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Precarious Japan
Assessing War
America's First Great Depression
zOvercoming Prejudice
No Uncle Sam
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John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court
Immigration and the American Backlash
Why Not the Best?
Refiguring Mass Communication

Addiction Is a ChoiceAddiction Is a Choice

Jeffrey A. Schaler

Narrated by James Robert Killavey

Available from Audible

Book published by Open Court

In this provocative debunking of the prevailing beliefs about addiction, psychologist Jeffrey Schaler argues that addiction is not a disease, but a choice in lifestyle.

Schaler refutes the widely held ideas that addiction is involuntary, genetically determined, or a physical or mental illness, offering convincing arguments that "addiction" is a decision made by someone in order to find meaning and purpose in life.

He explains why our public policies, based on the incorrect beliefs that addiction is a disease or involuntary behavior, are ineffective and even encourage addiction by allowing people to feel powerless and demoralized about their ability to break the habit.

Jeffrey A. Schaler was formerly an assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs at the American University.


Addiction Is a Choice is a powerful antidote against the twin poisons of anti-drug propaganda and drug prohibition. ”

—Thomas Szasz, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, SUNY Health Science Center, Syracuse

“Psychologist Schaler argues convincingly that society has erred in giving in completely to the AA vision that addiction is a disease, that addicts can't help themselves, and that they need a higher power to be saved ... his resulting suggestions for changes in public policy and for individual change demand consideration.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Schaler drives a stake into the heart of the 'disease' concept of addictions. Millions of people have stopped smoking, abusing mind-altering drugs, and drinking addictively on their own, without the intervention of counselors or doctors or programs. Dr. Schaler explains persuasively how this happens, despite all the genetic and hormonal predispositions.”

—Joseph Gerstein, M.D., F.A.C.P, Harvard Medical School

“A clear and fascinating read. The wealth of information and fresh insights reflect the writer's career as a scholar-teacher-therapist, and especially his many years of research and practical work in the addiction field. The book dispels many myths about addiction and should provide liberating insights to the afflicted.”

—Herbert Fingarette, author of Heavy Drinking, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, UCSB

“This is indeed a rare book. Schaler has provided a unique, masterly work which explains addiction from a revelatory perspective. The reader can learn how the controversial area of addiction can be looked at and understood in a new light.”

—Morris Chafetz, M.D., Founding Director National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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University Press Audiobooks