Further Reading

What do you think of addictive voice recognition?

Hello Stanton:

What do you think of Addictive Voice Recognition Technique by Jack Trimpey at Rational Recovery?

I am not an expert on AVR, but I have thought about Trimpey's approach. First, Jack is to be commended for going out against AA and taking the heat for doing so.

Given this, I retain some problems inre RR. These were perhaps best expressed in a letter I wrote with my co­author, Archie Brodsky, to The Journal of Rational Recovery (Vol. 4, Issue 3, Jan.-Feb., 1992, p. 12) following Jack's review of our book, The Truth About Addiction and Recovery. In this letter, we find AVR to be a disease-like concept based on an imaginary biological construct, "The Beast," supposedly located in the midbrain.

Dear Editors:

In his piece, "Abstinence, Where is They Sting" (JRR, Nov.­Dec., 1991), Jack Trimpey implies that our book, The Truth About Addiction and Recovery, argues exclusively for controlled drinking for alcoholics....

Jack's quote that we believe that "...abstinence is an unnecessary, high cost of recovery" seems to be taken out of context. In fact, we could not find this quote in the indexed pages on controlled drinking in Truth. A typical quote from these pages (p. 234) says, "Consideration of both goals [abstinence and controlled drinking] is clearly a better way to proceed. Ideally, a therapist should consider all possible nonaddictive options with the individual and allow him or her to select the one that seems most workable."

The whole point of The Truth About Addiction and Recovery is that people with problems have to be accorded the respect of being full participants in their recovery, including choosing their own goals. We recognize both abstinence and moderation outcomes because we reject the AA creation of alcohol as a larger­than­life bogey which overwhelms problem drinkers' ability to make sensible choices.

We have supported RR as a valuable alternative to current approaches to alcoholism. Although RR officially does not attack those seeking to moderate their drinking, it is unfortunate that RR is so grudging in accepting that some do not select the goal of abstinence. Jack's biological rhetoric...recalls the disease theory quite strongly: "We may conceive of the addictive voice as emanating from the pleasure centers of the midbrain (where other biological appetites seem to be centered)...," which The Small Book characterizes as "The Beast." This imagery of the power of alcohol is likely to set up self­fulfilling prophecies of loss of control, to turn off many of those who have rejected AA, and to eliminate the possibility that a problem drinker can ever create a totally new identity.

We hope that RR will more fully reject the myths of AA and join us embracing a truly rational ­­ and pluralistic ­­ approach to recovery from drinking problems and alcohol addiction."

Stanton Peele and Archie Brodsky