“Full Recovery” from addiction to recovery-book review

person holding up a beer bottle

Full Recovery 

The Recovering Person’s Guide to Unleashing Your Inner Power 

a book by Brian McAlister

“a spiritual journey of empowerment and self-discovery “

Brian McAlister is CEO of Full Recovery Wellness Center,  a substance use treatment center in Fairfield, New Jersey.

He is also the owner of MacSimum Publishing Co. , which published this book.

He has been sober since August 2, 1990.

The book starts with a disclaimer that it is “not intended as a substitute for any treatment program” and neither is this blog post.

GPS- Goals Produce Success 

Brian McAlister

Note: readers may support this blog by using the affiliate links in this post, at no extra charge; the graphics in this post are not found in the book

Addiction is a disease of selfishness and isolation.

Brian’s addiction to alcohol and drugs started as a teenager in the 1960s and continued into early adulthood when he lived an “outlaw biker lifestyle”. Despite having a loving wife and son, he wasted his days drinking and carousing, getting in trouble legally and financially, until a near fatal motorcycle accident jarred him into realizing that he was going nowhere. But he was not content with merely getting sober, he wanted a better life for his family. He wrote,

In hindsight, I was very lucky to have become an alcoholic because lessons learned in recovery have given me the tools to succeed in all areas of my life.”

Drugged driving is common amond fatal driving accidents.
credit- NIH, National Institute on Drug ABuse

Full Recovery Action Plan

Brian’s Full Recovery Action plan presents the same principles he used to turn his life from addict to entrepreneur to successful businessman. To take full advantage of the plan, readers need a notebook he says will become “your roadmap to success.” He closes each chapter with a “Let’s Review” list of main points followed by Action Plan exercises to complete and record in the notebook. 

His plan is simple and straightforward; it like the book has three parts-

  1. Exploration
  2. Motivation
  3. Perspiration

Into those three parts, he packs enormous resources – personal stories, history, addiction sttistics, life lessons, psychology, time management, work and business tips, and personal resilience.

Besides his own journey to sobriety, he uses personal examples from other former addicts (with their permission and names changed to protect privacy). He also relates anecdotes from well known successful people, including Ford, Edison, Lincoln, Einstein, Columbus, Eric Clapton, Sam Walton, Bill Gates-and Jesus. 

Substance use is difference in women and men; women develop disorder quicker, men have more severe disorder.
credit:NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Brian believes “full recovery” must be based on a “solid moral foundation”. Like with 12 Step addiction recovery programs, his is based on belief in a Higher Power. Brian’s belief is based in Christianity, thus his frequent references to God and Jesus, and liberal use of scriptures from the Bible. But he does not insist those who use his program adhere to Christianity, but need to believe in someone higher than themselves.

“To be truly sober, and not just abstinent, I had to change my belief from one of self-reliance to reliance on God.”

He encourages addicts to cultivate attitudes of faith, hope, abundance, and gratitude, while also practicing practical skills of planning, listening, communicating, goal setting, and learning. These are all developed by completing the Action Plan exercises regularly.

I’ve never been addicted to anything, at least not drugs or alcohol, but I enjoyed Brian’s book and believe the program he outlines can help anyone wanting to change their life in a positive way.

This version of Full Recovery was published in 2015.I read a complimentary digital version of this book for a NetGalley review. It was the 2010 edition titled Full Recovery: Creating a Personal Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety.

Additional resources on substance abuse,addiction, and sobriety

Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts

Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts

Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder

Strategies to prevent drugges driving-designated driver, one driver take all keys, get a ride to parties.
credit:NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse

exploring the HEART of health and sobriety

Thanks for reading this blog post. You probably know someone who could benefit from Brian’s program. Please send this post and share to your social media feeds. I especially appreciate shares on the sites I’m not on currently.

TOP REVIEWER -for NetGalley

Dr Aletha

reviewer for Net Galley


Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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