Scottish Couple's New Book Challenges Conventional Wisdom About Alcoholism

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The authors of "Phoenix in a Bottle" argue that alcoholism is not a disease or illness, but a behaviour problem rooted in childhood that can be corrected by identifying and properly addressing those childhood issues.

A new book, “Phoenix in a Bottle,” proves that alcoholism is not a disease or illness, but a self-harming behaviour problem rooted in childhood, which alcoholics can correct and be able to drink responsibly again if and when they wish.

The authors are former alcoholics Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald, a married couple from Ayrshire, Scotland.

Lilian and Murdoch's lives were devastated by alcoholism, but they have recovered so completely that they now not only lead normal lives again, but are also now able to drink in a sociable manner.

That goes against the teaching of Alcoholics Anonymous and other alcoholism treatment centres worldwide. The authors believe lifelong sobriety isn't the solution to alcoholism, as this only treats the symptoms and not the causes of the problem, and is merely a damage limitation exercise.

The couple argue that alcoholism often stems from problems experienced in childhood. If these problems are identified and properly addressed, the problem behaviour can be cured.

Ten years ago the couple had hit rock bottom, sleeping on the streets of Cambridge, where as an undergraduate Murdoch had received an honours degree.

Murdoch now works as a freelance journalist and public relations consultant.

American addiction expert Dr. Stanton Peele commented:

“Phoenix in a Bottle is a modern version of The Days of Wine and Roses, and tells the true story of how two people who entered a period of desperate drinking stayed with one another in a close loving relationship, and emerged from their alcoholism able to drink responsibly again.

“Both a wonderful love story and a challenge to conventional wisdom about how people can recover from drinking problems, Phoenix in a Bottle gives people hope, and helps them to confront their own demons - alcohol or otherwise.”

“Phoenix in a Bottle” (£16.99, ISBN: 1-905226-14-4) will be published by Melrose Books on May 31, but can be ordered online now at

Web link:

Lilian and Murdoch's website:


Murdoch MacDonald

Phone: 44 1292 281498



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