An exposé of Alcoholics Anonymous, twelve-step programs, and the growing for-profit rehab industry and how a failed addiction-treatment model came to dominate America
AA has become so infused in our society that it has become practically synonymous with addiction recovery. Yet, there exists very little empirical data proving that AA and other 12-step programs are effective in helping addicts heal. Despite reports claiming that AA only has a 5–10 percent success rate, countless doctors, judges, and employers continue to refer their addicted patients for treatments based on the 12-step model, rehabilitation facilities center their programs around this model, and many addicts themselves are simply unaware of any other options available to them. This book gives a well-reasoned rebuke to the notion that AA is for everyone, an idea that no other field of medicine would entertain.
Armed with rigorous analysis, cutting-edge research, and convincing case studies, Dr. Dodes builds a powerful and compelling case against the monopoly of the 12-step program. He suggests treatment that takes a multifaceted approach to every patient, acknowledging personal history, psychological and physical health, and the unique road that leads an individual to addiction. The Sober Truth offers actionable information for addicts, their families, and medical providers seeking a more intelligent, effective, and compassionate approach to understand and treat addiction.
“Like Breaking Addiction and The Heart of Addiction, The Sober Truth makes an important contribution to the field by raising central questions about how treatment and self-help programs operate and whether commonly used treatments for addiction are effective. Dodes and Dodes thoughtfully and rigorously trace the history of alcohol treatment and the role of such treatment within the “rehab” setting. Perhaps most importantly, The Sober Truth examines the failure of science to provide answers to fundamental questions about addiction treatment. People struggling with addiction deserve more than science has provided, and The Sober Truth should stimulate a fundamental dialogue that can move the field forward. Finally, and not to be missed, this book also serves as a treatment guide for anyone seeking help with their own or a loved one’s alcohol use.“ —Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School; Director, Division on Addiction, The Cambridge Health Alliance