Love and Addiction


Stanton Peele
with Archie Brodsky

©1975, 1991 by Stanton Peele and Archie Brodsky
Reprinted with permission from Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc.
ISBN # 0-8008-5041-6

I read this book not long after it was published and was impressed by the clever thinking exhibited in the premise that addiction is essentially a function of the mind more than a particular substance. At that time i had yet to experience severe withdrawals and could easily identify the argument in the thesis. By now i have met people who manage to deal with drug withdrawals easily compared with others and for myself can attest to the difference circumstances make to the experience. The same goes for how we cope with the loss of a close loving relationship.
The following is from Wikipedia:
Peele began his critique of standard notions of addiction when he published Love and Addiction (coauthored with Archie Brodsky).[5] According to Peele's experiential/environmental approach, addictions are negative patterns of behavior that result from the over-attachment people form to experiences generated from a range of involvements. Most people experience addiction for at least some period(s) of time during their lives. He does not view addictions as medical problems but as "problems of life" that most people overcome.[citation needed] The failure to do so is the exception rather than the rule, he argues.[6]
The Department of Addiction Studies of Stirling (Scotland) newsletter began a new feature in 2010 in which department faculty members listed "the five books which most tellingly affected their work; to which they most often return; which they are most likely to recommend to colleagues." The first such list, by Rowdy Yates, included Love and Addiction, which Yates described as follows:
Peele, S. and Brodsky, A. (1975) Love and Addiction, New York: Taplinger Publishing. This book I read as soon as it was published. A friend had recommended it and she wasn’t wrong. Peele and Brodsky view addiction as a normal behaviour that has veered out of control and they compare it with dysfunctional human relationships. I think it was probably the first book I ever read which analysed addiction in a way that made sense to me and echoed what I knew from my work. Years later, after I came to Stirling, I undertook a study looking at recovered addicts who had been sexually abused as children. One of the researchers we used was a psychotherapist to trade and remarked to me that the relationship they described with their drug(s) of choice sounded exactly like their relationship with their perpetrator. I remembered Peele and Brodsky and pulled it off the shelf. It still reads absolutely true as an understanding of addictive behaviour all these years later

Stanton Peele, Archie Brodsky
Year Published: 
Sensible, straightforward, simple to understand, a seriously good book.