Life Process Program Blog
Articles relating to Ask Stanton.
Is There Evidence That AA Is Not Effective? | Ask Stanton
Question Dr. Peele, I’m currently working on the LPP program. I’m also seeing a life coach who specializes in addiction and attends and supports 12 step programs. She argues that randomized controlled trials show AA is superior to other...read more
5 Responsible Ways To Spend Your $1400 Stimulus Check
Millions of Americans have already received their $1,400.00 (or more) stimulus payments as part of the Coronavirus Relief Bill — and many more millions will be receiving theirs in the next few weeks. Of course, receiving a large chunk...read more
How do I make a secure place for myself in life?
Dear Stanton, I am so glad that I stumbled across your website. Something sensible – finally. I decided for myself that I am an alcoholic about 5 years ago when I was 29 years old. I almost never drank...read more
Sex Addiction and Racial Murder
By: Stanton Peele and Archie Brodsky A New York Times front page headline (March 19, 2021) read: Sex and Guilt Defined Life of a Suspect. Robert Aaron Long was accused of killing eight people at several Atlanta massage parlors....read more
“Dysphoria”: The concept that helped one man overcome addiction
An LPP client asked a question about something that he has been pondering: “Society seems to acknowledge the danger of prolonged depression and the link to addictive behavior. But what about this word dysphoria? Is it something at the...read more
Why do People Say Addiction is a DISEASE? — LPP Podcast Episode 46!
Stanton Peele answers questions from social media followers, listeners, and YouTube viewers. Today, Zach Rhoads reads Stanton a question from a Facebook follower: “Why do people call addiction a disease, and what is addiction REALLY?” Want to ask Stanton...read more
We have just had a baby, and now my boyfriend masturbates all the time.
My boyfriend masturbates all the time. His Instagram consists of ladies like Kate Sarkissian and literally any other lady. He tells me he doesn’t masturbate as much as he used to but I know he masturbates almost EVERY time...read more
Ask Stanton: Being forced into Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) against a pregnant patient’s will
Dear Stanton, I just found out I was pregnant. My husband was told years ago he couldn’t have children so you can imagine our surprise. I was in an accident a few years ago and was prescribed hydrocodone 10mg...read more
My boyfriend smokes weed and it is affecting our relationship
Dear Stanton, My fiancé is good person for the most part. He is a hard worker and treats me well the majority of the time. The problem is he smokes weed a lot, lies to his parents about it....read more
Questions From Treatment Professionals – Ask Stanton
Do values pay a role in addiction? What can I say to my employers who push 12-step methods? Can people use narcotics safely, even with benefits, for years?read more
Alternate Treatments – Ask Stanton
Does naltrexone work? What do you think of SMART Recovery? What exactly is the community reinforcement approach (CRA) and how effective is it? Is salvation a cure for addiction? What do you think of naltrexone therapy for alcoholics? What...read more
Beneficial Drinking and Alcohol Policy – Ask Stanton
Are there any positive effects of drinking alcohol?read more
Harm Reduction – Ask Stanton
Can I ever get off methadone? How? Is harm reduction therapy too risky for a therapist to try? What do you think of my individualized harm reduction treatment? Can I ever get off methadone? Can I get wasted once...read more
Drug Policy – Ask Stanton
Should physicians prescribe narcotic substitutes? Can my son’s marijuana use be therapeutic? Tell me about needle-exchange programs and drop-in centresread more
Nonsubstance Addictions – Ask Stanton
Can I create an intervention to force my parents to address my sister’s shopping addiction? Is there such a thing as workaholism? Can a person be addicted to get-rich-quick schemes, and how can I stop my father from ruining...read more
Sharing experiences through our blog
The Life Process Program Blog features several (anonymized) exchanges between Dr Peele and his readers. We wanted to share these experiences to allow readers to learn more about Dr Peele’s thoughts and opinions, but what we didn’t expect to...read more
Theories of Addiction – A Detailed Analysis
In many cases, addiction theorists have now progressed beyond stereotyped disease conceptions of alcoholism or the idea that narcotics are inherently addictive to anyone who uses them. The two major areas of addiction theory—those concerning alcohol and narcotics—have had...read more
Anthony Bourdain’s Updated Addiction Report Card
He may smoke, he certainly drinks and, good God, that 60-year-old is trim! This post is in response to Anthony Bourdain’s Addiction Report Card by Stanton Peele Anthony Bourdain is the worldly gastronomical traveler with an addictive past. ...read more
How The Today Show and Ronan Farrow Kept Me from Telling the Truth About Addiction
Source: Vice on-line magazine I have described how liberals are the most ardent supporters of the disease theory of addiction. (Disclosure, I am a liberal.) This truth was driven home for me by my recent humiliation on The...read more
Are Addiction and Mental Illness Really Brain Diseases?
The two primary (New York) intellectual organs, the New York Review of Books and The New York Times, have recently featured two powerful cultural icons saying exactly opposite things. Marcia Angell, the first woman editor-in-chief of the New England...read more
The Health Care Crisis and the Addiction Crisis Are the Same
Donald Trump was elected by a white underclass that is resentful, suicidal, and addictive, and whose existence is declining rapidly. The most noted element in the current health-care debate is how the Republicans’ White House champion, along with the...read more
Reducing Drug Deaths: Heroin Injection By Appointment
The next step in addiction Tx is assisting those addicted to heroin to inject The United States has been stymied in reducing drug-related deaths, which have continued to grow even in places where Naloxone and other anti-overdose medications have...read more
Subject: INSPIRED. A plea from a dissident
Subject: INSPIRED. A plea from a dissident Dear Dr. Stanton Peele, I am in much need of your advice. I am nervous sending this to you because, 1: I am anxious and have been most of my life; 2:...read more
To Stanton From AA Minority
Dear Dr Peele, Thank you for writing “Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince US We Are Out of Control,” and co-writing “Resisting 12-Step Coercion: How to Fight Forced Participation in AA,...read more
Normalizing Drug Use
We have entered an era in which drug use is widespread, almost ubiquitous, and yet at the same it is viewed as unmanageable and uncontrollable. We need instead to accept and to regulate drug use. Several recent key writings in...read more
The Good and the Bad of Trauma Theory in Addiction
Why the Life Process Program doesn’t focus on trauma—it doesn’t work! Trauma theory has come to dominate addiction practice. It is commonplace to hear assertions that all addiction is due to trauma, or the converse—no one can escape the...read more
In Addiction, We Must Constantly Reassert That Research Beats Experience
A piece on The Influence last week by Patrick Hilsman, a member of this publication’s editorial team, strikingly recounted his experiences—both pleasurable and harrowing—with heroin, to which he was once addicted. He contrasted these personal experiences with some received...read more
Seven Things We Must Understand About Addiction to Undo the Mistakes of the Past 40 Years
When Archie Brodsky and I were writing Love and Addiction in the early 1970s, a medical resident told us, “Oh, we’ve established what addiction was long ago.” It turns out, that wasn’t true. In 2013, DSM-5, the most recent...read more
Addiction Is Always There – How To Keep From Drowning In It
We are recognizing that addiction is a regular part of life, and it scares the hell out of us. When I published Love and Addiction with Archie Brodsky in 1975, we received catcalls from my fellow faculty members at...read more
WEBINAR: Drs. Stanton Peele and Tom Horvath Talking about Addiction for Kids and Young Adults – SMART Approaches
This is a wide-ranging talk about addiction and today’s youth and teens. Dr. Horvath, SMART’s President, interviews Dr. Stanton Peele on what is needed in society, in public policy, for parents, and for those in the caring and justice...read more
Affordable Community Based Drug Addiction Treatment
In line with Andrew Tatarsky’s and Shaun Shelly’s current entries, I would like to hear more of the thoughts on making drug treatment more available, and accessible on an as-needed basis. ” Howard Josepher Thanks for inquiring, Howard. The...read more
TV Addiction – How To Best Help My Son?
Hi Dr. Peele, Season’s greetings from Calgary! My son is obsessed with TV watching. He is 13 years old. However he is addicted to Cartoons, Laptop games. He spends up to 12-13 hours in front of TV. Whenever we...read more
I Have Relapsed So Many Times
Dr. Peele, I have relapsed so many times but I went to Betty Ford and got 1 year 5 months clean. Then my husband told me to get off my insomnia med (Trazodone) and I did. Then he told...read more
Cross Addiction – Is There Such a Thing?
Hello Dr. Peele, I was hoping you could shed some light on a the topic of cross addiction for me. I have just recently found out what cross addiction is, the idea that if you are addicted to one...read more
Addiction Questions – Ask Stanton
Is marijuana addictive? What kinds of people do you think are at high risk for addiction? How come the scientific explanations of addiction I receive in drug court and treatment make no sense to me? Is Valium a real...read more
Forensic or Legal Questions – Ask Stanton
I was concerned about my alcohol consumption, and now I am forced into treatment. What should I do? What is the correct punishment for two DWIs in five years? Can you develop an alternative program when a court orders...read more
Questions About Family Members – Ask Stanton
How do you help an addict hundreds of miles away? The wondering spouse asks: How do I fight my husband’s treatment with him? How do I rescue my marriage when my husband deserts me and the family for AA?...read more
Personal Questions- Ask Stanton
Am I a marijuana addict? How do I make a secure place for myself in life? Can I use marijuana and cocaine as antidepressants? I am social activist for whom both AA and Jack Trimpey have failed; what can...read more
12-Step Questions- Ask Stanton
22-year-old struggling with leaving AA Can I argue against AA in my philosophy debate? Where do I go for help now that I am out of AA? I grew out of AA Is my son an alcoholic? Did my...read more
Resuming Social Drinking and Drug Use – Ask Stanton
How do you define relapse? Is taking cocaine every every now then less dangerous than using it on a daily basis? Is my moderate drinking okay or was AA right? Can I go back to AA after being a...read more
Treatment – Ask Stanton
Is it better to rely on psychiatric drugs and to lose the feelings that they mask, or to risk suicide? Why won’t they let me off methadone? Here is my story of being hospitalized for a drinking problem Should...read more
Society and Science Questions – Ask Stanton
Is my adopted baby doomed by her mother’s drug use? How should I raise a crack baby? Are all crack users addicts? Should society disapprove of addiction? I avoid withdrawal in the wilderness, but not at home Why do...read more
How To Think About Solving an Addiction – Ask Stanton
How can I overcome withdrawal when I quit drinking? My alcoholic counselors says I’m an addict — am I? How can I combat my withdrawal from meth? Police lectures to students How do you help a talented and attractive...read more
Is there such a thing as workaholism?
Dear Stanton: Is there such a thing as workaholism? I’ve read three-fourths of the material on your website and haven’t run into any material dealing with the topic. I do understand that under your model of addiction, any...read more
Heretic in a 12-step treatment system
I just read some letters on Stanton’s web page about the difficulties of being a non-disease counselor in a field dominated by 12 step approaches. I have been employed in this business since 1974 and was an early escapee...read more
How do I fight my husband’s treatment with him?
Hi, Stanton… My husband was admitted into a well-known treatment center for alcoholism after a family intervention. I (his wife) was not told about the intervention until the day before it was to occur — it was planned by...read more
They put people in addiction treatment without withdrawal symptoms!
Further Reading Stanton: I have been looking for an address for you for months and am glad that I finally found it! Your book “Diseasing of America” is the first I have read that agreed with me about...read more
I avoid withdrawal in the wilderness, but not at home
Further Reading Dear Stanton: Once again, I’m quitting smoking. I have this technique for quitting that I’ve been using for the last couple of years (obviously an amazingly successful technique!). It always makes me think of your ideas....read more
Why drink or use drugs at all?
Further Reading Dear Stanton (hope you don’t object to the first name), Thanks for taking the time to answer my rather vague questions. I will look into some of the sites you mention as well as your own...read more
Where do I go for help now that I am out of AA?
Stanton, I am 35 years old and have had problems with alcohol on and off since I was about 15 years old. I have never been physically addicted to any susbtance/alcohol other than nicotine. I had several incidents that...read more
Can I get wasted once in a while?
Further Reading Hey, Stanton. Ok, I haven’t gotten really drunk in a while. But for some reason, the only thing I had on my mind for the last couple of weeks was drinking until I got totally wasted,...read more
Why does my friend waste time in AA instead of me?
Further Reading Dear Sir: I have a very dear friend who is going threw her 3 AA rehab program. She is starting her 3rd month of a 3 month program. Here is the question. She is a person...read more
Do values pay a role in addiction?
Dear Chris: I noticed with great interest and appreciation your chapter incorporating values in motivational interviewing in the latest edition of Motivational Interviewing. Values is often the missing link, in my view, in both clinical research and therapy....read more
Is Valium a real addiction?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: I was disappointed in your web site. I combed through it but not a word on the most harmful and troublesome drugs, benzodiazepines. It is well known that benzo withdrawal is as bad as...read more
My whole family is in AA
Dear Dr. Peele: My name is , and recently I had the great fortune of stumbling across your web-page. Wow! What a life-changing event that has turned out to be! I will not bore you with a comprehensive...read more
Is TV addictive and can the addiction be treated?
Stanton, Can addictions in non-substance abuse cases be related to drug addiction, for example to technologies like the web or TV? Is there counseling for that? Amit Dear Amit: The same general issues apply for non-substance and for substance...read more
How do you help a talented and attractive addict?
Further Reading Dear Stanton This is the first time I really devoted considerable time to your website—because it’s the first time I ever needed close-to-home advice on the topic of addiction. I invited a young guy (28) who...read more
What kinds of people do you think are at high risk for addiction?
Further Reading Stanton, What kinds of people do you think are at high risk for addiction? Why do you believe that fear of a drug problem may actually make people more susceptible to addiction? Thanks! Carrie Trebucq Dear...read more
Police lectures to students
Further Reading Dr. Peele, I have been a police officer for almost 25 years. I have masters in Criminal Justice and Psychology. I am currently a CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies) candidate in psychology. Due to my...read more
Leaving AA – A 22 Year Old’s Story
This young man stands for a large group of individuals – those who turn to AA for help, but who are filled with doubt and ambivalence and now feel ready to leave AA. The AA answer is to “fake...read more
Here is my story of being hospitalized for a drinking problem
Dear Dr. Peele, In February, I drank too much vodka — about one pint — and blacked out. In the black out I wandered out to the living room and said something to my husband and son about the...read more
Should I get treatment after I have already stopped my addiction?
Further Reading Stanton, I am a health professional who developed an opiate dependency that cycled out of control over a 6 month period. I stopped the drug use on my own 6 weeks ago and have no desire...read more
Do The 12 Steps Work?
Further Reading What do you make of the Stanford group’s claim that continuing in 12-step aftercare helps people recover? Dear Stanton: I am two years away from earning my Ph.D. in clinical psychology. My graduate training has continually...read more
How Do You Spot A Drug User?
Further Reading Can’t you spot a drug user because their brains are fried like they show on TV? Dear Stanton I have never been around cocaine addiction. The last guy I dated was addicted for 20 yrs. After...read more
Reading your book saved my life
Dear Stanton: Just a little note to let you know that six and a half years ago I coincidentally came across your book whilst in the middle of my 9th or 10th try with outpatient alcoholism treatment. This was...read more
Should society disapprove of addiction?
Further Reading Stanton, I was chastized by several heroin addicts — men I like and respect — for a statement I made that society should indeed disapprove of addiction. Of course I don’t myself look down upon drug...read more
I inherited my alcoholism — can I drink socially?
I find your opinion very, very interesting and extremely controversial. I would love to see you go more public. Why haven’t I seen you on one of the tv news shows like “60 Minutes” and why haven’t I...read more
AA has failed – what can I do?
Further Reading I am social activist for whom both AA and Jack Trimpey have failed; what can I do? Dear Stanton: I have been going to AA meetings for almost five years, mostly gay meetings. I have had...read more
What do you think of SMART Recovery?
Dear Stanton: What are your opinions about Smart Recovery? Jack Trimpey’s AA Bashing was/is opposed by the Smart Recovery Board, but now there is a ground swell of “Let’s give it back to them.” What are your opinions about...read more
Does my sister-in-law belong in a treatment center?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: My sister-in-law is a sophomore in college. She has just been admittied to a treatment center for alcohol and marijuana. It is her first program, but she has had counselling since this past summer...read more
After reading you book, I set new goals
Mr. Peele, If I may bend your ear, if for nothing else, to hear myself think, I would like to share my story. I quit using Meth December of last year. I was using daily for 7 years prior...read more
Should I date a woman in AA?
Further Reading Dear Stanton, I am presently locked into a marriage with a disabled wife, who can show no affection. Recently, I met a very attractive woman who, after a few meetings, expressed a desire to strike up...read more
My sister has a shopping addiction – please help!
Stanton, My sister has a shopping addiction. She is 26, she lives at home, she works 30 hours a week at my parents dance studio. Her shopping addiction has escalated exponentially in the past two years. She has gone...read more
Dear Sherlock: How much does my boyfriend drink?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: Please could you give me your view regarding the following: I have recently discovered that my partner is drinking a lot “differently” to how he has ever described his drinking habits — for instance,...read more
What does sex addiction tell us about addiction in general?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: What do you think about sexual addiction. Jennifer Schneider, M.D., PhD has a good article on sexual addiction which begins: Addiction to sexual activities can be just as destructive as addiction to chemical substances....read more
The Effects of Cocaine
Further Reading Stanton, does the latest discovery about the effects of cocaine disprove your theory? Stanton, What effects do these results have on your theories? Thanks in advance, Joel Becker Science Slots Piece In Cocaine Addiction Puzzle LONDON...read more
Explanations of Addiction Make No Sense To Me
Further Reading How come the scientific explanations of addiction I receive in drug court and treatment make no sense to me? Dr. Peele, I am currently halfway through a one-year drug court program, having been arrested with .2...read more
Save me from the addict I’m with
One thing I have learned from my Website is that many women tolerate long periods of abuse from men, often excusing them because of their addictions. Here are three examples I received in the last few days. The letters...read more
Is salvation a cure for addiction?
My 17-year-old daughter has been taking amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, and possibly other drugs, for approximately 7 months. In the last month, she has been “saved” and baptized in church, and has dropped the “bad influence friends” Now she...read more
How can I salvage my dating relationship?
Further Reading Dear Stanton, While I write this, I still feel the need to protect the person I’m dating, by not saying for sure he is an alcoholic while it is obvious I think he is. We have...read more
Is harm reduction therapy too risky for a therapist to try?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: I am a counselor who finds you ideas on harm reduction very appealing and sensible. But I wonder about the liability issues involved. If I work with a client encouraging him to limit his...read more
Addicted to Get Rich Quick Schemes
Can a person be addicted to get-rich-quick schemes? Dr. Peele: My father has what I consider to be an addiction, but it is not addressed in any literature that I have read (including any that I could find on...read more
I Don’t Want My Husband To Use Drugs
Further Reading I don’t want my husband to use drugs, even if he can resume drinking Dr. Peele: I am writing to ask you about your opinion on using narcotics recreationally after going through an intensive (6 week)...read more
What is recovery?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: I’ve heard so much about assessment, treatment, relapse prevention and the difficulties of staying sober and the “need” to be in recovery but next to nothing is said about just what recovery is. Besides...read more
Another reason to stay away from AA
Further Reading Can a counselor use her personal knowledge that I have attended AA against me in a court proceeding? Dear Stanton, For the last couple of years I have attended A.A. meetings, not for alcoholism but for sober...read more
How should I raise a crack baby?
Hi Stanton, We are raising a “former” crack baby adopted by us at the age of 2. I have seen articles relating to behavioral problems being a product of poverty, not cocaine and been very frustrated. Dr. Ira Chasnoff’s...read more
If I feel I should abstain currently, can I ever resume drinking?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: I am trying to stop drinking, and not having much luck. I need to understand it better. Is drinking too much progressive, or not? If I quit now, and start in a year, will...read more
May I question AA members?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: Do I have the right to ask the recovering alcoholic questions about his recovery? Joan Joan: That’s an ethics question. But let me put it this way — if a recovering alcoholic presents him/herself...read more
Relying on Psychiatric Drugs
Further Reading Is it better to rely on psychiatric drugs and to lose the feelings that they mask, or to risk suicide? Dear Stanton, I am faced with a possible serious problem that it seems I must solve...read more
Are psychedelics good for you and is marijuana addictive?
Further Reading I was favorably impressed with your insights in The Meaning of Addiction. I wonder what you think about addiction in relation to psychedelics. Do they harm? help? Are they addictive? Allan In general, (a) psychedelics don’t...read more
Is there an alcoholic/addict personality type?
Further Reading I’m currently doing my dissertation on the question of the addictive personality. Do you think there is one? Dear Student: The idea of addictive personality has recently fallen into disuse. It is too glib to say...read more
Moderating Drinking and AA Views
Further Reading My “had a drink and I was okay” sharing was not met with a enthusiasm by my fellow A.A. friends Dear Stanton: I am 45 years of age and have spent the last 15 years both...read more
Tell me how to get off of methadone?
Further Reading Hi, I have been a herion addict for 10 years and 2 years ago I went on methadone and my life is back to normal and I do not use drugs at all. I started on...read more
What if I can’t escape the pull of a 12 step program?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: Thanks to you I was recently able to write in my journal that “I am recovering from my ‘recovery’ “—and leave 4 years of intense OA involvement with which I was increasingly disillusioned. (ie...read more
Help me get my nursing license back – Board of Nursing revoked licence for drugs
Dear Dr. Stanton; I am truly in a bind. Approximately 13 years ago, the Board of Nursing revoked my license for diversion of drugs. I hit rock bottom and decided on my own that this was over forever. I...read more
Put All Drug “addicts” Through Treatment
Further Reading What do you think of New York’s decision to put all drug “addicts” through treatment? Dear Dr. Peele, Thank you for your web site. You validated for me a lot of thoughts and opinions I developed...read more
What do you think of naltrexone therapy for alcoholics?
Stanton, What do you think of the use of the drug Naltrexone to curb alcohol cravings? Dear Dr. Peele: Thanks for your erudite, yet accessible approach. I am researching a TV documentary on alcoholism. I have found a...read more
What should I do with my husband?
Further Reading Hi Stanton, I am sure this is not unfimiliar to you with my such case. I have been married for almost 6 years to...read more
Thank you notes
Who else could say something like that. In the midst of all this recovery hysteria we’re lucky you’re here. K. Hi Stanton! I don’t have a question — I just want to thank you for your work. You are...read more
Are all crack users addicts?
Further Reading Dear Stanton, Many social and moderate drinkers never have a dependency problem. Maybe 10 to 15 pct do. What other substances can be used moderately and responsibly and not cause problems? Marijuana? cocaine? opiates? speed? Are...read more
Is my moderate drinking okay or was AA right?
Further Reading Hi Stanton, Just like some input from you. I resumed drinking after 10 plus years sober, was involved with AA. Started doing some critical thinking on the subject, and read tons of books and literature. My...read more
Can my son’s marijuana use be therapeutic?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: My son is 19 and has a diagnosis of Tourette’s, OCD, depression, and a complex partial seizure disorder that manifests in the form of rage! He says that marijuana helps him control the rages...read more
How do you help an addict hundreds of miles away?
Further Reading Dear Stanton, I have recently discovered the nature of a long time friend’s problems with school, mother, father, law, etc. have been due to methamphetamine. I see a lot of your site seems to be devoted...read more
How can I combat my withdrawal from meth?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: Why don’t they have a drug to help meth users go clean? I am aware that it’s not supposed to be physically addictive… although your body is somewhat back to normal after around 2...read more
Why won’t they let me off methadone?
Guest response by Robert Newman Further Reading Dear Mr. Peele, I was addicted to H for about 3 years. Then I knew it was time to get off the train, so I got on methadone which worked well for...read more
What do you think of methadone treatment – is it good for me?
Dear Stanton: I wonder what you think about methadone maintenance. In two years I’ve detoxed from heroin 6 times – I never get beyond physical withdrawal (back using within 10 days, released from hospital after 5 days). I have...read more
Did I mature out of alcohol addiction?
Further Reading Stanton, For 30 years I went to AA, did the Steps and had a sponsor, and stayed sober 3 months at a time. I was in treatment perhaps 35 times and in the state penitentiary once,...read more
How to ‘interview’ a relative about drug use
Further Reading Hi…. I wondered if you might answer a couple questions for me. I think that a close family member of mine may have a problem with cocaine. I know that she uses the drug on social...read more
I was surprised that my inmate husband is a pot smoker!
Further Reading Dear Dr. Stanton Peele: Thank you for providing information on your web site that is thoughtful, provocative and informative. Mine is a question that deals with personal freedom and MJ use and relationships. I married an...read more
What personality traits do children of alcoholics inherit?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: What psycho-social tendencies, if any, are inherited by the children of alcoholics? Michael Dear Michael: Cloninger claims that male alcoholics inherit antisocial, criminal tendencies. That doesn’t register for me. It seems more plausible to...read more
Did my mamma cast a 12-step hex on me?
Further Reading Stanton: I am writing you in hopes that you can provide some insights. About six years ago, I had an experience that has negatively impacted me. My mom at the time was in Overeaters Anonymous. She...read more
What do you think of my individualized harm reduction treatment?
Further Reading It has been several years since I have last written you. I will try to be a brief as possible. What I have experienced in my struggle with drug addiction has been so profound that I...read more
Are there any harm reduction programs in place for cocaine?
Dear Stanton: Are there any programs for cocaine maintenance in the world. If so, do they work as well as methadone? Can IV users of stimulants find or get an acceptable oral alternative? This question has been asked...read more
What are the leading treatments for alcoholism and addiction?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: What types of treatment are successful for alcoholism and addiction? Jes Aaron Jes: Before identifying treatments that work, let me make the following five points: Allowing the person to select a treatment — and...read more
The Higher Power Doesn’t Work For You?
Further Reading What if you think God is a bastard, and the higher power doesn’t work for you? Mr. Peele: Thanks a million for your swift reply to my question about medical malpractice and 12-Step programs. It’s a shame...read more
How do I get a 12-stepper to stop harassing me?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: I know it is wrong for one to proselytize one’s religious beliefs in the workplace, but what of someone who is proselytizing 12-step dogma at work? I neither drink or use drugs. I did...read more
What do I do when I am forced to attend AA for my job?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: I am a professional pilot. I was a drinker for some time in my life. I decided that alcohol was interfering with things in my life. Although alcohol never was a problem for my...read more
How not to solve an addiction
Further Reading My husband has been compulsively gambling for about two years (maybe more as I was slow on the uptake). Can you give me some ideas of ways I and other family members can support his recovery?...read more
What’s the most important factor in overcoming alcoholism?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: Does the amount or extent of what there is to lose in one’s life (successful career, loved ones, money, respect, etc.) have an impact on helping an alcoholic to recover? At the risk of...read more
Can I ever get off methadone?
Further Reading Dr. Stanton, I am currently on a methadone clinic which I find counter-productive to the well-being and healing of their clients. Indeed, most patients there remain for decades without ever becoming fully ‘clean’ which I assume...read more
Should I get even with the drug dealer who killed my brother?
Further Reading Dear Stanton, My 39 year old brother died of a heroin overdose. He was not alone at the time. The man doing heroin with him didn’t bother to call the authorities until 8 hours after my...read more
What can I say to my employers who push 12-step methods?
Dear Stanton, I am a CASAC, that is a Drug and Alcohol Counselor, in the state of NY. I went into this field because I wanted to assist people with many aspects of their lives affected by overusing drugs...read more
Will my little sister become addicted to ecstasy?
Further Reading Stanton, I recently found out that my 23 year old sister had tried the drug ecstasy, which she claimed was combination of cocaine, heroin, and acid. As far as I know she has only tried it...read more
What should I do?
Further Reading Dear Stanton, My husband is an ex-con who just got out. He promised me that he was going to quite the old life he had and concentrate on us. Well, he didn’t come straight home when...read more
Is ‘dry drunk’ a real medical diagnosis?
Further Reading Dr. Peele: I emailed you a few weeks ago regarding the definition given by a therapist of a “dry drunk” as someone who was an alcoholic who never drank. I thought this an aberration, of sorts,...read more
Does my daughter have a drug problem?
Further Reading Dear Sir: To give you a little background of our family, I am not at liberty to tell you who I am or where I live . Since we...read more
Tell me about needle-exchange programs and drop-in centres
Further Reading Dear Mr. Peele: I am looking for models to support a user-controlled, safe place, drop in centre for drug users in a very depressed part of our city. I am heartened by your description, “When people...read more
Shouldn’t we treat alcoholism as a disease?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: Is alcoholism a disease? At a bar association seminar we were told that alcoholism is (a) a disease (b) “treatable like a disease”, and (c) a “disease based concept”. I have friends at CDC...read more
I take drugs therapeutically for depression but am worried about this
Further Reading Dear Dr. Peele, I am so grateful for your web site! I wish I could see you personally–do you have a private practice? I would like to talk to you to clear up some things about...read more
Are antidepressants addictive?
Further Reading Hi ! My best friend has been taking anti-depressive drugs since 1995. She has a lot of problems right now because she can’t leave this “medicine.” When she has tried to leave it, she has felt...read more
How do you define relapse?
Further Reading Stanton, I have been abstinent (mostly) for almost 3.5 years with 3 relapse events – 1 moderate (half pint) about 3 yrs ago, 1 heavy (2 pints over 2 day period) about 1.5 years ago, and...read more
Mother asks for help for her daughter
Further Reading If you suspect your college aged child of substance abuse and addiction, for example, mood swings, withdrawal, lack of initiative, energy and interest, few friends, dislikes nearly everything, bad grades, hates school, doesn’t want to be...read more
Should I stick with the problem drinker I’m dating?
Further Reading I know this may sound stupid coming from a Female of my age group but I’ll ask anyway….I am a 16 year old female who is dating a 18 year old male…When I met him he...read more
What exactly is the community reinforcement approach (CRA) and how effective is it?
What exactly is the community reinforcement approach (CRA) and how effective is it? I read about it briefly in your book “Diseasing of America”. I am an Intake Counsellor at a Drop In Crisis Center in Montreal and feel...read more
What is the correct punishment for two DUI’s in five years?
Further Reading Stanton, I was arrested for my second DWI within five years, which is a felony. In order to avoid jail, “clients” are referred to the Alcohol Abuse and Deterrent Program. As a condition of this probation,...read more
How do I convince my ex-wife my drinking is no longer a problem?
Further Reading Dear Stanton- I was enlisted in a 30 day in-patient treatment center last spring. There is some history (my grandfather) of alcohol abuse in the family. I have a 17 year old cousin (my grandfather’s grandson)...read more
Concerned About My Alcohol Consumption
Further Reading I was concerned about my alcohol consumption, and now I am forced into treatment. What should I do? Dear Mr. Peele: I have worked for my current employer for 20 years, and have progressed steadily to...read more
Why did you use ‘addiction’ in the title of your web site?
Further Reading Dear Dr. Peele I am a Swedish researcher working on an article about social work and drug abuse. My question concerns the concept “chemical dependance” which seems to be used to a very large extent in...read more
When I went to college, I became involved in addicted sex
Further Reading Dear Stanton: Oh my, where do I start? I am a married 34 year old full time student at a very prominent university. I am very successful in college. I am currently an honor student and...read more
What does it mean to be codependent with a drug addict?
Further Reading I have been seeing a great guy who I knew had smoked crack in the past. He had been clean for over a year, had a good job and was saving money. The past two weeks...read more
How do I manage withdrawal from clonidine?
Further Reading Is it possible that someone who went thru heroin withdrawal with Clonidine (last dose heroin 12 days ago) Clonidine patch removed 2 days ago, suddenly have severe heroin withdrawal symptoms (freq. vomiting, diarrhea, “gooseflesh”, shakes)? Dear...read more
Please help me to help my client recover naturally
Further Reading Dear Dr. Peele: I am relatively new to direct treatment in addictions, although I have been in the social work field for over 25 years (BA, MSW, and a year of graduate-level addictions studies). I am...read more
Why am I not addicted to cigarettes?
Dear Stanton: I am 30 years old and essentially a non-smoker. Most everyone I know is a non-smoker. The other night I was in a bar with some friends, all except one non-smokers. Because the one smoker was smoking,...read more
Legalization of Alcoholic Drinks to Minors
Further Reading Would legalization of alcoholic drinks to minors decrease or increase underage drinking? Would legalization of alcoholic drinks to minors decrease or increase underage drinking? Anonymous Dear Anonymous: The U.S. is the only country in the world that...read more
Substance Abuse Problem
Further Reading The catch-22 of employment law: Whether to tell about a substance abuse problem Stanton, I am looking for a suggestion on how to handle the following situation: I worked for eight years on Wall Street (I...read more
Should physicians prescribe narcotic substitutes?
Further Reading Dear Mr. Stanton, I have been adicted to heroine for almost ten years and have spent seven of those on methadone as well. I have only achieved prolonged periods of heroine abstinence twice, eight years ago...read more
Going Broke With Counselors
Further Reading My son and his counselors think they are doing fine, only I’m going broke; how do I stand up for myself? Dear Dr. Peele: My husband and I have a 23 year old son who is...read more
Do I Have a Drinking Problem?
Further Reading What about alcoholism assessment at recovery centers, and do I have a drinking problem? Dear Stanton, I recently went through an alcohol “assessment” at a recovery center because of a dwi I recently received. My question...read more
Can you experience withdrawal from antidepressants?
Further Reading Dear Stanton, I have been taking the antidepressant dothiepin for seven years and am finding it really tough to come off the drug. I was originally prescribed it for CFS by an unsympathetic GP. But now,...read more
Do antidepressants work?
Further Reading Stanton, Do you think that the whole seratonin transmitter thing is totally wrong regarding depression? I have suffered from depression for at least thirty years. And I’ve been through therapy, AA and whatever else I could...read more
Non-AA help in the U.S. and overseas
Non-AA help in the U.S. and overseas Hi. I’m writing to you from , Sweden. I like your integrity. I joined the MM list some weeks ago as I searched the Internet for alternatives to addictions as well...read more
No Desire to do Anything but Drink
Further Reading My husband is continuously losing jobs and has no desire to do anything but sit and drink My husband is an alcoholic who has been in treatment 4 times over the last 4 years, the last...read more
Costs To Abstinence & How To Deal With Them
Further Reading Are there costs to abstinence and how do you deal with them? Stanton: I had a husband (now an ex) who was a long time user of alcohol and pot. He was a genial soul when inebriated...read more
Is marijuana addictive?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: I keep reading that marijuana is addictive. Yet, although I have smoked it, I haven’t known many marijuana addicts (maybe a few people who overdo it). Isn’t it wrong to say mj is addictive?...read more
What actually is addiction?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: I am a forty-four year old part-time student at a local University in Indiana and a full time minister in a local church. I have been working toward a degree in Behavioral Sciences with...read more
Am I a marijuana addict?
Further Reading Dear Stanton: I am a 20 year-old college student who is going on to his fifth semester. Last fall, I was introduced to marijuana by a someone close to me. Since then, I have smoked pot...read more
Forced into AA for using marijuana medically: What do I do?
Mr. Peele, About 3 months ago I took a hair drug test at work. The test showed positive for marijuana. I had been using marijuana for a few years and only used a small amount each night before bedtime....read more