Addiction in Society

Addiction—the thematic malady for our society—entails every type of psychological and societal problem

How My Approach Differs from Everything That Hoffman Learned

Philip Seymour was engaged in every major form of addiction treatment in America when he died. Not at all concerned with their failures, representatives of these treatments have all doubled down, telling people addiction is far more horrible, and addicts worse victims, then they ever imagined. I have a different approach: empowering addicts and affirming their values. Read More

Your take on 12 step and addiction

Stanton, What a breath of fresh air you and your writing here is. I have bought many of your books since leaving AA over 3 years ago. There is no disease. Its one big lie. To disempower two whole generations is a very convenient way to keep a society down and powerless, unwilling to fight for anything and stand up for themselves and be empowered. I hope you are wrong and that Phillips death will help our voices get heard. AA phrases "Cease fighting everything and everyone" is now misconstrued to be an answer for everything. Sayings like Alcohol is "cunning , Baffling and powerful" but there is one who has all power that one is God , may you find him now" Is their dribble , drabble nonsense. And I will ask this question in my upcoming film "the 13th Step"...OKay. If alcoholism is a disease why are we sending people in droves to AA, a religious organization and not to Doctors?
The day has arrived. Its now Stanton that we as a community will expose AA for the fraud, dangerous place it is. I wasted years of my life dedicated to the cult. I am free now, Freer then I have ever been. Sane and normal. I was a teen who over drank. Thats it! I no longer after 36 years abstinent in their stupid "program" believe their nonsense that no one Ever Vetted or researched! Its not a program, and it is no longer a fellowship either.

Me, my weight gain and the french fries

I've already read enough about Philip Seymour Hoffman and is inability to stay "clean". (Are people who use drugs dirty?)

It's a long story on how I learned to love fast food. All I can say was there came a point in time where I found that I enjoyed Value Meals a little too much. I gained 50 pounds over a year's time, due to some psychological issues I actually was solving. My former distaste of all food had evaporated and I was eating everything that wasn't nailed down. The weight gain didn't bother me until I realize no clothes would fit me and I saw a picture of myself in a bathing suit. Ugh.

I didn't run to Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Nutrisystems. I didn't attend Overeaters Anonymous either. All I did was isolate one thing that I was eating and thought I could do without: french fries. I skipped the french fries and immediately lost 10 pounds. Then I switched from sugared soda to diet soda and lost another 10. From there I got serious and started to really look at my diet and over 5 years I dropped all the way back to my weight before I blew up like a balloon. Occasionally I still eat a burger at McDonalds and I sometimes eat a cookie when the mood strikes.

My story isn't heroin but close enough. The cold-turkey approach isn't realistic. I'm not sure forcing addicts to deal with all their personal issues on top of getting off drugs is a good idea either. For some, maybe just doing less can be a first step in the right direction.

using self empowering solutions

Although I think heroin is different then food I know people can't stop eating sugar. Its a hard one like cigarettes. Yet its possible without turning your will over to God and doing the AA thing. Good post.

To paraphrase Leonard Cohen

many moved before us, I know that we are not new,

food addiction is harder to quit than heroin, thought not as hard as love:
see The 7 hardest addictions to quit - love is the worst!

but many have quit every sort of substance:

Freedom from AA

"Happiness runs in a circular motion" Donovan

Lucky some of us got free from the cult !!!! Whooohooo!!

Perhaps Love for AA is an Addiction?

I grew up with a narcissist mother, and to me AA teaches the same demoralizing messages any narcissist would teach- It is the great teacher, you are a belligerent pupil, It is healthy and you are sick. AA loves you because you can't love yourself... AA has great qualities and you have character defects. AA is never wrong- you always are... And like a wayward child who is seeking love, perhaps, one grows to love AA as it's new mother/father. Everyone else in the family also loves AA so much, to say anything negative about AA would make you an ungrateful brat.

Gosh, this is good

I put it in the text of the blogpost.


Wow and thank you

I am truly honored to have read this just now; Having dealt with one particular kind of 'mistreatment' (to put it mildly) in my life, I learned (and must remind myself) to trust my instinct when I come across a person with similar traits--- Or a whole room full of people with them. I think members in AA often confuse the term 'ego' with what is really 'narcissism' and the inability to recognize 'character defects' seems to be the mark of a true narcissist's problem... etc. etc.

Love/ Trust issues in AA

Or another thought I was going to add: Like a narcissist parent/ or an abusive lover--- AA also tells their trusting members, "If you were to ever leave me, you will die." Basically the same as, "No one will ever love you as much as I do." For those who have been abused, this adds so much insult to injury. It is "programming" because love/ trust should never come with conditions to never leave, to never have a different opinion, to not ask questions or suggest changes to make things better...

Good, good,

This goes up too.

You've got to feature this somewhere for yourself -- brilliant insight and development.

Juliet- I read this to my

Juliet- I read this to my husband ..its brilliant. Connecting the dots. One by one. We help each other recover from AA recovery BS.

I Need a Better Road Map, Lol

I am trying to put my experiences together with not just AA, but my life, and how I see it. I've held a lot inside for years, but it's probably because I had such a crazy life that I can notice these things. I just need more help and time to find a way to get more of my message out, and my story. I feel a little like a lone wolf out here except for finding people on the Internet. A lot of great ideas & words but not much to do with them, I feel I hit so many walls.

Write me at Facebook

You've got a gift of analysis and expression.

My son is an active heroin

My son is an active heroin addict, he started on opiate pain pills almost 10 years ago and graduated to heroin around 2 years ago.

Sad thing is that he's a high functioning addict, he has a good job and a family. Its very sad.

I have my fingers crossed that this next round of inpatient treatment will help him. But I do understand the reality of his addiction, its a lifetime monkey on his back.

The so-called war on drugs should be a war on addiction. But there's no money to be made in addiction treatment.

Julie, You read my post?

What you learned from reading it is that your son has a lifetime monkey on his back, and that his next round of inpatient treatment (sounds like he's had more than one before) will help? And you fear America hasn't embarked on a war on addiction -- with all the NIDA's research, the Betty Ford Center et al., addiction medicine, buprenorphine, and tens of thousands of AA groups? And if we just invested more on these things (we already spend many times as much per capita as any country in the world), we'd succeed? Julie, I'm not confident in your ability to take in information, at reality testing. Maybe you know your son -- but you don't have a hint of what I'm saying.

On the other hand, you're like the vast majority of Americans, so you're in the mainstream.

Best wishes,

Too bad you and your program

Too bad you and your program obviously lack the most vital component... compassion.


Compassion? Are you serious? Devoting one's life to ACTUALLY trying to help others makes em lacking in compassion? Ever read "Provocative Therapy"? Compassion does not heal "addictions". I'm sorry, if your idea that someone has to meet your precise standards of behavior to be effective, and to bend to your ideal of what is helpful or not helpful....even if it they are IN FACT helpful, then you are the self-hating and unwilling-to-learn victim they are talking about. Sadly, you're pathology is exactly what they are talking about.

I was referring to the way

I was referring to the way Peele insulted Julie as lacking in compassion. Obviously that is how this programs works. You angrily insult each other "well." Good luck with it.

Telling addicts they are

Telling addicts they are powerless is not compassion. It creates lifetime victims. Victims that can only stay clean if they do x,y, and z.

Julie- Do yo know about other

Julie- Do yo know about other options like Smart Recovery and Harm Reduction and Moderation and LifeRING and SOS? I encourage you to look up CRAFT its for families who love those with an issue.
Stay away from AL ANON and all that doom and gloom. It almost killed someone I love. It killed my father. Blog talk radio I just did a show on a therapist who does not go the12 step road in NYC.

Tons of Money being made from the AA rehab business

Julie, There is a ton of money being made for someone to just be bused to AA meetings and sit in AA type of groups. Karla Brada was murdered by a man she met in AA who was also bused to her meetings. Athen Blue Cross paid $1,000.00 a day for this crap. Its a Billion dollar Industry. Lawyers making hundreds of thousand a year. Why would they want a real solution that works. As for our Governemnt why would they want an empowered people ...they probably love AA. keep him powerless, keep em brainwashed, keep em reading g that Blu book form 1930's filled with ism's that make them think they can't fight back Keep those YV shows coming with all the misrepresentative of what AA really looks like and who is there. This is serious. The stories are endless.

Who to Trust?

heard some pretty amazing news - apparently FDA only realized recently that there is more to the differences between men and women - not just our lady parts - apparently they have been overdosing most women - and have proven it with Ambien...seems to me to be something that would have been figure out oh say 30 years ago when they figured out that men and women can not drink the same....ya know when the whole drunk driving laws were passed - does this not seem self evident...??? of course there are too many approved drugs to go back and do a redo - so from now on test need to take into account that women and men do not process - metabolize in the same manner and thus need to determine more accurate dosing - - so if the FDA is so far behind on this how do we trust much of anything approved or put out by this so called group of scientists and or doctors??


This is nothing but a cheap attack on (free) 12 step programs that have saved countless lives while simultaneously peddling some for profit book with a tacky acronym. Insinuating that 12 step programs or specific medications don't work based on the sad truth that they are not 100% effective in all cases is analogous to saying seat belts don't work because people still die in crashes, or that insulin doesn't work because diabetics still die from their disease.

If your program works for some people, that's great. But unless you have evidence that no one who goes through your treatment or reads your books returns to destructive engagement in their addiction, touting your system as 'perfect' (did I mention tacky?) is offensive, arrogant, and embarrassingly idiotic. Instead of going into details, Your characterization of 12 step programs as systems to tear people down is narrow minded and clearly being used to prey upon people's fears. Apparently any other system or approach that isn't yours is a failure. You're being an ass.

I don't doubt that *some* people who have read your books or used your methods have been able to regain control of their lives. You don't need to besmirch every other system just to sell books.

(Ah - I just looked at some of the reviews of your books and I see there are plenty of other people that understand your divisive attitude is idiotic if not (literally) dangerous. By the way, do you know for sure that PS Hoffman did not own or read any of your books?)

You're disgusting. Congratulations though on your 'best addiction blog' of 2012. Wow.

Insulting response

What an insulting response to Dr Peele!
Your post is replete with judgements and insults and inferences which clearly betray your own projections. 'Cheap attack ... disgusting ... offensive, arrogant and embarrassingly idiotic ... narrow-minded ... ass.
Since you believe Dr Peele besmirches other systems in order to sell books, there is no place at all for discussion other than the observation that your words speak more about you than they speak of Dr Peele.
If I knew nothing at all about the relative merits of various treatment programs, based on your comments, I would know to stay away from anything you held in high esteem.

Thanks for your defense, Mike

I was waiting to respond to Louis K. until someone else said something.

Here is my own response to Louis:
You didn't answer the question with which I ended my post -- Do you think Hoffman might have benefited from our outlook?

There is no way of knowing

There is no way of knowing that. How sad that you hold up his death as an "I told you so."

I told you so

His death IS an "I told you so." How many more "I told you so's" is it going to take before YOU PEOPLE pull your heads out...?

Well, obviously the 12 Step

Well, obviously the 12 Step outlook didn't help, so maybe Dr. Peele's theories would have helped. Couldn't be any worse than AA/NA programs that fail more people than they help.

Isn't it remarkable

Forget Louis K. Isn't it remarkable how even the media (let alone recovery/neuroscience zealots) can't/refuse to say, "Perhaps we might consider other ways," even in the aftermath of Hoffman's death?


There is way too much emphasis on treatment programs that don't work in the US. The problem is that the 12-steppers refuse to leave room for debate.

I have a dear friend that is a 12-stepper through NA. He's relapsed 5-6 times. He's using the same cheap heroin that probably killed Philip Seymour Hoffman. He tends find an excuse to relapse precisely at the same time when the city's heroin supply is plentiful and cheap, as it is right now. My friend still goes to NA where he can hobnob with all his other friends that are still using or relapsed, it gives them a place to plan their next score while affirming they are a victim of their disease.

I'm open to new ideas, and Stanton Peele's idea is as good as any other one.

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Stanton Peele, PhD, JD, is the author of Recover! He has been a pioneer in the addiction field since publication of Love and Addiction in 1975.


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