"The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry" by Lance and Zachary Dodes ISBN-10: 0807033154 ISBN-13: 978-0807033159


Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press (March 25, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0807033154
ISBN-13: 978-0807033159

An exposé of Alcoholics Anonymous, twelve-step programs, and the rehab industry—and how a failed addiction-treatment model came to dominate America

AA has become so infused in our society that it is practically synonymous with addiction recovery. Yet the evidence shows that AA has only a 5-10 percent success rate—hardly better than no treatment at all. Despite this, doctors, employers and judges regularly refer addicted people to treatment programs and rehab facilities based on the 12-step model.

In The Sober Truth, acclaimed addiction specialist Dr. Lance Dodes exposes the deeply flawed science that the 12-step industry has used to support its programs. Dodes analyzes dozens of studies to reveal a startling pattern of errors, misjudgments and biases. He also pores through the research to highlight the best peer-reviewed studies available, and discovers that they reach a grim consensus on the program’s overall success.

But The Sober Truth is more than a book about addiction. It is also a book about science, and how and why AA and rehab became so popular despite the discouraging data. Dr. Dodes explores the entire story of AA’s rise, from its origins in early fundamentalist religious and mystical beliefs to its present day place of privilege in politics and media.

The Sober Truth includes true stories from Dr. Dodes’ 35 years of clinical practice, as well as firsthand accounts submitted by addicts through an open invitation on the Psychology Today website. These stories vividly reveal the experience of walking the steps and attending some of the nation’s most famous rehabilitation centers.

The Sober Truth builds a powerful response to the monopoly of the 12-step program, and explodes the myth that these programs offer an acceptable or universal solution to this deeply personal problem. This book offers new and actionable information for addicts, their families, and medical providers, and lays out better ways to understand addiction for those seeking a more effective and compassionate approach to this treatable problem.

Source: http://www.amazon.com/Sober-Truth-Debunking-Programs-Industry/dp/080703315...

Please Note: I have not read the book and this is for informational purposes only.

Blog of Lance M. Dodes, M.D.
http://www.lancedodes.com/lance-dodes-blog/

Comments

criticoolthinking's picture

stuff like this should be sold by pay pal donation - like orange does. because addicts have been screwed by society for money far enough. . but someone can share it here for limited personal educational dialog purposes, right?

i get high on the sky!

fedup's picture

Finally! Another Dr specialising in the addiction field who can debunk the other Dr who at the time specialised in the addiction field who created this AA hish hash! Sadly though, steppers wont be open minded to listen to the Dr of today, as they are fixated with the Big Book and treat the Drs opinion as some type of truth! Its funny how before you get sucked in to all that AA stuff they preach how you have to be open minded and yet once indoctrinated they become rather closed minded! This book will be great for potential would be steppers at least, to keep them from joining AAs mad world in the first place! More books like this with other Drs and Psychiatrists, Psychologists etc would really help to minimise numbers of newcomers into AA and then the old timers will blissfully hear each others war stories over and over on their own lol

I'd love to read this. I'm hoping it real good.

I've heard good things about Lance Dode's other book about AA and addiction. Sue (from the forum) talked highly of it and it helped her. Can't recall the title atm though. .. I look forward to this and all the others about the addiction mess and every time one comes out again I feel better! Ty for the post, JR.

Pro Empowerment!

JR Harris's picture

"Breaking Addiction: A 7-Step Handbook for Ending Any Addiction" is another book by Lance M., M.D. Dodes. Paperback: 240 pages Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (March 1, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 0061987395 ISBN-13: 978-0061987397 Source: http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Addiction-7-Step-Handbook-Ending/dp/00619...
“Dr. Dodes’s approach runs directly counter to the paralyzing, but standard, message of ‘powerlessness’—a mes­sage that reinforces the sense of helplessness that is at the root of addicts’ life predicaments! Many psychiatrists recognize that this is where we must head, but Dr. Dodes is one with the guts to shine a beacon in the right direction.” —Stanton Peele, PhD, author of 7 Tools to Beat Addiction and The Life Process Program of Treatment The follow-up to his groundbreaking volume The Heart of Addiction, Dr. Lance Dodes’s Breaking Addiction is a step-by-step guide to beating addiction of any kind—from drugs and gambling to alcoholism, overeating, and sex addiction. By recognizing and understanding the emotional forces underlying addictive behaviors, Dr. Dodes says any dangerous, life-destroying obsession can be overcome. Including special bonus sections for both families and health-care professionals, Breaking Addiction is the new handbook for those suffering from addiction—a valuable resource that addresses addiction’s root causes and serves as an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous and similar recovery programs.

~You can not moderate the truth. Just don't lie, steal or make stuff up out of thin air and expect to get away with it without it being pointed out to you. It's really very simple.~

criticoolthinking's picture

no editing makes us all sound like silly hillbillies not that there anything wrong with silly hillbillies

i get high on the sky!

criticoolthinking's picture

or are you a supernatural anti aa reporter being

i get high on the sky!

JR Harris's picture

I use the Google Analytic database but none of their tools then connect the dots. Google works by keywords and all keywords are lumped together in certain areas with pointers to where the other keywords are and I follow those pointers. Some pointers have the same exact information so they don't index it completely to save time. That is why some search engines "omit" what they call similar results in your search. I look for "like" information and follow it normally for three degrees of separation. By just accessing the database it prevents what is called "trackers" where like AA "they find out all about" you and then sell it to advertisers and place custom ads on the pages you see. They get paid "per click" on those ads (true it is very little, but small amounts when multiplied by 1000's add up). Google is famous for tracking people to give each person a "unique" experience based on their preferences. When looking through the Google search site, you often information miss because it is buried way in the back pages and they often omit the "like" content. Here is an list of how they track you and "enhance" you online presence. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2013/05/10/15-ways-google-monitor...

~You can not moderate the truth. Just don't lie, steal or make stuff up out of thin air and expect to get away with it without it being pointed out to you. It's really very simple.~

JR Harris's picture

Does AA fail addicts?

Dr. Lance Dodes on why AA’s promotion of abstinence may be a problem
by Kate Lunau Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dr. Lance Dodes has spent more than 35 years treating people who are battling addiction, including alcoholism. In his new book (co-written with Zachary Dodes), The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry, Dodes takes a hard look at Alcoholics Anonymous, a worldwide organization that describes itself as a “non-professional fellowship of alcoholics helping other alcoholics get and stay sober.” Today, there are more than 5,000 AA groups in Canada alone, which are free and open to anyone. Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, argues that some groups—and many for-profit private rehab centres based on the 12-step model—are often ineffective, and can cause further damage to addicts.

Read the rest: http://www.macleans.ca/society/health/does-alcoholics-anonymous-fail-addicts/

As it appeared on March 16, 2014 5:05:11 PM UTC
https://web.archive.org/web/20140316170511/http://www.macleans.ca/society/...

~You can not moderate the truth. Just don't lie, steal or make stuff up out of thin air and expect to get away with it without it being pointed out to you. It's really very simple.~

Pennywise's picture

I agree with a lot of what this guy says. On the other hand, I disagree that all people who drink too much do so mainly to cope with negative emotions such as stress and rage. Simply put, some people genuinely enjoy alcohol and getting drunk for its own sake.
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs
Pennywise's picture

This is not true for me:
What I’ve found is that there is always a moment of feeling overwhelmingly helpless. The kind of thing people feel helpless about is individual; you have to figure out what it is that makes you feel that way. When people feel helpless, they also feel a great rage. That’s what I believe drives addiction.
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs
d0gmatic's picture

Helplessness and rage didn't drive my drinking either, though both had limited roles at times. I drank for multiple reasons and I don't see why Lance Dodes has to absolutize why people drink. That is limited thinking, and as you say Pennywise, I also drank because I simply wanted to get high. People have drunk to get high ever since fermentation was discovered.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ~ Nietzsche

Pennywise's picture

It's telling that professionals are so reluctant to admit that getting drunk has been an enjoyable activity throughout human history. It's like they have to cling to the idea that people use to escape, or else the mental illness theory collapses. In essence, the just can't grasp that a desire to fucked up could be normal. I wonder if cocktails are served during or after the meetings where the shrinks get together to write the DSM? I bet they are.
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs

I think a lot of what he has to say about AA is so accurate. No one is 100% right about addiction. We are all individuals. His book: "The Heart of Addiction" is what finally steered me out of AA (I hope for good). So in my book he is "alright". I certainly drank with the intentions of getting drunk many times but there was usually something going on in my life that was troubling when I did. I drank more with the intentions of moderating and not getting drunk, for a very long time and then regretting it. I personally dont think its normal to want to get "F" up.
Pennywise's picture

I personally dont think its normal to want to get "F" up.
Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. I would bet that more than 50% of the adult population in my city will be legally intoxicated by around 8pm (give or take). Is that normal?
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs
Pennywise's picture

I should say the adult population between about 21-70. Or go from 21-50.
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs
Pennywise's picture

But what is "fuck-up"? Is it legally drunk, or something more? I agree most people, including myself, do not want to be blackout drunk.
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs

A lot of those people use any holiday as an excuse to get drunk. I know I did. I hope that 50% that you refer to has designated drivers; so we dont hear any horror stories the day after.
Pennywise's picture

Well, this link reports about 25% within the last 30 days, which probably varies by which 30 day you pick: http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/booziest-states-in-america-who-binge-dri...
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs
Pennywise's picture

Not exact by any means, but still: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2008/12/17/americas-top-10... With Christmas and New Year's almost upon us, you may be raising your glass and downing the spirits more than you're used to—along with many others. According to a nationwide poll released this year, most adults who attended work holiday parties said drunken bad behavior can often result. And I
nsulting the boss is the least of it; nearly 60 percent of the surveyed partygoers saw a coworker drive while drunk
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs
Pennywise's picture

You are probably right, though, insofar as I am overestimating alcohol consumption. Still, a lot of people get loaded regularly.
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs
fedup's picture

Interesting! I didnt begin my drinking career until I was 41. It was very short but quite destructive all the same. I initially drank because it felt good! I loved the feeling, it made me feel plugged in! I became animated, confident etc, it was fun! Sure, it wasnt long before I became addicted and then I drank for any reason. But mostly to recapture that feel good notion. I knew I had a problem when I had trouble putting it down! I had already been through this process with doing drugs for 20 years! After 5 years of being clean from drugs, I just never thought I could become addicted to alcohol too but I did. I just cant take any substance in moderation! Thats just me though, good luck to anyone else who can.
Pennywise's picture

Is it abnormal to want to feel good? Is it abnormal for alcohol to make one feel good? The problem is that some people pursue alcohol induced good feelings to the point of fucking up there lives. But does that make it abnormal to use alcohol to feel good? I would say no.
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs
Pennywise's picture

I wish the edit function existed.... By "there," I meant "their."
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs

"I don't see why Lance Dodes has to absolutize why people drink." I don't think it's important. It's funny my mind always goes to why???? It racks it's brains! lol so to speak, tires itself out. There are different reasons throughout my development, on a daily basis even, and certainly has nothing to do with my already insufficient ego. It was and still is, a FACT that I like the release and freedom. No way can I get that without it. Trying to do that is so time consuming and crazy making that it's preferable to just keep getting high! So moderating is my choice today, although I chose not to try to moderate things I was badly addicted to in the past. I like being sober too and that had to be re-learned. And luckily for me I have found a combo that works well enough. Shoot I even tried endless trials of psych meds.
Pennywise's picture

Good point. You still get high with weed, but don't do other things. Weed is chemically different from, say, alcohol or heroin. Yet modern treatment treats all substance abuse as essentially identical. Why should it? Why is a drunk treated the same way as a cocaine user, when cocaine is chemically (and neurochemically) different from booze? If addiction is brain disease, as the shrinks claim, that question should matter.
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs

around Pennywise. And furthermore, the most well adjusted people in my life are most certainly always looking for an occasion to get together for drinks, a night out, etc. It does not mean anything against a person's character or ability as far as I can tell. In fact straight laced people seem to get caught up in a lot of strange rationalizing behaviors and thinking, it seems to me. And they don't laugh enough! LOL
Pennywise's picture

The psychiatrist would ask why these people want drinks during their night out. The psychiatrist would then diagnose them with some disorder. The shrink would the, after work. sip a glass of merlot.
Have you listened to your Arnold ZeDVille today? http://www.reverbnation.com/arnoldzedville/songs
live_free_or_die's picture

In the DSM. And why are they called disorders?
LFOD's Blog http://www.orange-papers.org/forum/blog/10857 ©2014 AA:MyNotGodHasItCovered® http://www.expaa.org/ http://noforcedaa.weebly.com/ http://12stepprograms.weebly.com/ NOT AA: Rational Recovery, SOS, HAMS

After my experience in AA, i would like to consider myself a Normie. I definitely dont think its abnormal when some people enjoy the feeling they get after a few drinks. At least, whatever your limit of liquor is; before you reach the state of staggering, saying things you regret, getting ill, etc. Anyone in that condition, who can wake up the next day and say: "Geee I sure had fun last night". It was all worth it. (: Personally the only thing on my mind was the "hair of the dog". Now, thats part of what im referring to when i say "F" up. Shall we call it self-destructive.

my old 12 stepper friends is that I'm a normie now! They get it! LOL

Maybe they think your in denial and will pray for you. I got a lot of "God Bless You's" when I first left and ran into AA folks. Not to mention the unwanted hugs. :( Today, they could bless me all they want but they would know that i was off limits for fake hugs.

It's been over 3 years. They have to admit I'm not even near dead yet. :) I even hang out without being loaded. They never see me loaded cause I'm not usually loaded when I'm in town esp. if I'm driving. I'm actually very responsible about it like most normies. LOL Yes. But sometimes I wish that time would hurry the fuck up so I can prove my point! LOL