Views on The Meaning of Addiction

The Meaning of Addiciton

The Meaning of Addiction is to my mind the best recent comprehensive statement about addiction.
—Herbert Fingarette, Heavy Drinking, 1988, p. 8.


The Meaning of Addiction provides a model of the entire scope of the addiction experience and is a significant tool for recovery from the addictive cycle.
—G. Alan Marlatt, Director, Addictive Behaviors Laboratory, University of Washington


Stanton Peele is the only author who has effectively challenged the consistent failure of the mental health establishment, the huge AA and Synanon-type 'religions,' the drug enforcement bureaucracy, and the medical profession
—Nicholas Cummings, Past President, American Psychological Association.


Stanton Peele draws upon a vast and diverse literature which ranges from clinical therapeutics to the experimental laboratory
—George Bigelow, Director of the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.


Stanton Peele writes so clearly and cogently that his scholarship and erudition remain continuously intriguing, adding to the readability of a volume that will become a classic contribution to the field.
—Jules Masserman, Past President, American Psychiatric Association


Stanton Peele creatively and rationally cuts through the zealous and often emotional dialogue that surrounds the notion of addiction. His work stands as a major contemporary contribution to the field.
—Howard Shaffer, Director of the Harvard Medical School's Norman Zinberg Institute of the Addictions


This is a book to be read slowly, to be taken seriously, and to be debated hotly by every professional in the field.  This whole subject is one of the major medical, political, and societal problems of our civilization, and we seem unable to find any workable solution.
—John A. Owen, Jr., M.D.  Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine


Mr. Peele, I'm glad to see you're still out there kicking butt. When my father told me, in 1987, that he and my mother had classified themselves as alcoholics, and that there was probably a genetic component to their disease, I immediately went to the library where I was in college at the time, and where I was fortunate enough to find your book "The Meaning of Addiction."


Additional praise on the revised edition of Meaning

The Meaning of Addiction presented a new paradigm of addiction.  The field has since become more open to the kind of complex, contextual view of addiction and compulsive behavior that it presents.  Nonetheless, it remains the classic source for expressing this point of view.
—Archie Brodsky, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School


Peele's theory of  "addiction as an experience" in The Meaning of Addiction remains a pathbreaking one that offers the reader an accessible and empowering understanding of their own experiences, desires, and addictions.  For understanding addictions, Peele is in my view (and for my courses on this subject) still the source of all sources.
—Richard J. DeGrandpre, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, St. Michael's College, Burlington Vermont


The Meaning of Addiction offers a thought-provoking, insightful, and controversial perspective on the etiology of addictive behaviors.  Dr. Peele challenges the biological model and provides an important alternative view on addictive behaviors. The Meaning of Addiction should be required reading for students and professionals alike. Undergraduate students in my Psychology of Addictive Behaviors course are consistently inspired and excited by the refreshing perspective offered by Dr. Peele.
—Kim Fromme, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Texas


Given the extraordinary, but largely unsubstantiated, confidence that many in both the public and professional ranks have in simplistic conceptualizations of addictive behavior, it is reassuring that sophisticated and provocative alternatives such as those proposed by Stanton Peele in The Meaning of Addiction surface from time to time.  It offers hope for constructive change by putting reason and choice back into the addiction formula.
—Alan R. Lang, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Florida State University


Stanton Peele's book, Meaning of Addiction, was one of the 3 most important for me in advancing my thinking— along with John Stuart Mill's On Liberty and Andrew Weil's Natural Mind.
— Ethan Nadelmann, Speech to San Francisco Medical Society, Summer, 2001.