- AYRSHIRE, SCOTLAND, November 16, 2006 - The controversial book "Phoenix in a Bottle" by Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald would make the ideal Christmas present of hope for alcoholics from their friends, relatives and loved ones - say publishers Melrose Books.
"Phoenix in a Bottle" is the true story of Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald, two former alcoholics from Ayrshire in Scotland who, eleven years ago, were down and out, sleeping rough in the streets and parks of Cambridge, the university town where a quarter of a century previously Murdoch had studied as an undergraduate for his degree in English Literature at Magdalene College.
Lilian and Murdoch tried Alcoholics Anonymous many times, but eventually finally rejected its outdated and doctrinaire dogma that alcoholism is an incurable illness or disease, and that the only hope for the alcoholic is lifelong sobriety.
"Alcoholism is not a disease," say Lilian and Murdoch. "It is a self-harming behaviour problem rooted in childhood, and if alcoholics are willing to identify and address their issues from the past, then there is no reason why they should not be able to rid themselves of their problem behaviour, even to the extent of being able to drink alcohol safely and responsibly again if and when they so wish."
"After all," Lilian and Murdoch point out, "lifelong sobriety is not recovery from alcohol. It is just treating the symptom rather than the underlying cause, and merely a damage-limitation exercise."
The two former alcoholics continue: "There is a need for a brand new worldwide organisation to replace Alcoholics Anonymous, a fellowship which is now outdated and stuck in a rut that it is unwilling or unable to get out of in order to address its own self-confessed abysmal failure rate.
"According to both an independent US government survey and AA's own membership surveys, AA-style treatment works for only 5% of its participants."
Leading American addiction expert Dr. Marc Kern says: "These two surveys clearly show that, after 12 months of attendance, 95% of the original participants have left the programme and either resumed their destructive behaviour or hopefully - but less likely - sought help elsewhere.
"These people have not failed," insists Dr Kern.
"The 12-Step approach has failed them."
Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald attribute the failure of the 12-Step programme to the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous stubbornly insists upon treating alcoholism as a progressive and incurable illness or disease, from which only remission is possible by sticking to a strict regime of abstinence from alcohol.
They say: "Perpetuation of the disease concept of alcoholism is aided and abetted by private rehab clinics that have piggybacked AA and hijacked its 12-Step programme for their own profit."
"Alcoholics Anonymous has the solution to its problems in its own hands," continue Lilian and Murdoch.
"Any normal organisation would be open to new ideas, and would welcome discussion and change as new discoveries and progress were made in the field of alcoholism.
"Unfortunately AA has adopted a cult-like attitude, and regards its so-called programme of recovery as set in stone forever. No changes have been made or even allowed in the 70 years of its existence, and no questioning or discussion is tolerated."
So Lilian and Murdoch conclude: "A completely new organisation is the only solution.
"An organisation that does not seek to perpetuate the disease model of alcoholism long after its sell-by date.
"One that does not advocate lifelong sobriety as a prerequisite for recovery, but instead empowers alcoholics to alter their behaviour in the way that they choose for themselves.
"One that does not insist upon dragging pseudo-religion into a situation in which it has neither use nor relevance.
"And finally one that welcomes change and progress in the understanding of alcoholism, and is willing to accept diverse ways of treating it, instead of dogmatically promulgating and perpetuating a one-size-fits-all approach that is stuck in the past forever."
"Phoenix in a Bottle"
"Phoenix in a Bottle" by Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald is published by Melrose Books price 16.99. ISBN: 1905226144
Eminent American psychologist and addiction expert Dr Stanton Peele PhD commented:
"Phoenix in a Bottle is a modern version of The Days of Wine and Roses, and tells the true story of how two people who entered a period of desperate drinking stayed with one another in a close loving relationship, and emerged from their alcoholism able to drink responsibly again.
"Both a wonderful love story and a challenge to conventional wisdom about how people can recover from drinking problems, Phoenix in a Bottle gives people hope, and helps them to confront their own demons - alcohol or otherwise."
"Phoenix in a Bottle" is available from www.amazon.co.uk
and other online bookstores, direct from the publishers at www.melrosebooks.com
and in the USA from www.superbookdeals.com
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