For those of you who have been waiting for this book to be published, I uploaded the completed manuscript of Powerless No Longer to Amazon yesterday, and today the Kindle version is available for purchase. It has been a long slog, and I’m really happy that it’s finally done. The hard copy (trade paper) version should be available in a few days.
The Kindle version is here on the Amazon web site. I will post another announcement when the hardcopy is available. The first chapter and part of the second is available to read on Amazon, and I will continue to post excerpts here.
I thank all of you who have followed this website over the years, and I’m just sorry it took so long to finish the book.
This is the first post I’ve made here in a while, but that doesn’t mean nothing has been happening with this effort. I have re-structured the contents of Powerless No Longer to reflect a more accurate model of how we actually recover, and the new Table of Contents can be found on the tab above. I’ve written a lot of new material, and edited much of the older stuff. I will be introducing the new material slowly, and replacing some of the older stuff with the current versions. Please check-out the new contents, and let me know what you think. The excerpt below is from the revised Chapter One.
Why we deny
We addicts are no different from anyone else; we’ve just learned to see the world from a distorted perspective. In a very real sense, we have learned to be addicts. Although genetics do play a role, we weren’t born with our addictions, nor did we acquire them due to some moral flaw or shortcoming. Addiction is a complex bio/psycho/social disorder with many different causes. There are degrees of addiction; it’s not an on-or-off condition. Many of the chemical changes the process of addiction makes to the brain are irreversible, and it can become so severe that the only help available to the addict are programs that feature harm reduction, such as methadone or needle exchange.
The good news is that the overwhelming majority of us overcome our addictions on our own without treatment centers, formal programs, pills, or patches. Most of us are capable of learning new skills to cope with the stresses in life that helped drive many of us to dependency in the first place.Continue reading
I’m not an addiction professional from the standpoint of education or training. What I am is an ordinary guy who had a problem, solved it, and would like to help others to do the same. This effort grew out of curiosity that began over twenty years ago, when I was attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, but didn’t buy the “higher power” concept or believe that I was powerless. I never worked a step, used a sponsor, prayed, or followed most of the other “suggestions,” except for one: I didn’t drink. Why was I successful when studies indicate that only 5 out of every 100 people stay sober for a year in AA? I drifted away after a few years, never to return.
It wasn’t until Mike Werner, one of the founders of SMART Recovery®, introduced me to their scientifically-based program a few years ago that I learned most addicts recover on their own, or with minimal informal help. Mike and I started a SMART meeting as co-facilitators that’s still going strong in Wilmington, North Carolina.
As I continued to learn more about the ways in which people actually recover from addiction, I became curious about how addiction works, why I behaved as I did when I was drinking, and why I had continued to drink even when I received little benefit from the drug. I did the research necessary to learn the answers to these questions, and many more, which clearly show that the conventional recovery establishment is based upon principles that have little or no relevance to how addiction works, or how addicts actually recover
Powerless No Longer is intended primarily for those who are currently in the process of questioning their own drug or alcohol use, or who have tried 12-step or other programs and not succeeded. Perhaps you have been told you are “powerless” over your addiction. I will show that this is simply not true. I will describe in detail a self-change method that works for the overwhelming number of addicts, three-out-of-four, who successfully recover on their own, and show you how to apply these principles in your own recovery.
What separates this book from others is the viewpoint and experience I bring to it as a recovered addict, and that I have combined in one place:
I will make some suggestions based upon the available science; there are no “musts” in this book. There is no single system or program that will work for everyone, there are only methods and principles that have worked for most and these have been uncovered in scientific surveys and studies.
From time-to-time, I will post articles such as this that highlight promising new research that supports recovery ideas and principles that appear in “Powerless No Longer.” This article, from “Medical News Today,“ addresses research into the disability of addicts to delay short-term gratification, even when they know that the long-term consequences of using are dire.
“The growing numbers of new cases of substance abuse disorders are perplexing. After all, the course of drug addiction so often ends badly. The negative consequences of drug abuse appear regularly on TV, from stories of celebrities behaving in socially inappropriate and self-destructive ways while intoxicated to dramatization of the rigors of drug withdrawal on “Intervention” and other reality shows.
Schools now educate students about the risks of addiction. While having a keen awareness of the negative long-term repercussions of substance use protects some people from developing addictions, others remain vulnerable.
One reason that education alone cannot prevent substance abuse is that people who are vulnerable to developing substance abuse disorders tend to exhibit a trait called “delay discounting”, which is the tendency to devalue rewards and punishments that occur in the future. Delay discounting may be paralleled by “reward myopia”, a tendency to opt for immediately rewarding stimuli, like drugs. Continue reading