- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: BRI Publishing (27 November 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983471347
- ISBN-13: 978-0983471349
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.7 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 635 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Freedom Model for Addictions: Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap Paperback – 27 Nov 2017
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Steven Slate, Mark Scheeren, and Michelle Dunbar have created an indispensable guide through the labyrinth of claims about the nature of addiction to explain how this understanding leads to resolution of addiction and to overcoming it. Indeed, their thoroughly grounded scientific exploration of the “meaning of addiction” IS the basis for such personal resolution. To know that your enemy is not only your addiction, but, more importantly, how you think of it, is the key to freedom from addiction. And no volume in the world can put you in a better position for this resolution than The Freedom Model.
STANTON PEELE, PhD Author of Love and Addiction and Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control and creator of the on-line Life Process Program
The Freedom Model vividly operationalizes the words of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Planck: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” In The Freedom Model, the things you look at are you, me, and our fundamental ability to make willful, constructive choices and changes in our personal lives. Utilizing the power of free will in the pursuit of happiness, we actively shape our destiny. We welcome adaptive changes in our search for new and more promising ways to effectively engage in the world around us. Beyond powerlessness, mindless addiction, and extrinsic influences, we seek an internal locus of control and a life made from the stuff of our own choices. It is our opportunity to define what is right for ourselves, knowing this definition may not find support from others. In The Freedom Model, use and abuse of alcohol and drugs allows for three basic options: heavy substance use, adjusted substance use, and total abstinence. In reality, these options have always been there and it is our right to choose the alternative best suited to our own, self-defined vision of happiness. We decide how we wish to live our life and benefit when our choices derive from our voice within. Would we want it any other way?
REAUME CARROLL MULRY, PhD Clinical and Sport Psychologist
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Looking at my intake thru the perspective of positive and negative reinforcers has allowed me to be truly honest about why I was making the choice to use. Again for me it comes down to the power of choice. I saw that active addiction was no longer a positive choice for me.
The book has helped put into perspective what choices are mine and what control I do have over my actions. I do believe that any action can be changed with courage and beliefs. I now know that I can moderate my intake because my choices are my own. If I believed abstinence was the best choice for me, then I would be choosing that path.
I wish that I was introduced to this book long ago. This is the 1st book you need to read when considering altering your behavior from alcohol or substances. If you are struggling with any addiction please read this book first.
I found the statistics on how many so-called addicts resolve their problems on their own, e.g., upward of 90% for alcohol, marijuana and cocaine, quite surprising. (page 22)
Of course, you have to WANT to moderate or quit. (page 31 et seq.) That is the basic message throughout this book.
Some other key concepts contained in the book follow:
• "Moderate use [of alcohol and drugs] is possible for anyone, because loss of control is a myth." (page 11)
• "The Freedom Model says...that people are actively and freely choosing each time they take a dose of drugs or alcohol, and that one simple thing motivates them to do so: the pursuit of happiness." (page 18) Also referred to as the Positive Drive Principle (PDP). (page 121)
• Pleasure "is the primary reason people prefer to be intoxicated." (page 67)
• Determining whether your current substance use makes you happy enough or you'd be happier with some level of change is everything." (page 140)
• With regard to the terms “problematic,“ heavy,” and “moderate/adjusted” substance use, the authors note that “we haven’t defined what levels or frequencies . . . fit those descriptions. . . These are all subjective terms, the definitions of which will vary according to everyone’s personal judgment.” (page 207)
I didn't agree with all that the authors said, however. This statement, for example: "[C]hoices are made in the pursuit of happiness and that there are no exceptions." (page 125) This statement ignores the fact that sometimes we are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils—not to be happy but to be less unhappy. To cite a drastic example, consider a man on death row choosing between death by hanging or firing squad. Or as happened to many during the Viet Nam War, go to jail or join the Army. Or a robbery victim choosing between attacking the robber who is holding a gun on him, or handing over his money. Are any of these people seeking happiness? Obviously not.
I also found the chapters (17 and 18) on Questioning Drug Effects, and The Illusion of Emotional Relief (respectively), often unpersuasive, especially regarding the authors' reliance on a pharmacological analyses. The authors’ seeming indifference to catalytic impact also bothered me. However, they did allude to catalytic impact on page 293 while noting that "The emotional stress relief some people feel at some times while using substances is coming from their own minds."
Another problem I found was that there was much repetition in the book. This tended to detract.
Still five stars, however. I especially liked that the authors suggest at the end of Chapter 9 that some people will by the time they read through the first nine chapters (the first 172 pages of 469 total, including 90 pages of Appendices), they will be able to see through the treatment and recovery ruse, and feel free to change. In other words, for some, the book ended there for those who had already become empowered. Those "caught deeper in the trap of recovery mythology" were encouraged to read on. I would describe myself as NOT being in the latter group but kept reading anyway. There was more interesting information and perspectives that followed.
However, Chapter 21 on The Benefits of Adjusted Substance Use, I found somewhat perplexing. After referring to “moderation” previously throughout the book, in Chapter 21 the authors used a different term in its place, i.e., “adjusted substance abuse.” This seemed like a matter of semantics, but the authors disputed that notion saying, “This term, adjusted substance abuse, is not about just a matter of semantics. [sic] The point of it is to get you to think of what you would have to adjust to get better, happier, more satisfying life results for yourself.” (page 343)
Fair enough. And I did appreciate the list that immediately followed regarding the “potential adjustments” that can be made to change substance use habits, e.g., using less per occasion, using safer substances, etc.
In a segment discussing the pitfalls of goal setting toward the end of the text (page 370), the authors express their message very effectively, essentially advising readers to ask themselves “one simple question. Do you believe that you can be happier reducing/quitting your substance use than you can by continuing as it is? That’s it. That’s all you need to know. If you don’t believe you will be happier [or less unhappy, I, the reviewer, would add], then you will not be motivated to change.”
Agreed. It’s a question that people who are wondering whether they should “moderate,” quit, or adjust their substance intake, need to ask themselves. For in order to change your habit, you’ve got to WANT to do so.