Welcome to the Seventh issue of The Alcoholism Guide newsletter.

Amy Winehouse, the British soul singer died this week at the tender age of 27. She had long battled alcohol and drug problems, spending more time in the media spotlight for her vices than her outstanding talent. Her commercially most succesful song, Rehab, was a distillation of her experiences in alcohol treatment programs, in fact she had only just finished a stint at the 'exclusive' priory clinic in England when she died.

Now, I don't know what caused her death as the results of toxicology tests have not yet been revealed, however, it is a safe bet that substance abuse was a contributing factor. The British press have been awash with stories of wasted talent, of how creative genius and drugs go hand in hand and of how celebrities, due to the nature of their lives, are prone to alcohol and drug abuse.

What I think the the media should be discussing is this: Why did a woman who had attended so many treatment programs/rehab centers still end up dieing from substance abuse? This was, and is not, an isolated case - most addicts either get better or die (as Amy Winehouse did) from their addiction, those that get better usually do so after many years of treatment.

What we need is a mature discussion of how we treat addiction and whether the curent model is the best way to do it. The 12-step model has been in existence since 1936 and has not changed substantially since then. It has not proved effective and yet we cling on to it. I am not against the 12 step method rather I would like to see a calm, rational investigation into how our treatment services can be improved because if we don't do this then there will be many more Amy Winehouses in the future

I've added quite a few pages this month on various topics, scroll down and you'll find a short description of each and a link to the relevant page on The Alcoholism Guide Website.

I have also written an E-report called AA CRACKED which I have made available on the site. This report is an attempt to debunk the myths about Alcoholics Anonymous that contribute to it being regarded as the only viable alcoholism treatment option.

Here is the download link , please take a look at it, and if you have any comments please contact me. Also, if you think it may be of interest to anyone you know, pass it on. It is free to be used/distributed by anyone as long as its original form is kept.

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Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)

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