Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We are Out of Control
Diseasing of America is a classic that marked a turning point in the addictions field. Stanton Peele dared to assert that while alcoholism and drug-taking may be addictions, they are not diseases. In this plainspoken and courageous critique of America's approach to addiction, Peele attacks the "addiction as disease" model promoted by Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, and drug treatment centers. He argues that more practical therapies - behavioral, family oriented, and community based - and normal maturational experiences help people more than AA. Peele documents the scientific fallacies and institutional corruption of the addiction-as-disease movement. In a sweeping historical and social commentary, Peele points the way to positive personal and social change by showing how we can support people in living non-addicted lives. Ultimately, he asserts, the only effective response to addiction is to recreate living communities that nurture constructive human capacities and give people a real stake in life.