Sex, drugs, gambling & chocolate

Quick Overview

A workbook for overcoming addictions

There is an alternative to 12-step! You can reduce almost any type of addictive behavior — from drinking to sex, eating, and the Internet — with this practical and effective workbook. Treats addictive behaviors in general, not one at a time — because if you’re prone to addictions, you’ve probably got more than one. Addictive behavior can result from the use of almost any substance, or involvement in almost any activity. The harm that results from the addictive behavior, and the individual's difficulty in controlling it, is what matters. Supported by scientific research, Dr. Horvath approaches addiction as a bad habit, not a disease. He emphasizes taking responsibility, without requiring an allegiance to a “higher power,” and teaches general principles of addictive behavior change, so readers can apply them as often as they need. Horvath teaches the consequences (and even possible benefits) of addictive behavior, alternative coping methods, choice, understanding and dealing with urges, building a new lifestyle, preventing relapse. Includes dozens of exercises, self-study questions, guidelines for individual change plans.

Health Professional Review

Health Professional Reviewer: Julie Scurr, Alcohol & Drug Clinician. Reviewed 2 December 2015.

Book Title: Sex, Drugs, Gambling, & Chocolate

Author: Dr A. Thomas Horvath, Clinical Psychologist with a PhD.

Date published: 2004

Suitable for: Individuals with addiction who are either contemplating change or ready to make change. Requires good literacy skills, the ability to be self-motivated and self-reflect.
Problems addressed: Addiction.

Book Summary: 

This is a work book for individuals who have an addiction and are exploring change. It looks at addictive patterns of behaviour not just addiction to substances. The chapters progress from recognising addiction moving through the phases of change to exploring living a life without unhealthy addictive behaviours. Each chapter starts with providing information then there are questions that relate to this information for individuals to reflect on their own situation. Throughout the book the reader is encouraged to write things down in order to return to reflect on ideas as they progress through the book. This book gives a variety of techniques to implement to achieve goals whether the goal is abstinence or moderation focussed. It can be read from cover to cover or go directly to the chapter that represents the stage the reader is at.

 Chapters 7-13 have the most practical information in them.

 Strengths and Weaknesses:

This workbook is packed full of information however the amount of information has the potential for it to become confusing and information overloaded.

The chapters are divided up in a way where the book can be read from cover to cover depending on the stage of change a person is at they can go directly to the chapters that meet their current needs. If reading it all there were times where it felt repetitive.

Some of the language/terminology used is American and different to terms used in NZ. Also, there are support groups listed that are specific to America and therefore not relevant to NZ>

Although the book is designed as a workbook there is limited space to write answers.


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