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The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure: A Holistic Approach to Total Recovery

The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure: A Holistic Approach to Total Recovery - Chris Prentiss The story the author and his son tell about the son's addiction is interesting and compelling, and there is undoubtedly some merit to a holistic approach to addiction treatment. Of course many substance abusers would benefit from intensive therapy. Of course many substance abusers are self-medicating for undiagnosed/untreated/improperly treated underlying issues.

However, this book ultimately reads like a 300+ page ad for the author's unbelievably expensive luxury rehab facility. I know someone who called the facility, desperate for help, and was told $20,000 per month, but online searching indicates it can be well, well above that--I've seen talk of $60,000 per month or even more. Prentiss pimps his facility early and often, and his solution to addiction is pretty much to throw money at it. Lots and lots and lots and lots of money. There is no help in this book for someone of limited or even moderate means.

On a personal note, I know someone with a serious addiction problem, and his very poor, disabled veteran father (who recommended this book to me) wants very badly to try to scrape up the money to send this person to this facility. That's just terrible, and I have to question the ethics behind Prentiss's approach.

Very early in the book, I got a bad feeling about the author. In the part his son wrote, in the very first paragraph he describes how he (the son) was named:

I didn't have a name for the first month of my life because my dad couldn't think of the right name. My mom told me it was extremely frustrating because she thought it wasn't right for me not to have a name. They called me "baby" or "him". After a month, my dad came up with Pax and I was off and running with a brand-new name."


Pax inadvertently reveals his father to be a controlling individual with little regard to his own wife's discomfort. An attentive reader will find more examples throughout the book. Combined with the ever-present pimping for his ungodly expensive rehab center, Prentiss comes off as a real snake oil salesman and I can't help but find suspect everything he's written. It's a compelling anecdote, seductive even to those looking for a solution, but anecdote is not evidence, the author has an angle, and there's not much else to back up Prentiss's impressive claims.

If you or someone you know has an addiction problem, by all means read this book. Maybe you will find something useful. But read it with a critical eye, and don't expect a panacea. See also: http://www.laweekly.com/2008-06-26/news/buying-the-cure/ .