Cover Outgrowing AddictionOutgrowing Addiction

With Common Sense Instead of “Disease” Therapy

Stanton Peele and Zach Rhoads

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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 this book, 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.


Outgrowing Addiction books“Outgrowing Addiction is a meditation for parents on how to avoid the trap of medicalizing their children’s normal life struggles.”
—Steven Slate, co-author, The Freedom Model for Addiction

“For users and their families, this book shows how to accelerate the processes that lead addicted people to relinquish drugs. Outgrowing Addiction is smart, compassionate, and, most important, optimistic.”
—Sally Satel, M.D., Yale Psychiatry Department, co-author, Brainwashed

“Peele and Rhoads’ view of addiction as a turbulent but natural stage of need fulfillment engages empowerment, determination, and personal growth. A truly comprehensive and masterful work.”
—Marc Lewis, emeritus professor of Neuorscience, author of Memoirs of an Addicted Brain and The Biology of Desire

“A godsend for anyone seeking a solution to the opioids crisis.”
—Carl Hart, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Columbia University, author of High Price

“Based on compassion, science and good old-fashioned family values, this book empowers us by tapping into our resilience and reinforcing or innate strengths and resources.”
—Barry Lessin, co-founder, Families for Sensible Drug Policy

“Congratulations to Stanton Peele and Zach Rhoads on an eye-opening book, a state-of-the-art guide to scientifically sound information that can help the addiction field move into the twenty-first century.”
—Robert J. Meyers, architect of Community Reinforcement and Family Therapy (CRAFT)

“Outgrowing Addiction is a book of hope, and of the liberation that awaits those willing to abandon powerful but bankrupt ideologies in favor of reason, science and clear-eyed self-reflection.”
— Ethan Nadelmann, Founding Director of the Drug Policy Alliance