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"This is by far the one book many have been looking for. The answers, the personal story, and the continuance of a movement that should have been started many years ago. The time for "labeling" is over. "Denial" is over, at least on the part of the reader that seeks this information. Are you ready to sleep easily again, and start to find the "real" you, outside of the "program" world!
Melanie, please bring more to the awaiting masses. The discussion group on www.aanottheonlyway.com is very helpful, as well. "
"Urbmase" (New York)
"Some books get better and better with each passing edition. This is the case of 'AA Not the Only Way,' written by Melanie Solomon...Overall, this is a book whose existence needs to be shouted from the rooftop, evangelized on street corners, and should be REQUIRED READING in EVERY Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification program in the United States! A copy should be sent to every drug and alcohol treatment center in the U.S., and most importantly, this book should be ON THE DESK OF EVERY 'coercing authority' that has the power to 'force' people with addictive disorders, into treatment facilities. This book... is about the MULTITUDE of non-12-step resources available both on and off the internet. If you are in recovery, or know someone who is, or wants to be, this book is a MUST READ! Don't start or continue a recovery path without it!"
John McCready, NCAC-I, M-RAS
"I purchased your book for work simply because I think it is important to provide client's with alternatives to AA. I like the straighforward and easy-to-read quality the book has and I especially like your story at the beginning. A powerful story!"
"As a dedicated member of a 12 Step recovery program one may think that my review on Melanie's book "AA Not the Only Way" might be one of disapproval. However you would be mistaken.
AA Not the Only Way pulls no punches when describing Melanie's personal experience with conventional treatment and 12 Step fellowships. Determined to tell her story truthfully it may appear to be a bashing of these programs, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. We here at KHLT Recovery Radio feel that her approach was necessary in order to be true to herself.
Having said that may I say that this book is an absolute must read for anyone seeking an alternative to conventional treatment, 12 Step fellowships and typical court ordered solutions of the day.
Although Melanie admits that she does not list all alternatives I must say that she has been extremely thorough with her investigation of the ones she has published in her book. She has informed KHLT and I that she will be publishing many more resources as her vital work continues.
The reader of AA Not the Only Way will be relieved to see a variation of spiritual as well as medical and educational methods within each of the programs listed. In fact for the person seeking alternative recovery but still enjoys the 12 Step methods; many of the programs listed offer 12 Step philosophies for those who desire it.
In conclusion I must say that Melanie's book is as important to the recovery community as any other method available today. The simple truth is Melanie Solomon's book has successfully convinced KHLT Recovery Radio and myself that her book is a must read for all in recovery. 12 Step or otherwise.
Thank You Melanie for a Job Very Well Done. "
KHLT Recovery Radio
President Sponsor to Sponsor Recovery Publications
"The American Council on Alcoholism is pleased to highly recommend AA NOT THE ONLY WAY as an important resource for individuals exploring all treatment options. The ACA believes that there are many approaches to the treatment of alcohol dependence. Further that individuals should understand what their treatment options are, and then choose which one they feel is most appropriate for them. AA NOT THE ONLY WAY offers a comprehensive and very valuable guide to non 12 step treatment options,
This is the first-ever comprehensive global resource guide that tells counselors and sufferers alike what their options are and where to find them. "AA-Not the Only Way" responds to the growing demand from recovery experts, recent court rulings, problem drinkers and drug addicts for a global resource directory of alternative treatments.
This book compares and contrasts many different drug and alcohol problem treatment modalites so the client can better choose which program best suites his or her needs. In addition, contact information is provided for over 100 licensed professionals and treatment facilities that go beyond the traditional 12-step method, throughout the United States and overseas. "
Executive Director of The American Council on Alcoholism
"Solomon has made a critical contribution to the world of addiction treatment. AA has cornered the market, but for a myriad of different reasons, a "one size fits all" approach doesn't actually fit every problem drinker or alcoholic. In straightforward language, Solomon provides guidance on alternative philosophies and where to go to find practitioners of these therapies.
Solomon has a personal interest in alcoholism treatment, and her book opens with a compelling first person confessional, followed by a brief chapter providing basic statistics about alcoholism treatments and success rates. The majority of the book is devoted to a break-down of different self-help groups, including their philosophy, meeting structure, history, and links to further information. The groups covered include six abstinence-based models (including SMART Recovery and Rational Recovery), two moderation-based approaches (including Moderation Management), two self-help groups designed especially for women, along with the school of harm-reduction therapy.
One could spend hours looking through the wealth of resources, websites, books, and media articles that Solomon provides in the concluding chapters. She also has state-by-state listings of SMART-based professionals, moderation-friendly professionals, and treatment centers that offer choices beyond the standard 12-step approach.
Bravo Melanie! You've taken your experience and produced an invaluable resource for many lost souls.
Solomon provides a comprehensive guide to AA alternatives, one of which is Moderation Management. For anyone interested in seriously pursuing an AA alternative, purchase Solomon's guide and pair it with the excellent workbook entitled "Responsible Drinking." Neither is a substitute for the other, and they make an excellent pair. "
Jessica Lux-Baumann (Top 500 Amazon Reviewer)
"My therapist gave me a copy of your book to read. (Her husband is a recovering alcoholic and he had the book) I have since bought it for myself. I am struggling with a drinking problem and have been "up and down" for the past several years. Your book was like a breath of fresh air I so desperately needed. After people hounding me for years to go to AA, which I do not feel is right for me, it was liberating to find out that there are actually alternatives.
For the first time I did not feel like a hopeless, loser, drunk. I always felt like people thought I was in denial because I did not want to go to AA - I have tried meetings in the past and they left me feeling cold. I acknowledge that I have a problem, I have sought and received help - I've had successes and failures and through it all maintained that AA was not the way for me! I have always thought that if I developed a drinking problem, I can "un-develop" it too. I would like to be able to drink moderately, socially. I will not deny I enjoy it. I'm not sure if ultimately I will get to that point - I may have to abstain completely, but to finally learn that that MIGHT be an option gave me some hope.
Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience and your research. I would love to get to the LA area to one of your workshops in the near future. I can't make it in the next couple months, but please keep me posted. Thank you again."
"I have watched people I love struggle with alcohol abuse. The help offered seemed so useless. Go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and get a grip seemed to be the only advice. So many doctors and health professionals think AA is the single treatment option. It is definitely not the only way. It is also not a very effective way to treat alcohol abuse.
Melanie Solomon has written AA - Not the Only Way; Your One Stop Resource Guide to 12-Step Alternatives with many options that are available listed and explained. Her clear writing style and explanation of the different approaches is a great assistance in knowing which option might best suit any given situation. It is also a comprehensive directory of licensed professionals and treatment programs throughout the US and internationally that offer solutions beyond just the traditional AA 12-step approach.
I wish this book had been available when I was struggling to help a loved one.
Melanie proclaims she is in no way affiliated with any of the treatment programs, philosophies, methods, etc. and she makes no claim to their success. She couldn't possibly. There are so many. She does however offer self-help options and gives contact information for the resources she lists. The word needs to spread far and wide so people know that there are many options to help deal with addictions.
Help can be more effective when the individual feels empowered by the ability to make their own choices and knowing there are choices is the first step. Accepting that the person is suffering and that they really do believe their lies because they cannot remember their truth, is also a compassionate part of helping. Confronting and humiliating isn't the answer. Protecting, engaging and offering options is much more likely to assist in a way that prevents the inevitability of self destruction.
Take the first step and buy and share AA - Not the Only Way."
Marilyn B. (Ontario, Canada)
Therapist, Author, Speaker
"I used to be in 12 Step until I read a few books and discovered that the recover rate of 12 Step is 5%. The recovery rate of quitting cold turkey or doing other recover methods is 5% as well. 12 Step did ok for me, but I hated having to declare myself in a victim role in meetings, and even when I was trying my hardest I was told I was not ok and should try harder. Those kind of things made me seek out other forms of recovery and support. This book gives me even stronger areas to look at or recomend to my friends who are seeing how I am doing great without 12 Step and are beginning to question things to do instead. "
Blair (West Hollywood, CA)
"Suggesting there might be something wrong or even limits to the success of something so imbedded in our culture as AA/12step programming comes with all sorts of dangers.
Something like 93-97% of treatment centers in the US are 12-Step based and Americans will spend $10B or more this year in them. Even though it is being ruled, with increasing frequency at State Supreme Court levels, as a violation of basic constitutional rights, 1-1.5M people will be coerced into 12-Step treatment for job preservation, license issues or judicial system reasons just to start this year without even being presented with options. Add to that the number of people that walk in on their own and then consider that according to its own studies, only 3-5 percent of people who enter AA/12-Step treatment get better or are even around "the rooms" a year later to be counted? Something is wrong.
In "AA Not the Only Way..." Melanie Solomon has had the courage to come out with a guidebook that suggests there are alternative treatments that may be better suited to "individualized" needs of people not being helped by AA and related 12-step programs.
Personally, 12-step programs have not been especially helpful to me and in one case a treatment facility based rigidly on the steps was nothing short of life threatening! The mentality of the place was that all psychotherapeutic drugs were bad and cross-addictive which put me in a precarious position since I take non habit forming anti-depressants. Ironically, I was the only non-smoker in the program (not that nicotine is addictive!). The place sought to refuse, acknowledge or treat a dual mental illness---chronic clinical depression---at the same time as they mis-diagnosed addiction. It was a psychiatric resident leaving with all his medical credentials that entered a screaming match with the psychiatrist that had oversight over ABSOLUTELY ALL the people in the program at the time. That psychiatrist, by the way, spent all of 15 minutes with me. I was prohibited from seeing my own!
Wish I, and for that matter my employer and insurance plan gatekeeper, had had Solomon's book. It would have made finding a path much easier for me, would have saved the insurance company a giant chunk, I may not have spent near all I had personally to get better, and it may have preserved an employee/employer relationship that could have remained fruitful and productive.
I hope this book both inspires and encourages others to explore and demand information about options. The judicial system and anyone else like my past employer mandating or otherwise recommending treatment for other human beings should have a copy of this book handy. As a society we had better start looking at alternatives to 12-steps! $10B spent with a 3-5 percent efficacy rate is not something we would, or should tolerate with any other medical treatment protocol. "
Steven S. (Chaimpagen, Urbana)
"The book’s been great. I’ve referred to it several times and have used it with a client, who is not an AA’er.. With the help of your book she got in touch with Women for Sobriety and has been happily attending their group. It's all about what resonates with you personally.
The most beneficial part of the book is the numerous alternatives. Who knew they were all out there? I wouldn’t have without the book."
Dr. Carrie Jaffe
"The author's main point is that there are many other programs and approaches to dealing with addictive behaviors besides Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and its twelve steps; yet the alternatives, while perhaps known within the recovery community, are not widely made known or available. She contends that AA is not as effective as most people think--her statistics are quite dismal, and some of the other programs have much more success. Mainly, Ms. Solomon wants to drive home the fact that while AA might be good for some people, and she has nothing against it, there are numerous other approaches that are effective as well. People are diverse and need diverse approaches to fit their individual needs.
Ms. Solomon shares the pitfalls of her own journey with addictive substances and her attempts to find help and support through AA to no avail, even though her own father was quite successful with the program. Her inability to recover through AA was a source of great sadness for her until she came to realize that lots of other people fail to recover through it as well. It was only through her own unrelenting search for alternatives that she found other programs and eventually something that worked for her.
The author is a good writer--her verbiage and syntax are on par, she provides data to back up her contentions, the content is well-organized and she cites her sources.
The basic theme in her thesis is that not everyone accepts the concept of a higher power and the basic assumption that they are helpless in the face of addiction. I believe this is a valid point. My only suggestion is that she seems to soft pedal this. I would be more comfortable if she would come right out with it--don't skirt around it. Be right up front with it.
I was interested in reviewing "AA Not the Only Way" because my work as a chaplain brings me into contact with various types of addicts. It will remain in my library as a useful future resource. I give it an A for all of the reasons cited above.
Louise Landeta for Reader Views
"AA Not the Only Way is a resource for those seeking addiction counselling. Everyone has heard of AA but this type of program quite simply does not work for everyone. The author has personal experience in this situation. She tried AA and like many people when she kept relapsing she blamed herself for somehow failing the program. This pattern changed when the author found a program that suited her needs and specific issues.
Since AA does not suit everyone's needs and because most people don't realize that they have other options, the author has compiled information on alternate programs. Some programs require total abstinence and others look to teach moderation. There are also programs specifically tailored for women or specifically for men. The overlying philosophy, background, and contact information is included for each of these programs. Lists of licensed professionals, treatment centers, and other useful resources are also included."
Dr. Tami Brady "Whole Health Therapist"
Top 100 Amazon Reviewer
If you found the book or website helpful please send us your testimonial.
Click here to contact the author.