Cover image for Sober for good : new solutions for drinking problems--advice from those who have succeeded
Sober for good : new solutions for drinking problems--advice from those who have succeeded
Fletcher, Anne M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
Physical Description:
xxi, 324 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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Central Library HV5276 .F65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Central Library HV5276 .F65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Collins Library HV5276 .F65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
East Aurora Library HV5276 .F65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library HV5276 .F65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library HV5276 .F65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Finally someone has gone straight to the real experts: hundreds of men and women who have resolved a drinking problem. Best-selling author Anne M. Fletcher asked them a simple question: how did you do it? The result: the first completely unbiased guide for problem drinkers, which shatters long-held assumptions about alcohol recovery.

Myth #1: AA is the only way to get sober.
Reality: More than half of the people Fletcher found recovered without AA.

Myth #2: You can't get sober on your own.
Reality: Many people got sober by themselves.

Myth #3: To get sober, you have to admit you're an alcoholic.
Reality: Many people -- even some with very serious drinking problems -- recovered without calling themselves alcoholics.

Myth # 4: One drink inevitably leads right back to the bottle.
Reality: A small number of people find they can have an occasional drink.

Myth #5: There's nothing you can do for someone with a drinking problem until he or she is ready.
Reality: Family and friends can make a big difference if they know how to help.

Weaving together the success stories of ordinary people and the latest scientific research on the subject, Fletcher uncovers a simple truth: no single path to sobriety is right for every individual. There are many ways to get sober -- and stay sober.
The most comprehensive book on alcohol recovery available, SOBER FOR GOOD includes * motivational strategies from former problem drinkers * suggestions on what to do if you're not ready to quit * advice for family and friends of problem drinkers * a complete "Consumer Guide" to the many recovery options -- how to find what's right for you.
SOBER FOR GOOD is for anyone who has ever struggled not to drink, coped with someone who has a drinking problem, or secretly wondered, "Do I drink too much?"

An award-winning health and medical journalist, Anne M. Fletcher is the author of the best-selling THIN FOR LIFE and EATING THIN FOR LIFE. She is the former executive editor of the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter and a former contributing editor to Prevention magazine.

Author Notes

An award-winning health & medical journalist, Anne M. Fletcher is the author of the best-selling "Thin for Life", "Eating Thin for Life", & "Thin for Life Daybook". She is the former executive editor of the Tufts University "Health & Nutrition Letter" & was a contributing editor to "Prevention". Her articles have also appeared in "Better Homes & Gardens", "McCall's", "Good Housekeeping", "Redbook", & "Vogue". Fletcher has appeared on "The Today Show", "Donahue", "Good Morning America", "CBS This Morning", & "The Larry King Radio Show".

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Although Alcoholics Anonymous has long been the preferred (and often court-mandated) regimen for the treatment of alcoholism, its ideology isn't for everyone. As Fletcher (Thin for Life) points out, some people are put off by AA's religious tone, others by the concept of powerlessness over alcohol. And, she says, contrary to AA beliefs, many more never "hit bottom," but nonetheless choose to reconsider their relationship with drinking. Additionally, she suggests, with managed care drastically cutting coverage of inpatient treatment, people with alcohol problems need to know about outpatient alternatives to AA. Fletcher, a health and medical journalist, provides a compendium of such approaches, drawing on the voices of "masters" former problem drinkers who have resolved their problems with alcohol and been sober for at least five years. Programs such as Women for Sobriety, Rational Recovery and Moderation Management provide a variety of approaches, and the "masters" themselves offer a collection of strategies for getting and staying sober with support groups, chemical dependency counselors or a combination of treatments. Unfortunately, Fletcher draws a fuzzy line between "problem drinkers" and "alcoholics," a word she avoids because some find it "pejorative." Maintaining that the distress and dysfunction of most people with drinking problems is not as "severe" as that associated with a stereotypical drunk, she promises that, although AA proponents insist otherwise, "you can quit on your own," "you don't have to quit altogether" and "you don't have to call yourself an alcoholic." Though she sometimes appears to bash AA, Fletcher provides a useful overview of the varieties of recovery programs and practices. (Apr. 17) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



1 A New Look at How People Really Solve Drinking Problems If your best friend turned to you for advice about a drinking problem, what would you say? The automatic reaction of most people, nonprofessionals and treatment specialists alike, would likely be "Get yourself to AA." But is this truly the best response for that individual -- is it the only solution? Weve all heard so many things about recovery, but are they really true? To find out how people whose lives have been troubled by alcohol have overcome their difficulties, I decided to turn to the foremost experts -- those who have actually done it, people who have mastered their former alcohol problems in different ways.* I wanted to determine exactly what these "masters" did -- what specific strategies they used -- to get sober and stay sober. My call for information was answered by hundreds whose drinking at its worst ranged from what many of us might define as a social drinkers quota to more than a fifth of hard liquor a day. (All of the 222 masters completed a seven-page questionnaire about their drinking pasts, the turning points, how they resolved their alcohol problems, and how they got on with their lives.) Who Are the Masters? The masters came to me through postage-paid flyers distributed in public places across the country, advertisements and listings in newspapers and special-interest magazines, postings on the Internet, and recovery groups. Some masters knew me or had heard about my work through a friend. They come from all walks of life -- theyre attorneys, maintenance workers, former topless dancers, college professors, physicians, schoolteachers, homemakers, engineers, judges, former bartenders, current bartenders, nurses, and journalists. Theyre Christians and atheists, gay and straight, people from their twenties to their eighties who got sober anywhere from their teens through their fifties and sixties. They include husbands and wives who got sober together as well as a mother and her two grown children who all quit on their own but at different times. A quarter of them are recovery group leaders, mental health professionals, and/or chemical dependency counselors, so they know sobriety from both ends, as former problem drinkers and as experienced helpers of those who are still struggling. Gender-wise, there is close to an even split: 54 percent of the masters are men and 46 percent are women. Along with stories of people who were rendered destitute because of their drinking, I wanted to include the experiences of people with mild or moderate alcohol problems, because little help is available for them, despite the fact that they are thought to outnumber stereotypical brown-bag "alcoholics" by three or four to one. Therefore, the stories of the masters drinking days vary from sagas of high-functioning drinkers who were able to raise families and move upward professionally despite their alcohol abuse to those of hard-core "drunks" who describe loss of jobs, healt Excerpted from Sober for Good: New Solutions for Drinking Problems -- Advice from Those Who Have Succeeded by Anne M. Fletcher All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Frederick B. Glaser, M.D.
Acknowledgmentsp. vi
Forewordp. xv
Introductionp. xix
1 A New Look at How People Really Solve Drinking Problemsp. 1
2 There's Not Just One Way: How the Masters Got Sober--and Stay Soberp. 8
3 It's Not How Much You Drink: How the Masters Faced Up to Their Alcohol Problemsp. 26
4 You Don't Have to "Hit Bottom": How the Masters Reached the Turning Pointp. 48
5 It's Not Necessarily One Day at a Time: How the Masters Made a Commitment to Sobrietyp. 75
6 Be Your Own Expert: How Seven Different Masters Found Their Way with Seven Different Approachesp. 96
7 You Can Help: The Masters' Advice to Family and Friendsp. 146
8 One Drink Does Not a Drunk Make: How the Masters Determined Whether They Could Ever Drink Againp. 170
9 It's Not Enough Just to Stop Drinking: How the Masters Deal with Life's Ups and Downs Without Alcoholp. 193
10 Recall the Past, Live in the Present: How the Masters Stay Motivatedp. 217
11 With or Without a "Higher Power": How the Masters Handle Spiritualityp. 235
12 There's Nothing Missing: How the Masters Find Joy Without Alcoholp. 247
Appendix A Consumer Guide to Recovery Optionsp. 267
Selected Referencesp. 303
Indexp. 311

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