Stanton Peele had a great blog post last month which I missed somehow.  If you missed it too, check it out here, and here’s an excerpt:

Community-based, real-life (now called epidemiological) research paints a completely differently reality from clinical and laboratory research on alcohol and drugs.

In broad strokes, this means that a quarter of alcoholics maintain their alcoholism (and a minority of those deteriorate to even worse fates) – at the other extreme, a quarter become fully normal drinkers. In between, a quarter eliminate problems but are cautious drinkers, and a quarter continue to have some drinking issues but carry on with otherwise normal lives.

And it’s just as true about drugs: Patricia Erickson (author of The Steel Drug ) and Bruce Alexander found that roughly 10 percent of cocaine users continue to use the drug for an extended period of time, and 10 percent of those (1 percent of all users) resemble what we think of as the typical cocaine user – the all-out addict.* The overwhelming majority of these people are never treated.

Also, I recently found that Peele credited me for a point I made back in October, when I said that if Charlie Sheen went back to another 12-step based rehab, then that behavior would fit the definition of insanity which 12-steppers often repeat: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again while expecting different results”.  Thanks Stanton!

If his treatment has thus far been steeped in the 12 steps, objective research indicates another approach is more likely to lead to a positive outcome. At this point, it might seem worth Sheen’s time to try something else. AA, after all, defines insanity as “Doing the same thing again and again while expecting different results.” (Thanks to Steven Slate.)

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