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195 pages

(Jan. 2000)

ISBN 0-8126-9404-X

ISBN 0-8126-9403-1

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Addiction Is a Choice

Jeffrey Schaler, Ph.D.

In this provocative debunking of the prevailing beliefs about addiction, psychologist Jeffrey Schaler argues that addiction is not a disease, but a choice in lifestyle.

Schaler refutes the widely held ideas that addiction is involuntary, genetically determined, or a physical or mental illness, offering convincing arguments that "addiction" is a decision made by someone in order to find meaning and purpose in life.

The author explains why our public policies, based on the incorrect beliefs that addiction is a disease or involuntary behavior, are ineffective and even encourage addiction by allowing people to feel powerless and demoralized about their ability to break the habit.

"Psychologist Schaler argues convincingly that society has erred in giving in completely to the AA vision that addiction is a disease, that addicts can't help themselves, and that they need a higher power to be saved . . . his resulting suggestions for changes in public policy and for individual change demand consideration."

—Kirkus Reviews

"Schaler drives a stake into the heart of the 'disease' concept of addictions. Millions of people have stopped smoking, abusing mind-altering drugs, and drinking addictively on their own, without the intervention of counselors or doctors or programs. Dr. Schaler explains persuasively how this happens, despite all the genetic and hormonal predispositions."

—Joseph Gerstein, M.D., F.A.C.P, Harvard Medical School

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