The Heart of Addiction

How psychology drives addictive behavior.

Have AA and rehab been good or bad for you?

Tell the world your story.

I recently completed a review of the scientific literature about the effectiveness of 12-step programs, including regular AA meetings and AA-based rehab treatments. What I found is provocative: Although many people do well in 12-step programs and the famous rehabs around the country, most do not. I’m writing a wide-release book about these issues, to be published next year.

What’s missing from the project are the firsthand accounts of how people with addictions feel about their own experiences in 12-step recovery. That’s where I hope to have help from readers of this blog: If you would like to describe your honest and open account of personal experiences in AA and/or rehab, I’d like to hear it. Please note that both positive and negative experiences are welcome. If you don’t have a story to tell but know someone who might want to share, I would appreciate if you could pass this request along to them. If I receive enough accounts, I intend to publish many of them verbatim in the forthcoming book.

No identifying information will be published, including any information about individual counselors, treaters or sponsors. (I.e., it’s fine to say “I was treated at Betty Ford Treatment Center” but not “I was treated by John Smith, a counselor at Betty Ford.”)

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If you’d like to participate in this project, please contact me directly at 12stepbook@gmail.com. Let me know in the email how you’d like to be contacted, and whether you would prefer to conduct a phone interview or simply send your written thoughts. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you.

ADDENDUM: MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE SENT PERSONAL ACCOUNTS!  I NOW HAVE RECEIVED ENOUGH FOR THE BOOK, SO PLEASE DO NOT SEND MORE.  THE BOOK WILL BE TITLED "THE SOBER TRUTH" AND WILL COME OUT IN MARCH 2014.

Lance Dodes, M.D., is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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