Addiction in Society

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

Failure as the Antidote to Addiction

You have to fail to succeed—and to avoid addiction. Read More

Work Shop

Great article! Kids and adults learn to need to respond to failures and life's difficulties without addictive behavior. A class clarifying these issues would be tremendous!
Where can I read more about the workshop?

Teaching Fundamental Insights

cmw wrote:
Great article! Kids and adults learn to need to respond to failures and life's difficulties without addictive behavior. A class clarifying these issues would be tremendous!
Where can I read more about the workshop?

Oops, I read your article again. This school is not purposely designed to treat addictive behavior but functions as fundamental anti-addiction insight.

I guess the real question is when is Dr. Peele going to start such a school?

I AM bcoming involved with such a program.

I wrote about in Facebook:

Art as Anti-Addiction.

Below I posted about Jerry Otero's great project with kids in Brooklyn (called Cre8tive YouTH*ink, led by artists Chris Stain and Billy Mode).

Jerry, of course, works with the Partnership at Drugfree.Org. And I see Cre8tive as being the very best antidote for addiction for kids, as I describe in Addiction-Proof Your Child ( Here are six things that make this true:

1. Engagement. Addicts can only concentrate on their addictions. What these kids are engaged in teaches them skills, gives them self-esteem, and gains the respect of others (i.e., self-care or, in Buddhism, lovingkindness).

2. Dealing with mistakes, even failures. Addicts are worst of all at dealing with setbacks. Billy tells kids what everyone who accomplishes something knows - trying, improving is learning from, coping with, mistakes.

3. Helping. "Each one teach one." The more experienced teach the less. They get and give esteem, practice communication, and care for others - while others learn they are cared about.

4. Community. Addicts are preoccupied with themselves - they give a hoot about others and the community. In Cre8tive kids learn they are part of - and to care for - the group.

5. Responsibility. As Jerry put it, "These kids, whose moms complain that they didn't make their beds this morning, all made sure to get here on time - early."

6. Planning and persistence. Beyond all else, addiction is about immediate gratification. As Chris described, Cre8ive involves goal-setting and then execution, placing the kids both in the moment and making them forward looking (the two poles of mindfulness).

Drug lectures teach kids nothing essential. The artistic activity-involvement in Cre8tive on the other hand, provides them with the primary skills and values with which to avoid addiction - the antidote for addiction. It is the MODEL for addiction prevention, as I describe in Addiction-Proof.

Penn Gazette

Yuup, yuup and YUUP

1. "In my existential view of addiction"
Existentialism is a rather 50s kind of psychotherapy before CBT (LOLZ).

2. "Addicts are preoccupied with themselves - they give a hoot about others and the community."

This is one of few core concepts of either aa-Self-Help-Groups and aa-anti-Alcohics/addicts-groups.
Groups? The StLouis-Group (Jesuit) Philladelphia-Group (Jim Burwell (41) / The San-Quentin-Group (42), the George-Vaillant-Group (70/71): success rates upto 80%.

3. "primary skills and values with which to avoid addiction" ?

Is it to avoid addiction (as a disease/disorder/higher power/.../condition that progresses in phases/x/y/z), not the addicte agent or habbit? In other word be functional w/ potentinal addicte substences or behaviours?

This almost makes sense


Failure as reinforcement of a narcissist wound is the most damaging.

Failure is not – ok, I have failed, no big deal and I will pull through and learn something from the experience – but I am a failure, worthless and useless just like I thought.

I feel for the designer with a rock-star boyfriend who saw suicide as her only option. What torment that woman must have been in, putting on a brave face and delusion snaps on Instagram while seeing the gap between her projected reality and life becoming seemingly unbridgeable.

My mother is a narcissist and obsessive-compulsive ( due to a very emotionally and physically damaging childhood where she received little nurturing ) and her definition of failure is not living up or conforming to impossible self-imposed high expectations. Her moral code is knackering.
She spends an incredible amount of time and energy looking and acting perfect and denying her feelings. She believes expressing her real self will destroy her. Actually expressing anything other than her projected perfect-reality, is done through coded meanings that would give Alan Turing a headache. Other people are watching and she cannot fail she tells me. When I ask a list of names, she answers " everybody", it is quite lonely for her, and frustrating for her loved ones.
My addiction filled the gap between what was expected of me and what I really was ( at the time my self was a collection of “ what I am not”).

Once you separate yourself from your failures, you realise failure is not the end of the world and just part of the process of growing as an individual. You still exist, the shame is not paralysing because you don't have to be perfect all the time. Failure means you are trying new things, not standing still, a good antidote to passivity. Had Alexander Fleming not failed to close a petri dish, he would not have discovered a funny mould.

Cre8tive YouTH*ink looks great.

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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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