Despite the widely accepted view that formal treatment and twelve-step groups are essential for overcoming dependencies on alcohol and drugs, each year large numbers of former addicts quietly recover on their own, without any formal treatment or participation in self-help groups at all. Coming Clean explores the untold stories of untreated addicts who have recovered from a lifestyle of excessive and compulsive substance use without professional assistance. Based on 46 in-depth interviews with formerly addicted individuals, this controversial volume examines their reasons for avoiding treatment, the strategies they employed to break away from their dependencies, the circumstances that facilitated untreated recovery, and the implications of recovery without treatment for treatment professionals as well as for prevention and drug policy. Because of the pervasive belief that addiction is a disease requiring formal intervention, few training programs for physicians, social workers, psychologists, and other health professionals explore the phemen of natural recovery from addiction. Coming Clean offers insights for treatment professionals of how recovery without treatment can work and how candidates for this approach can be identified. A detailed appendix outlines specific strategies which will be of interest to addicted individuals themselves who wish to attempt the process of recovery without treatment.
Robert Granfield is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Denver. They are the co-authors of Coming Clean: Overcoming Addiction without Treatment (also available from NYU Press) and have each taught, conducted research, and worked in the field of addiction for over twenty-five years. William Cloud is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver, where he developed and has been chair of the Drug Dependency Concentration in the M.S.W. program.