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Doug Thorburn

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Doug Thorburn is a pioneering author and educator researching early-stage alcoholism and other drug addiction problems. His research explains each sign of alcoholism, or symptom of alcoholism or prescription drug addiction. Thorburn's books are acclaimed not only for their powerful self help qualities, but also they contribute to a variety of education programs.

This site is dedicated to helping people understand (a) why we need to identify alcohol and other drug addicts, (b) how to do so and, most important, (c) what can be done to prevent tragedy. The method is simple, in classrooms or with self help: redefine alcoholism in such a way that allows for the tentative diagnosis of addiction in early stages by those in the best position to do this: close persons. All of Thorburn's books are available at Galt Publishing.

These include family members, friends and coworkers. Not included are most doctors, therapists and other medical personnel. Most of them are untrained in diagnosing alcoholism and besides, any alcoholic or other drug addict can change his stripes for an hour a week during a visit with a doctor or therapist. The redefinition proposed makes it apparent that those exhibiting destructive behaviors are usually alcoholics or other drug addicts, and that addiction is a biological-genetic disorder. In other words, they engage in poor behavior but are usually not innately bad. In fact, when in good, solid recovery, they are often wonderful. However, the goal is to show that where alcoholism is tentatively identified, non-addict and recovering addict close persons as well as the legal and political systems should uncompromisingly disenable.

In other words, we must stop protecting them from the consequences of their misbehaviors. This is not only for one’s own safety (since we cannot predict how destructive the behavior of a practicing alcoholic may become), but also to increase the odds that intervention will lead to permanent recovery.

We increase the risk of dealing with people who violate our rights in unethical or criminal ways by allowing practicing alcohol and/or other drug addicts into our lives. This is true whether becoming involved personally or professionally. The former includes potential mates, parents, spouses, children and friends. The latter includes employees, employers, co-workers, tenants, landlords, partners and debtors. Take the TSARI™ (our unique Addiction Indicator, intended to help diagnose alcoholism and other drug addictions in other people) with those in mind whom you are thinking about forming such connections. Even experts don’t find alcoholism unless they look for it. If there are several signs and symptoms, assume that it may exist. Recognizing the behaviors indicative of alcoholism is essential since use by itself doesn’t paint the whole picture. Addiction requires both use and destructive behaviors, so look for the revealing physical signs to confirm this.

Experts have long known that addiction causes bizarre, criminal (including acts of terrorism), unethical and/or psychopathological behaviors. The theme of this work is that we should reverse this idea: if such behaviors are observed, especially in serial fashion, alcoholism or other drug addictions should be suspected. Furthermore, while the practicing addict cannot "Just say no to drugs," we as non- and/or recovering addicts can "Just Say No to Addicts" (meaning, stop protecting them from the consequences of their actions). Due to distorted perceptions, a build-up of crises or "bottoms" is a prerequisite for recovery. Such consequences, combined with professional intervention, greatly increase the odds of raising that bottom for the alcoholic or other drug addict. In this way, we can help to prevent tragedy.

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