“Full Recovery” from addiction to recovery-book review

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

How to survive an active shooter

We are all at risk. Although we trust the police to repond and rush to our aid, they won’t save everyone. We must know what to do to save ourselves and those around us.

Within the past year there have been shootings causing injuries and fatalities in a church, a grocery, an elementary school, a holiday celebration, and a medical office.

Among the dead are employees, customers, grade school age children, teachers, physicians, a receptionist, a patient and spouse. Ethnically they were Caucasian, Black, Asian, and Hispanic. Men and women, boys and girls. And these are just the ones that I remember reading about.

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area, 

Active Shooter Resources-FBI

We are all at risk. Although we trust the police to repond and rush to our aid, they won’t save everyone. We must know what to do to save ourselves and those around us.

Safety professionals offer these guidelines that we should learn and remember. In the panic of the moment it will be difficult to think through a rational plan to survive. Be prepared every day; that may be the day you need it.


  1. Wherever you are, always know where the exits are, preferably ones you can easily and quickly reach; locate at least 2 if possible in case one becomes inaccessible.  
  2. Your first response to a threat should be escape; run to the nearest exit as soon as safely possible; go, even if others are not willing to go with you.
  3. Leave your stuff behind. Run with empty hands up and visible.
  4. Listen to police and answer their questions, try to give them accurate information about what is happening. Get away to a safe place and stay out of the responders’ way.


  1. If escape is not possible, then hide, preferably in a locked room. Push heavy furniture against the door.
  2. Silence your cell phone when hiding. If you can, call 911 but don’t speak if you might be heard by the shooter; just leave the line open so the dispatcher can hear.


  1. If neither escape or hiding is possible, then engage the shooter, try to disable the person with the gun.
  2. If you’ve been hiding, make a plan to defend yourself. If you are with other people, work together.
  3. Aim to control the weapon; work together to disable the shooter with anything you can use as a weapon. Attack the shooter verbally, yelling.

A coordinated ambush can incapacitate the attacker. You are fighting for your life-don’t fight fair.

Active Shooter Resources-FBI

This video from the FBI website graphically shows what to do when confronted with an active shooter situation, then details each step. Well worth watching.

exploring the HEART of health and safety

As I write this, funerals for two physician victims of recent shootings are happening in my city. We need action to end this vicious cycle of violence that has become another pandemic.

Note that these guidelines should coordinate with protocols in place at your school, church, or workplace. Your primary goal should always be your own safety, and that of others if possible.

photos of 2 men and 2 women who were victims of a mass shooting

Thanks to Kimberly for featuring this post at TRAFFIC JAM WEEKEND LINK PARTY


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Dr Aletha

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