Table of Contents



Chapter 1: The End of a Long Nightmare

The last night

The nature and stages of addiction

Why I can write this book, and what it can do for you

A glance at what works – a summary of the evidence

A final word before we begin

Chapter 2: Natural Recovery and the Powerless Myth

What is natural recovery?

Nicotine, the most common natural recovery

Early studies of self-change

The Vietnam veterans study

The major studies – the end of the powerless myth

Successful non-abstinent outcomes and natural recovery


Chapter 3: Learning Addiction

Our minds are constantly growing and changing

Learning through experience

Learning through reward

From reward to slavery – the stages of addiction

Replacing learned behaviors

Chapter 4: Taking the Fear Out of Change

Fear keeps us in place

A simple model of change

The precontemplative – living in denial

Contemplators – the pros and cons

Preparation – making plans to change and deciding upon the method

Action – getting to work

Maintenance – learning to live

Relapse – the option you do not need to exercise

Termination: moving on with our lives

Chapter 5: Tools of Decision

So you think you might have a problem – now what?

A risk assessment

Determining your values

Is using worth it?

Crystallization of discontent/desire

Motivation – the key to success

Chapter 6: Preparation – Getting Ready to Begin

Going about change

What works

Considering effects upon others

Chapter 7: Support Groups and Methods

Overview of 12-step – should it be part of your plan?

SMART Recovery®

Other support groups

Chapter 8: Changing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors

Changing your belief system

Language, and why it’s important

Self-worth is not a variable

Chapter 9: Into Action

Urges and neuroplasticity

Urge FAQ

Strategies to cope with urges

Cultivating mindfulness

Dealing with that voice in your head

Some common pitfalls

Chapter 10: Maintenance, not complacency

Everyday problem solving

Self-defeating beliefs

Managing stress

Change the things we can

Accept what we cannot

Wisdom to know the difference

Chapter 11: Learning From Relapse

Using is always a choice

Dealing with setbacks and learning from them

Chapter 12: A Realistic Balanced Vision for You

Lifestyle balance

Taking care of yourself

Goal setting


Helping others

Chapter 13: Thoughts on Recovery


Reduce stress

Know what you don’t know

Think critically



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