Welcome to the Thorburn Addiction Report. Each month, you we bring you several sections, including:
1. Top Story of the month
2. Movie or Book Review of the month
3. Dear Doug in which a recent letter to "Dear Annie" or other "help" column is rewritten, with responses given from the unique perspective that alcohol or other drug addiction best explains the misbehaviors described
4. Alcoholic Myth-of-the-Month
5. Alcoholic Antic-of-the-Month
There is something for everyone!
First, a special request of our readers: Myths and Realities of Alcoholism: Removing the Stigma of Societys Most Destructive Disease will be officially available in bookstores June 28. We could really use your help getting the message out. Please post your review to www.amazon.com and www.bn.com. Dougs previous books, including Get Out of the Way! How to Identify and Avoid a Driver Under the Influence and How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics: Using Behavioral Clues to Recognize Addiction in its Early Stages, are also available for review. If you post a review to either or both sites by June 30 and email us your address and a link to your review well send you a complimentary copy of Myths or other selection.
Click here to post your review
|Monster Dad: Why did Jerry Hobbs murder his own daughter?
Top Story: A rational explanation can be found in unimpeded alcoholism.
Parents in the quiet community of Zion, Illinois were “shocked” after the fatal stabbings of eight-year-old Laura Hobbs and her best friend, 9-year-old Krystal Tobias, by Laura’s father, Jerry Brandon Hobbs lll. State Attorney Michael Walker said, “there isn’t any rational explanation for what happened,” while Zion Police Chief Doug Malcolm intoned, “This sort of thing just doesn’t happen here.”
Yet, Hobbs had reportedly been arrested 29 times in the last 15 years for committing violent acts. Once, “a drunken Hobbs chased neighbors with a chainsaw” while screaming at his girlfriend and mother of his child, Sheila Hollabaugh, “I’ll kill you.” He was last released from prison only a month earlier, having served two years for domestic assault. The Department of Family Services visited the family “many times” over a number of years, launching six investigations. Despite the fact that the odds of alcoholism in any one case of domestic violence are 85% and most domestic strife is a result of this disease, the media failed to suggest that it could explain the tragic events that unfolded May 8.
Hobbs’ sister, Sandra, tried to explain. “Our father…physically punished the two of us…We had a twisted life…We were on the run for 14 years, running from the sheriff and creditors.” Their mother has been a fugitive since violating probation for a grand theft conviction in 1986. Sandra did not explain why the troubled upbringing didn’t affect her in the same way, because she doesn’t seem to know that the predisposition for heinous conduct originates in biochemistry. She appears unaware that they had a “twisted life” because their parents had the disease of alcoholism, which Hobbs inherited.
While Sandra knew that Hobbs and Hollabaugh fought almost every day, she apparently had no idea that such fighting is a behavioral symptom of addiction. Had she known this and understood that alcoholism can fuel wildly irrational, pre-civilized behaviors, she might not be feeling remorseful over the fact that she introduced the two in 1991 and encouraged Hollabaugh to keep the family intact. Had Sandra understood her family’s disease, she might have instead long ago explained that offering a choice of rehab with family, or insobriety without, can instill in an addict a desire to get clean and sober. However unlikely as it now seems, had Hollabaugh limited Hobbs to these two alternatives, Hobbs might have made the right decision and his daughter would be alive in a home with a recovering alcoholic.
While close people rarely attempt to impose abstinence, the law and its agencies, which came into contact with Hobbs at least 35 times, could have easily done so. It had every reason and opportunity to offer a choice of freedom with regular and random blood and urine tested abstinence, or imprisonment, with any relapse resulting in a loss of freedom, starting the process all over again. If it had set such ground rules, Hobbs might have gotten sober. In the worst case, he’d still be in prison or would likely have been sent back sometime during the preceding month. In either case, Laura Hobbs and Krystal Tobias would probably be alive today. Instead, the system failed and two innocent little girls died because the underlying cause of Hobbs’ horrific misbehaviors went untreated: alcoholism, a biochemical disease that damages the neo-cortex and allows the lower brain centers to determine actions without the restraint of reason and logic.
Runners-up for top story of the month: Jaime Plascencia, husband of give-Wendy’s-a-finger-woman Anna Ayala, who purchased the finger that ultimately found its way into the chili from an otherwise uninvolved Nevada man who lost it in an industrial accident. Plascencia, who was charged along with his wife with conspiracy to commit fraud in her attempted grand larceny, was already in jail on unrelated charges of identity theft. Jeremy Brian Jones, 32, aka John Paul Chapman, indicted by an Alabama grand jury in the slaying of 45-year-old Lisa Nichols, who was found raped, shot and burned in September 2004, now suspected in a string of rape-murders. Neighbors described him as a “volatile, paranoid man who was often glassy-eyed from using methamphetamine” (meth use causes paranoia; if you see someone paranoid and glassy-eyed, you likely see a meth addict). Michelle M. Johnson and Harrell Johnson, finally charged with murdering their daughter Erica in 2001, having used hedge clippers to sever the little girl’s head after the child died following a beating for which they failed to seek help because both had warrants out for their arrests. Harrell admitted he was under the influence of alcohol and PCP when he threw Erica to the ground after she refused to go to bed, leaving her unconscious on the floor for two days. Millionaire real estate heir Robert Durst, possibly under investigation for the death of writer Susan Berman, a friend of Durst’s missing first wife: the LAPD has requested Durst’s pistols from Galveston County, Texas prosecutors. Durst was acquitted of murder in November 2003, despite the fact that he admitted cutting up his neighbor’s body and dumping the parts into Galveston Bay. Music producer Phil Spector, attempting to suppress evidence of prior acts for the upcoming trial in which he is charged with murdering actress Lana Clarkson. With Spector claiming he “never pulled a gun on these women,” Superior Court Judge Larry P. Fidler ruled evidence of using guns to threaten and intimidate women would be allowed. Winston Hayes, at whom Los Angeles deputy sheriffs fired an estimated 100+ rounds (all but four missing their intended target) after ending a car chase in Compton, admitting he was on drugs when he ran. In addition to six misdemeanor arrests, he was previously convicted of attempted arson and felony assault on a peace officer; this would be his third strike. Bristol Township, Philadelphia councilman Kevin Gilroy, claiming he swerved to avoid hitting a cat, arrested for DUI when he crashed his car into a curb about 25 feet from his home. He previously resigned as treasurer of the township’s Democratic Committee after party officials allegedly found financial irregularities (an excellent behavioral clue to addiction). Former America West pilot Thomas Cloyd and co-pilot Christopher Hughes, facing up to five years in prison for flying an aircraft while intoxicated, arguing that they weren’t “flying,” since they hadn’t yet taken off. They didn’t take off because airport personnel stopped them. (You’ll find the story’s beginnings on page 71 of Alcoholism Myths and Realities.) Former “Partridge Family” child star Danny Bonaduce, physically restrained by a VH1 camera crew during a drinking binge despite being warned by his wife that she would offer only tough love if he ever slipped, back in rehab. Filmmaker Oliver Stone, again arrested on suspicion of DUI and drug possession. The uninitiated would hardly know there was a problem by reading the recent sanitized Playboy interview. Recovering alcoholic country music star Hank Williams Jr. requesting a court order to force his alcoholic wife, former Miss Hawaiian Tropic Mary Jane Williams, into rehab after she set their kitchen on fire while drinking and cooking. The lyrics to his new single, “Devil in the Bottle,” seem to be for her. Former Ventura County, California Superior Court Judge Robert Bradley, arrested for driving cars and, once, a bicycle while under the influence, found dead at his home, having choked to death on a piece of meat. Actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who portrayed Elvis Presley in a recent TV miniseries, completing rehab and reportedly doing well with the help of fellow recovering-alcoholic actors Matthew Perry and Joaquin Phoenix.
Under watch: Laverne Dunlap, 35, tailed from West Los Angeles to Palmdale by a concerned motorist who saw Dunlap checking on two children in the trunk of her Toyota compact on the shoulder of the San Diego Freeway before closing the trunk and continuing north with five children and one other adult inside the car. None of the children were wearing seat belts. Dunlap was arrested on charges of felony child endangerment; the children were released into the custody of a 28-year-old passenger in the car. There is no mention of police testing for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus to determine if there was any alcohol in the blood of either adult. Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks, indicted on charges of making false statements to police. Except for the priors for shoplifting, I’d argue her commitment-phobia likely resulted from having been psychologically abandoned as a child of an alcoholic. Alberto Vilar, founder of New York-based Amerindo Investment Advisors, charged with stealing $5 million in client funds, which he allegedly used to pay personal expenses and make charitable contributions. His Amerindo Technology Fund is down 17% this year after gaining 24% in 2004 and 85% in 2003; however, it lost 90% from 2000 to 2002 (overall, then, since 2000 it’s down about 85%). Tennessee State Senator John Ford, indicted along with three other state lawmakers on charges of taking bribes from FBI agents posing as representatives of a company seeking favors from state government. Ford, who egotistically boasted to agents “you are talking to the guy that makes the deals,” was also charged with attempting to threaten or intimidate potential witnesses by telling an agent that “if he caught someone trying to set him up he would shoot that person.” Hannibal Kadafi, son of Libyan ruler Moammar Kadafi, convicted by a French court of assaulting his pregnant companion in a Paris hotel; the French foreign ministry has expressed “displeasure” to authorities in Libya about “repeated incidents” involving Hannibal. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean who came under fire for insisting that Osama Bin Laden not be prejudged, telling the Massachusetts state Democratic convention that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay “ought to go back to Houston, where he can serve his jail sentence,” despite the fact that DeLay (whatever we may think of him) has not been charged with any crime. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said, to his credit, that it was wrong for the party chairman to refer to DeLay “as a criminal.” Jesse Jackson, asserting that the above-mentioned Winston Hayes was the victim of a “hate crime,” even though three of the deputies who shot at him were black and four were Latino. Hyperbole is an outstanding first clue to alcoholism in public figures, whose actual use is difficult to confirm. In addition, Jackson, who to me looked stoned while at a recent press conference, often uses twisted logic (clue # 11 in How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics), gets others to play the “blame game” (clue # 15) and, in suggesting this was a “hate crime,” may have knowingly made a false accusation (clue # 16). Without evidence of addictive use, we’re stuck at 80% likelihood of psychotropic drug addiction.
Note to family, friends and fans of the above: the benefit of the doubt is given by assuming alcoholism (they are either idiots and fundamentally rotten, or they are alcoholic/other drug addicts - which would explain the misbehaviors). If alcoholic, there is zero chance that behaviors, in the long run, will improve without sobriety. An essential prerequisite to sobriety is the cessation of enabling, allowing pain and crises to build. Thus far, many have done everything they can to protect the addict from the requisite pain, making these news events possible. The cure for alcoholism and consequential bad behaviors is simple: stop protecting the addict and proactively intervene.
Thorburn Substance Addiction Recognition Indicator
A classic tale of alcohol-induced tragedy
Movie Review: "Modigliani
Do you know what love is? Real love? So deeply youd condemn yourself to eternity in hell? I do and I have.
So began Jeanne Hebuternes narration of the story of her lover, artist Amedeo Modigliani. Few movies with obvious addicts at their center excite, but this one does - because of the ease with which we can relate to the codependent, Hebuterne (played endearingly by Elsa Zylberstein), who is drawn imperceptibly into the abyss. Its a classic tale of the seeming incomprehensibility of misbehaviors keeping close people off balance, making it easy to induce them to do things they would never in their right minds consider.
Initially, Modigliani (played by Andy Garcia in a terrific role) is outwardly eccentric, exciting and charming. The visceral appeal and seduction proves impossible for Hebuterne to resist and she falls in love with Modigliani almost at first sight. Happy though he may initially appear, he increasingly becomes consumed by remorse when able to see what the aftermath of his misbehaviors has wrought. When his contemporary Pablo Picasso asks after an encounter, Why do you hate me so much? Modigliani responds, I love you Pablo. It is myself I hate. Alternating fighting with charm and insanity with excitement, self-derision becomes evident: he tells Hebuterne, I have nothing for you. I am nothing. When she responds, So youll just run away? he bluntly states, Thats what I do best. And so it goes, with Modigliani apparently growing to believe that irresponsible behaviors comprise his real self, which he loathes during moments of lucidity, while Hebuterne sees through to the real Modigliani, who is brilliant and, likely, caring without the drug.
Yet it isnt Hebuterne who tells him to stop drinking entirely; even Picasso suggests he drink in moderation, which, as a person with alcoholism, he cannot do in the long run. It is Modigliani and Hebuternes young son who tells him, If you keep drinking, youll kill us both. Although it seems an insightful observation for a child, other addiction experts have pointed out that child-victims see the potential for annihilation far more clearly than do others, including the spouse who is blinded by alcoholic charm and the decency they see underneath the muck of addiction. While Modiglianis binges are so apparent that everyone around him is aware of the problem, the cure - complete cessation - eludes.
His most destructive behaviors generally involve periodic abandonment of his wife and child for opium and booze. However, knowing we cannot predict how destructive an addict may become or when, we are not surprised when at one point Modigliani is put into a straightjacket. Nor are we shocked when he shows up four days late to paint a portrait of a benefactor, although desperately in need of funds. Later, pleading for money so he can see a doctor, a friend asks him to promise he will not drink it away. Despite his doctors admonition that if he continues to drink and smoke opium he will not live another year, his lungs already at half capacity due to having had tuberculosis as a child, his thirst for the drugs is insatiable. In typical alcoholic fashion, when told to stop drinking and to concentrate on painting, the egomaniac created by the alcoholism responds that no one can tell him what to do.
Some critics object that the movie is confusing, alternating back and forth in time with numerous flashbacks and what may be hallucinations; but this is analogous to the life of the alcoholic, who leads a confused Jekyll and Hyde existence. While Modigliani isnt violent toward his family, the psychological abandonment conveys the experience of many victims: verbal and emotional abuse does more damage and lasts far longer, perhaps because its easier to leave physically and detach emotionally from a violent addict. This could explain the classically tragic end. Because alcoholism provides the most certain tragedy, tragedy makes good cinema and the conflicting effect on the codependent is, for once, accurately portrayed, this is one of the best of the overtly alcoholic genre.
And, a Review of A Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Escaping Addiction
While Dr. Phil understands addiction, even he can misinform. This program is an excellent example of good information intertwined with bad.
The program, originally shown on CBS Friday May 20, featured an on-air intervention with the head nurse of an alcohol/drug rehab center, Joannie. A full-blown pharmaceutical drug addict, Joannie not only admits to her addiction, but also cops to manipulating, lying, cheating, stealing and even driving with her kids in the car while very much under the influence of narcotics. The most serious flaw in the show may have been the failure to explain that such admissions and self-diagnoses are exceedingly unusual in the early stages of the disease and that we need not wait for such admissions before intervening.
Dr. Phil correctly pointed out that Joannies husband, Brian, who was by her side during the entire intervention, was an enabler who was helping to kill her. However, Dr. Phil incorrectly said that Brian was in denial. Physicians, who Brian thinks should know what theyre doing, prescribed pharmaceutical drugs for Joannie. He lives with her and her moods, which are smoothed out when using those drugs and erratic when not. Brian has every reason to trust the judgment of the doctors, who have gone through many years of medical training. How can he be in denial - which suggests a willful attempt to not admit to something - when addiction has never been explained and not even the MDs understand her condition? Brian, like most spouses of addicts, is simply unaware and confused.
While Joannie admits she needs help, she makes all sorts of excuses to not go to rehab. When she cries, I cant leave the kids, Dr. Phil correctly points out that she hasnt been there for the kids for years. She goes into treatment kicking, screaming and out of control, as addicts usually do, where staff personnel describe her as resistant, arrogant, defiant and doing everything possible to wield power and control over others. Most poignant, she is described as having a gigantic ego and a rules dont apply to me attitude, with the emotional state of a 15-year-old. She stays only because she realizes that what Ive been doing hasnt worked, so Ill try something new. All of this was excellent information.
At the end of the show Dr. Phil says, Were going to fight for this womans life. While he didnt ignore the effect on others, he failed to stress that she was endangering and destroying their lives long before hers was in peril. No mention was made of the fact that she was putting not only her children in harms way, but also the early-recovering addicts she counseled and nursed. Nor was there any discussion of the fact that no one seems to have noticed that the fox was in the hen house and that this is, unfortunately, all-too-common: not even her peers seem to have diagnosed her disease (I relate a number of similar stories in Drunks, Drugs & Debits). It was a good program, but one for which comments such as these would have markedly improved the educational content.
||Dear Doug: Drama queen neighbor
A neighbor seems to thrive on fighting with her husband to a degree that is deeply troubling. After one recent altercation, police hauled them both in. Having told all the neighbors he would have killed her had she not fought back, they were quickly back together. Amazingly, she told me she plans on resolving their problems by spending more time together. While I’ve lost any concern I had for either of them, I fear for the lives of their two young children. I’d love to know why some people seem to crave such drama and what, if anything, I should do about it.
Signed, Concerned Neighbor
. . . . . .
Dear Concerned Neighbor,
Other columnists might explain that your neighbor will do anything to be the center of attention and suggest that the next time she tells you about a fight, tell her you are reporting the incident to the child welfare department - and do so. However, suggesting a warning before making a report ignores the crucial reason she craves the attention (if she really does), which suggests such actions on your part could be potentially lethal.
The odds of alcoholism in any instance of domestic violence are 85%. The likelihood of addiction in one or both when each is guilty of repeated acts of violence border on certainty. Because this disease damages the neo-cortex, the human part of the brain responsible for restraining the impulses and survival instinct of the lower brain centers, the afflicted person can engage in unpredictably destructive behaviors, especially when the survival of their gene pool is at stake. Having a need to wield power over others, alcoholics have a particular disdain for being at the receiving end of an attack, especially one that may limit their control. Therefore, warning that you intend to take action may provoke an assault on you, which could take a number of forms including violence or false accusations. You do not want to become the target of such abuse.
Other columnists might also suggest that you give the wife the phone number of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. This ignores the possibility that she may be instigating the attacks, which could make her every bit as culpable as her husband. They both need interventions, legal or otherwise. Since you are in no position to intervene, report the problem to the local child welfare department and law enforcement agencies and ask for their guidance. And don’t tell anyone that you have done so.
(Source for story idea: Annie’s Mailbox, April 16, 2005.)
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
And, a bonus letter: No contact with daughter
Twenty years ago, my 15-year-old daughter left my home to live with her mother. She was tired of my drinking, verbal abuse and inappropriate touching. Soon after, I began what is now a 20-year affiliation with AA. I have never relapsed and, in sobriety, would never dream of abusing anyone, much less my own daughter, with whom my ex-wife disappeared shortly after the move.
I would like to make amends and begin a healthy relationship with my daughter before I die. The few relatives who may know where she is have steadfastly refused to give me any info; I don’t know whether they have even informed her of my wishes. They don’t seem to think that people can change. I have been actively trying to reconnect for at least 10 years. Can you offer any suggestions?
Signed, Desolate Dad
. . . . . .
Dear Desolate Dad,
Other columnists might suggest you simply keep trying, because if your wish is sincere, a reunion would benefit everyone. Such a suggestion, however, would be incomplete without shedding light on the root of the problem, which may help convince relatives to cooperate.
Abuse of others is a behavioral attribute resulting from early- to middle-stage alcoholic drinking, which is, in turn, the source of most other-abuse. Failing to forge the causative link between the two leads to the belief that those who engage in hideous conduct are incapable of change. Yet, if alcoholism is the cause, as suggested by the observable fact that alcoholics in recovery have few serious character defects and rarely commit abuse, then change would be the norm for those in recovery.
Many, including your relatives, are rightly concerned over the high rate of recidivism among sexual abusers. However, if the abuse was a result of alcoholism (which may be the case in most instances of even sexual abuse), it is very unlikely to reoccur without a relapse first into chemical addiction. You need to be forthcoming and tell them about your alcoholism if you have not yet done so, attempt to educate them about the disease, offer to be tested for alcohol and other drugs before a reunion takes place and ask that you be chaperoned on neutral grounds. Make sure they understand there are no strings attached and that if your daughter never wants to see you again after the meeting, you will respect her wishes. Hopefully you will find she did not inherit your alcoholism. On the other hand, if she has the disease and is now sober, she will have a far better understanding of your true character than will others.
(Source for story idea: Annie’s Mailbox, May 13, 2005.)
Alcoholic Myth-of-the-Month (a “half-truth”): Smokers are more likely to get into trouble than non-smokers.
“Researchers found that Navy recruits who smoke before enlistment are nearly twice as likely to be expelled for behavioral issues. The study of 6,950 Navy recruits entering active duty in 2001 also found that smokers were five times more likely than nonsmokers to have skipped classes in high school and five times more likely to have been arrested or detained by police for non-traffic offenses. ‘Smoking suggests other types of problematic behavior,’ said Eli Flyer, one of the study’s authors and a former senior analyst for the Department of Defense.”
So wrote Charles Duhigg in the Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2005 in “Beyond a craving: Despite all the evidence, why do some still smoke? Smokers suffer more depression and other mental disorders, studies show, yet nicotine may actually help them cope.”
The study’s authors seem completely unaware of several facts:
• Almost all alcoholics are smokers
• Recruits who inherited alcoholism triggered it at an average age of 13
• Many of those studied were already in the throes of early-stage alcoholism
We’re hampered by the fact that the study didn’t separate the alcoholic smokers from the non-alcoholic ones. However, alcohol causes distortions of perception and memory in susceptible individuals, resulting in impaired judgment, manifesting in observably destructive behaviors. Tobacco does none of these things. The researchers completely missed the idea that early-stage alcoholism explains the misbehaviors, while smoking, however much it is demonized, does not. Studies are needed to confirm the prediction that problem behaviors among non-alcoholic smokers are no different than those of non-alcoholic non-smokers.
The assertion that smokers suffer more depression and other mental disorders is also misplaced. The researchers were observing behaviors that look like Personality Disorders, but are usually symptoms of alcoholism, discussed in How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics (pp. 99-109), and Alcoholism Myths and Realities (pp. 82-88).
The researchers also claimed that smokers “consistently demonstrate higher-than-average levels of...high-risk behaviors, and show poorer impulse control than non-smokers.” However, alcoholism, not smoking, causes euphoric recall, which in turn fuels egomania, one manifestation of which is unnecessarily risky behavior. In addition, alcoholism damages the neo-cortex, reducing its ability to restrain the survival and emotional needs of the lower brain centers, resulting in poor impulse control.
The study seems to have completely missed the underlying cause of the misbehaviors observed. The report has done great disservice to a public already focused on reducing the use of tobacco rather than the use of alcohol by those with the biochemical disease of alcoholism. Far greater emphasis should be placed on addicted people whose misbehaviors regularly harm others than on those who damage mainly themselves.
Amazing Antics: Stories of Alcoholism-Driven Behaviors™
Proof-positive: the booze is more important that the kid
"EVERYONE HAS TO HAVE THEIR PRIORITIES: Police in Mobile, Ala., say Yanique Mauldin, 32, was involved in two hit-and-run accidents. After the second she abandoned her car and ran, taking a bottle of wine she had with her, but leaving behind her 6-year-old son. She was caught nearby and booked for felony hit-and-run, felony drunk driving, resisting arrest, driving with a canceled license, and other charges. (Mobile Register) ...Honor her choice: let her keep the wine, but not the kid."
I couldn’t agree more. Drinking and driving with her young son is, by itself, compelling evidence that she has the disease of alcoholism. Since alcoholics often complain about the enabler trying to control, suggesting a lack of choice, society should offer one: the booze with the child removed, or custody with regular and random tests of her sobriety.
The typical recovering alcoholic estimates he or she drove while under the influence 80 times per year and was apprehended only once in 1,000 such incidents. Far more can be done to get addicts sober by apprehending a greater number of DUIs (a number of suggestions are included in Get Out of the Way! How to Identify and Avoid and Driver Under the Influence, really a handbook for spotting the DUI before he or she becomes tragically obvious). Everyone would be safer, particularly children of alcoholics.
(Story passed along by Randy Cassingham, author of “This is True.” For more alcoholic antics deserving of Darwin Awards, see http://www.thisistrue.com for free subscriptions.)
To view reader's comments on last month's Thorburn Addiction Report and Doug's responses please visit the Thorburn Weblog at PrevenTragedy.com.
Doug frequently posts alcoholism-related articles, as well as his responses, so be sure to check back often.
Doug's new book, Alcoholism Myths and Realities, is available pre-publication to
our readers only and has already received rave reviews including:
"Every policymaker in America needs to read your book exposing the myths of chemical addiction...Excellent book."
- Jim Ramstad, Member of U.S. Congress (MN)
"My father died of alcoholism. His father died of alcoholism. Three generations of alcoholism is enough. Now is the time to abandon superstition and pseudoscience, to debunk the myths surrounding alcoholism, and to apply science to solving this problem. Doug Thorburn's book is a model example of how this should be done. Read it and be prepared to change your thinking on this important topic. When enough of us understand what is really going on with alcoholism, society can make the shift from treatment to prevention and intervention."
- Michael Shermer, publisher, Skeptic Magazine and columnist, Scientific American
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