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Oct. 2019 – Instead they offer a “developmental model” based on the experiences of people who overcome addictions when they find other sources of pleasure and meaning. Contrary to popular belief, such “natural recovery” is the norm, as illustrated by examples ranging from soldiers who gave up heroin after returning from Vietnam to heavy college drinkers who moderate their consumption when they assume adult responsibilities.

“We do not see addiction as a permanent personal trait,” Peele and Rhoads write. “We see it as something that ebbs and flows in individuals over time, and that most of us are bound to outgrow.” That “pragmatic, empowering” approach is a welcome antidote to the prevailing view that addicts must be rescued, whether they like it or not, by agents of the state.

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