Addiction is an overgrown, dependent, destructive relationship. Love is the opposite, a sharing, growth-inspiring one. The authors’ analysis makes clear that an addiction is an experience that takes on meaning and power in light of a person’s needs, desires, beliefs, expectations, and fears. By showing how addiction grows out of ordinary human experience, Peele and Brodsky offer a liberating understanding of all addictions—to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, food, gambling, shopping, electronic media, sex, or love. In 1975, Love and Addiction boldly proposed ideas whose truth is only now being recognized:
- Addiction is not limited to drugs, and drugs are not necessarily addictive.
- AA’s 12 steps are not the last word in addiction treatment. On the contrary, practically oriented addiction treatments are more effective.
- The goal of addiction treatment and recovery is not abstinence to the exclusion of all else, but to build a life that rules out addiction.
- Love is the opposite of the self-protective constriction of addiction; it is the expansion of your spirit with another human being.
“Destined to become a classic!” Psychology Today proclaimed in 1975. Rereading Love and Addiction 35 years later, addiction researcher Rowdy Yates wrote that the book “still reads absolutely true as an understanding of addictive behavior.”
Reading today this clairvoyant analysis of the most challenging issues we face in the twenty-first century—the meaning of love and the cure for addiction—you will recognize both the current relevance and enduring value of Love and Addiction, now reissued as a Kindle edition with a new (2014) Authors’ Preface, the Authors’ Preface written for the 1991 paperback reissue, and a brief new introduction to each chapter. Otherwise, nothing has been changed in the original book.