectacular effort of research and understanding. This book gives us the courage to bypass disease notions to deal with intrapsychic, family system, and social and cultural dynamics in addiction.
'David Cook, Counseling and Psychological Services, University of Wisconsin

This compelling and controversial book challenges the widely accepted belief that alcohol and drug addiction have a genetic or biological basis. The so-called disease theory suggests that a substance or activity can cause the addict to lose control of his behavior. Stanton Peele demonstrates how this notion fails to make sense of scientific observations.

Analyzing studies of drug and cigarette addiction, alcoholism, obesity, and other potential compulsions such as running and sex, Peele reveals the surprising frequency of self-cure as part of the evidence. The author finds that compulsive habits and depAndency are a way of coping that individuals can reverse as their life circumstances change. This brilliantly argued book is sure to provoke discussion and stimulate new approaches to treatment.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A tour de force, a spectacular effort of research and understanding. This book gives us the courage to bypass disease notions to deal with intrapsychic, family system, and social and cultural dynamics in addiction." (David Cook, Counseling and Psychological Services, University of Wisconsin)

"The Meaning of Addiction presented a new paradigm of addiction. The field has since become more open to the kind of complex, contextual view of addiction and compulsive behavior that it presents. Nonetheless, it remains the classic source for expressing this point of view." (Archie Brodsky, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School)

"Peele's theory of 'addiction as an experience' in The Meaning of Addiction remains a pathbreaking one that offers readers an accessible and empowering understanding of their own experiences, desires, and addictions. For understanding addictions, Peele is in my view (and for my courses on this subject) still the source of all sources." (Richard J. DeGrandpre, Department of Psychology, St. Michael's College, Burlington, Vermon)

"Stanton Peele's books have been instrumental in helping me understand my own underlying causes of addiction and how, however well-intentioned the 12-step model is, it led me to focus on the wrong aspects of addiction." (Marianne Gilliam, author, How Alcoholics Anonymous Failed Me)

"Offers a thought-provoking, insightful, and controversial perspective on the etiology of addictive behaviors. Peele challenges the biological model and provides an important alternative view on addictive behaviors. The Meaning of Addiction should be required reading for students and professionals alike." (Kim Fromme, Department of Psychology, University of Texas)

"Given the extraordinary, but largely unsubstantiated, confidence that many in both the public an professional ranks have in simplistic conceptualizations of addictive behavior, it is reassuring that sophisticated and provocative alternatives such as those proposed by Stanton Peele in The Meaning of Addiction surface from time to time. It offers hope for constructive change by putting reason an choice back into the addiction formula." (Alan R. Lang, Department of Psychology, Florida State University)

"This is a book to be read slowly, to be taken seriously, and to be debated hotly by every professional in the field. This whole subject is one of the major medical political and society problems of our civilization, and we seem unable to find any workable solution." (John A. Owen, Jr., M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine)

Theorist, clinician, and writer Peele rejects the 12-step model and the concept of biological addiction in favor of "addiction as experience." He reviews the body of literature and creates a framework for understanding addictive behavior. Topics include the concept of addiction, theories of addiction, and the impaired society. Originally published in 1985 by Lexington Books. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787943820
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Series: Psychology Series
  • Edition description: 1998 Reissued Paper Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

STANTON PEELE, a leading figure in the addictions field, has won the Mark Keller award from the Rutgers Center Alcohol Studies and the Lindesmith Award from the Drug Policy Foundation. He is the author of the classic Love and Addiction and The Truth About Addiction and Recovery.

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Table of Contents

The Concept of Addiction: Opiate Addiction in the United States and the Western World Divergent Evidence about Narcotic Addiction Nonbiological Factors in Addiction The Nature of Addiction.

The American Image of Alcohol: Does Liquor Have the Power to Corrupt and Control?: The Disease of Alcoholism Historical, Social, Ethnic, and Economic Factors in Alcoholism in the United States The Social Science Challenge to Disease Theory Controlled-Drinking Therapy for Alcoholism.

Theories of Addiction: Stanton Peele and Bruce K. Alexander Genetic Theories Exposure Theories: Biological Models Exposure Theories: Conditioning Models Adaptation Theories The Requirements of a Successful Theory of Addiction.

Adult, Infant, and Animal Addiction: Bruce K. Alexander, Stanton Peele, Patricia F. Hadaway, Stanley J. Morse, Archie Brodsky, and Barry L. Beyerstein.

Addiction to an Experience: Elements of the Addictive Experience Susceptibility to Addiction and the Choice of Addictive Object: Social and Cultural Factors Susceptibility to and Choice of Addiction: Situational Factors Susceptibiltity to and Choice of Addiction: Individual Factors Susceptibility to and Choice of Addiction: Developmental Factors The Nature of Addiction: The Addiction Cycle.

The Impaired Society: The Narcotic Connection—Supply and Demand The Negative Effects of the Belief in Chemical Dependence Can We Treat Away the Drug Problem? The Alcoholism and Chemical Dependence Industry Spreading Diseases The Cure for Addiction.

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