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Posted December 18, 2002
Stanton Peele is an expert on addiction. He wrote this book to dispell the current psychobabble and 12-step 'religion' that currently envelopes the discussion of drug abuse in the United States. The current myth of addiction goes like this: addiction is just 'in you', is a disease, and is genetic. You either are an addict, or not, and if you are, you always are one, and will never change. Thus, you need an official 12-step program, because that is your only hope. Any backtalk, and it just proves that you are in need of help. Peele shows that: addiction is a manner of relating to your environment, it is not a disease, is not genetic, and that you can change by yourself (or with a little help from Peele). Peele's message is positive and optimistic: we are responsible for ourselves. Drinking and using is a reaction to our environment, and if it harms us, we need to change our relation to our environment. Peele rejects the "one size fits all" approach of AA. This book puts the responsibility back on us for how we deal with alcohol and drugs. That is how it should be. You don't need 12-steps, you need to get your act together by yourself.
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