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Zach Rhoads (Author) See More
Stanton Peele, Ph.D. (Author) See More

$16.95 USD
Upper Access
6 X 9 in
240 pg

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Drug overdoses continue to rise at an alarming rate throughout the U.S., resulting in 72,000 deaths last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The response, tragically, has been to charge full-speed ahead with “solutions” that have already, and consistently, failed.

In Overcoming Addiction, Stanton Peele, a prominent addiction expert, and Zach Rhoads, a child behavior interventionist and counselor, show that defining addiction as a “disease” makes recovery much more difficult, and that twelve-step programs fail for most participants. But they don’t just criticize. They provide a solid, research-and-experience-based alternative approach that has proven to be successful in overcoming the scourges of suicide, depression, addiction, and drug-related deaths.

The authors show that maturing out of addiction and childhood behavioral problems is a normal process—unless people are sidetracked by the widespread and commonplace therapies that undercut natural growth and self-confidence.

They present extensive research data about natural recovery and case studies of fully recovered adults and of children with various conditions, for a developmental model of addiction that has been proven to help those who are suffering. Much of the focus is on childhood addiction, but their conclusions and methods are helpful for people of all ages. Their work forms the basis for the Life Process Program, a worldwide online parenting and addiction coaching service.

Stanton Peele, Ph.D. Zach Rhoads
Author Bio

Zach Rhoads is a consultant for families and children. In this role, Zach has demonstrated a gift for communicating with kids who are having difficulties—along with families and teachers who are stymied by their failures to reach these children. Zach developed this empathy through his own problems as a child who wasn’t successful at school and for whom standard diagnoses and
treatment weren’t helpful. Moreover, in his twenties he developed a heroin addiction, which—after several years and a near-death experience—he left behind.

Zach is a Life Process Program coach and developer. Stanton has three adult children, all of whom are engaged in meaningful, creative professional passions and strong intimate relationships. He spends creative time with his three grandchildren, including taking them on trips and other adventures. Zach (who is 40 years younger than Stanton) is married and is part of a highly supportive family network, to which he and his wife have recently added another member, a daughter, as this book was completed.

Stanton Peele, PhD, JD, is an addiction expert who has investigated, written about, and treated addiction over five decades. Based on this work, he was recognized in The Atlantic as one of “10 people who are revolutionizing how we study addiction and recovery.”

In the course of his life’s work, Stanton has identified that addiction isn’t limited to drugs, leading to the concept of process addictions. He was among the first to describe natural recovery and its anchorings in life through work, marriage, and family. Along with his 12 previous books and 250 academic and popular articles, he has created the Life Process Program, developed for a successful residential rehab center, the online version of which is now used around the world. Zach works with the online LPP and has expanded it into the family realm.

Stanton Peele’s main website is at:

Table of contents



Introduction: Why we are writing this book

• It’s Not a Disease
• Overcoming the Effects of Trauma
• The Developmental Model of Addiction

1. Addiction as a Developmental Process

• Vietnam Veterans’ Natural Recovery from Heroin Addiction
• Changing the Addict Narrative
• Developing Resilience

2. Addictive Experiences

• American Painkiller Hysteria
• The Campaign against Painkillers
• Normal Drug Use
• Fear Itself
• A Note about Psychedelics
• Vulnerability to Addiction
• The “Non-Addictive Analgesic”
• The Definition and Natural History of Addiction

3. Expanding Life Experience

• The Path to Recovery—embrace life and the opportunities and joy it presents
• The Life Process Program

4. The Life Process of Children

• Doing the Best They Can
• Counterwill
• The Consequences of Commanding Children
• The Childhood Acting-Out Cycle—understanding the rewards of contrariness
• Learning Zones vs Mental Disorders

5. Children and Addiction

• The Teenage “Addict”
• A Case of Childhood Addiction

6. Diseases, Disorders and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

• Positive Psychology

7. Beyond Labeling

• Children and Mental Disorders
• Zach’s Alternative Story
• A Note on Accessing Special Resources
• Children’s Strengths, Grit, and Perseverance

8. Behavioral Addictions and What They Show Us

• Evolving Definitions
• On Childhood Addictions

9. Abstinence and Harm Reduction, in Adolescence and Recovery

• Harm Reduction and Youthful Drinking
• Harm Reduction in Treating Substance Use Problems
• Mindfulness Harm Reduction Therapy for Smoking
• Harm Reduction for Opioids
• Harm Reduction and Childhood-Youthful Drug Problems

10. The Limits of the 12-Step Approach

• Why People Refuse—or Drop Out of—AA
• Our World Demands Something Better

11. Recovery in the Real World

• We Already Know the Truths in This Book but Ignore Them, Part I: Suicide
• Answers to Suicide are Complex and Unworkable in America
• We Already Know the Truths in This Book but Ignore Them, Part II: Addiction
• A Note about Developmental Psychology
• SAMHSA’s Redefinition of Recovery

12. Raising Our Non-Addicted Next Generation

• How to Raise a Child without Your Addiction
• Recovery Nation
• 12 Values that Prevent Addiction

13. Developing Purpose, Efficacy, and Independence

• Purpose, Purpose, Purpose
• The Nearly Century-Long Terman Study
• Assisting People to Find Purpose
• Efficacy and Empowerment
• On Being a Parent—Inspiring Independence
• Overselling Trauma—The Fearful Society
• Fostering Purpose, Self-Empowerment, and Joy

14. Overcoming Addiction

• Relapse and Purposelessness
• Meaning, Purpose, and Joy in Adulthood

15. Conclusion: The American Delusion
• Community, Community, Community
• Truth Seeking

Appendix A: Readers’ Exercises by Chapter
Appendix B: Parents’ Addiction and Development Manual
Appendix C: The Life Process Program/Family Program
Appendix D: Additional Resources