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Doug Thorburn

About Doug Thorburn

Doug Thorburn is one of the foremost experts in identifying early-stage alcoholism based on behavior patterns. He provides continuing education for chemical dependency professionals, including members of the California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators (CAADE), the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC), and the California Association of Drinking Driver Treatment Programs (CADDTP).

An Enrolled Agent (Enrolled to Represent Taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service) since 1978 and a Certified Financial Planner licensee (CFP) since 1983, Doug was a practicing tax professional for almost 20 years before he stumbled into the field of addiction. Having become romantically involved with an alcoholic, he survived, vowed “never again” and set out to learn all he could about this terrible disease. With the goal of protecting himself from a “next time,” he figured out that addiction explains huge swaths of human misbehaviors, including human tragedies ranging from serious relationship and family issues to wars, corruption and scandals, along with many financial and business failures. Thorburn realized that understanding this most under-studied subject could have prevented not only his own tragedy, but also countless others.

Deciding to share his gift of awareness, Doug founded the PrevenTragedy Foundation, the goal of which is to educate the general public on the need for early detection of alcohol and other drug addiction. He is the author of four books on addiction: Alcoholism Myths and Realities: Removing the Stigma of Society’s Most Destructive Disease (2005); How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics: Using Behavioral Clues to Recognize Addiction in its Early Stages (2004); Get Out of the Way! How to Identify and Avoid a Driver Under the Influence (2002); and Drunks, Drugs & Debits: How to Recognize Addicts and Avoid Financial Abuse (2000). He also writes the monthly on-line Thorburn Addiction Report, each issue of which includes a top story from current events with addiction as the likely backdrop, a review of a movie or book (usually in which addiction is not readily apparent), a “Dear Doug” letter and response in which likely addiction is suggested as the root of the problem, an alcoholic myth-of-the-month from a misleading media statement about addiction and an alcoholic antic-of-the-month, often involving a life-threatening event precipitated by an addicted person.

In addition, Thorburn is certified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and is well-versed in Keirseyan Temperament (see Although these do much to describe, predict and explain healthy human behaviors, Doug found that nothing better accounts for the various forms that addiction takes than Type and Temperament. In particular, it helps to predict who is likely to be misdiagnosed as having which specific Personality Disorder(s) while they are practicing addicts. While Type and Temperament is a superb tool for understanding healthy human behavior, addiction sheds light on unhealthy behaviors.

Doug Thorburn invites you to share his discoveries in the sincere hope of preventing tragedy in your own life, as well as the lives of others.

Date Recorded: 7/24/2012

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