Seems like we’ve recently seen a flurry of new ads for various products designed to help folks ‘beat’ their addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, spending, etc. Some come in the form of self-help books or workshops, others online or even as apps for your Smartphone.

Example:  An Internet course to ‘end addictions permanently’. I think of the addicts and alcoholics I see in the treatment programs and ask myself: Would 8 sessions at the computer work for them?


Or books that promise sobriety in six weeks. I suppose that technically speaking, you can ‘achieve sobriety’ in about five days of medically supervised detoxification, but how long can we expect that to last? My experience: for most people, not all that long.

I imagine anyone who could overcome addiction that quickly didn’t have an addiction in the first place. I can’t imagine it working well for the folks I’ve seen in treatment programs. Most of them have already failed at the easier stuff.

Maybe it’s just one of those things that alcoholics and addicts feel they have to try before they settle down to face the challenges of actual recovery– which turns out not to be all that frickin’ easy. These quick-change ads are like the commercials you see for the lottery– they only show you the winners. Wouldn’t be enough room on the TV screen for photos of the losers.

Still, these products will sell, even if they don’t work. It’s the eternal search for an easier, softer way. And if you succeed, more power to you. But if it doesn’t– well, there’s always reality.