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Ethan Nadelmann

“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, Ph.D., J.D.
Founding Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance

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Tom Horvath

“The evidence keeps pouring in that, over four decades ago when he published Love and Addiction, Stanton Peele was fundamentally correct about addiction and how to outgrow it. In this latest work Peele and Rhoads incorporate recent scientific and cultural evidence showing that viewing addiction as a disease is actually harmful, that addiction involves the whole person (not just the brain), that most people will outgrow addiction (and there are ways to accelerate that process), and that pursuing a valued and constructive new life path can move one entirely beyond addiction.”

—From the Foreword by Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, founding president, SMART Recovery

Carl Hart

“For decades, Stanton Peele has been one of the leading voices in revising our views of addiction, drug education and drug policy. His new book with Zach Rhoads, Outgrowing Addiction, continues and extends this pioneering work to children and stakeholders in child well-being. It is a godsend for anyone seeking a solution to the opioid crisis.”

— Carl Hart, Ph.D.,
Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Chair
of Department of Psychology, Columbia University; author, High Price


“Dr. Peele and Zach Rhoads offer a smart, readable, common-sense guide for parents concerned about their children’s drug and alcohol use. Persuasively rebutting the alarmist view advanced by the ‘experts,’ they show the importance of reinforcing children’s independence, promoting constructive values, and fostering the ability to learn from mistakes. They also show how to teach youth to recognize the risks in overusing substances and suggest safeguards for the small minority who are at greatest risk for addiction.”

—Aaron T. Beck, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, originator of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and winner of 2006 Lasker Award


“The idea that addiction develops isn’t new. What is unique and remarkable about this book is the authors’ attention to the complexity of that process. Their nuanced model, backed up by rich biographical vignettes as well as clear, reliable data, is especially sensitive to the interplay of developmental timing (stages of development) and the massive impacts of the social environment— both spawning addiction and ultimately helping to overcome it. Peele and Rhoads skillfully refute the faulty (but fashionable) conclusion that addiction is a brain disease. Instead, their view of addiction as a turbulent but natural stage of need fulfillment allows us to replace the bogey man of chronic illness with an emphasis on empowerment, determination, and personal growth. A truly comprehensive and masterful work.”

—Marc Lewis, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto; author of “Memoirs of an Addicted Brain and Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease”


“Stanton Peele and Zach Rhoads have written a book that challenges the dominant disease concept of addiction and its treatment. Evidence based treatments are moving past old concepts and should be viewed as new technology for addiction misuse therapy and help. Outgrowing Addiction goes step by step to show how the concept of the disease of addiction is not helping recovery programs become successful, and to offer alternative ways of helping people, starting with children.”

—Robert J. Meyers, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor,
University of New Mexico, architect of Community Reinforcement and Family Therapy (CRAFT)


“Stanton Peele and Zach Rhoads help us think more deeply about the nature of addiction and the canned rhetoric that we hear every day. Their book explores the vulnerabilities to addiction, the dynamics of self-destructive drug use, and the pathways out. Most critically for users and their families, the book shows how to accelerate the processes that lead users to relinquish drugs. Outgrowing Addiction is smart, compassionate, and, most important, optimistic.”

—Sally Satel, M.D., lecturer, Yale University School of Medicine, coauthor, Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience


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Barry Lessin

“Based on compassion, science and good old-fashioned family values, this
book empowers us by tapping into our resilience and reinforcing our innate strengths and resources. It embraces person-centered harm reduction approaches that have been the foundation of successful public health policies and programs for decades, thereby offering optimism and hope for people using substances problematically and their loved ones to move forward with their lives in healthy and constructive ways.”

— Barry Lessin, CAADC, family therapist, co-founder of Families for Sensible Drug Policy


“In my clinical work, I often encounter teens and parents who have been misled to believe addiction is a life-long condition they can never hope to escape. Stanton Peele and Zach Rhoads combat that mistaken and dangerous message with research evidence, clear explanations, and above all, the compelling stories of success families need. Outgrowing Addiction will have a prominent place on my lending bookshelf for families in my practice.”

—Pippa Abston, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Huntsville


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“The research behind this book is fascinating. Peele and Rhoads’ analysis, interpretation, and out of the box thinking about it offers a unique and hopeful perspective of a better future for people struggling with addiction. This book is upbeat, honest and offers realistic and practical strategies for those in addiction. In this work addiction is examined through a lens of care and respect.”
One of the most powerful aspects of this book is the coaching model used to support children. Having these tools enables adults to have difficult and important conversations with children of any and all ages—conversations that could help prevent them from becoming addicted in the first place.”

—Robin Ploof, Ph.D., Professor and Program Director,
Early Childhood Division of Education and Human Studies,
Champlain College, Burlington, Vt.


“[…when things don’t work], it’s time to adjust. Throughout the pages of this book, Zach Rhoads and Stanton Peele present what adjustment requires– ordinary people willing to see differently, think differently, and act differently to achieve extraordinary results.”

— Jeanine K. Fitzgerald, creator of The Fitzgerald Institute of Lifelong Learning, author of The Dance of Interaction: A Guide to Managing Children’s Challenging Behaviors


Stanton Peele has been a groundbreaking pioneer in the addiction field since the days of Love and Addiction. In this newest book, Peele and Zach Rhoads continue this breakthrough in our new view of addiction, and how it is created and solved, both challenging the status quo and delivering actionable steps in an evidence-based and practical way. Their developmental model of addiction, which traces struggles to early experiences and correctly recognizes addiction as a solvable issue, will be a must-read for anyone struggling with the outdated and insufficient models used in our failing treatment system.

— Adi Jaffe, Ph.D., author, The Abstinence Myth; TEDx speaker


Outgrowing Addiction is not afraid to challenge long-held beliefs about drug use, no matter how widespread and entrenched they might be. In the midst of America’s opioid epidemic, it has never been more important to raise the questions that Stanton Peele and Zach Rhoads have here.

–Travis Lupick, author of Fighting for Space: How a group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle of Addiction


Stanton Peele is a true pioneer of attempts to reveal the inadequacies of the disease view of addiction. His latest book with Zach Rhoads articulates, in clear and accessible language, a rational and evidence-based alternative to the disease view: the developmental model of addiction. Of particular importance here is the understanding the authors provide about the growing minds of adolescents and their chances of becoming and staying addicted. Though aimed at an American readership, the book’s topical relevance and its accumulated wisdom apply far beyond the boundaries of the USA.

— Nick Heather, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies, Northumbria University, UK; former director, Australian National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre