Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Interview with Dr. Emmanuel Nzuzu -- "How to Stay Sober: A Practical Guide to Overcoming Alcoholism and Drug Addiction"


Dr. Emmanuel Nzuzu


How to Stay Sober

A Practical Guide to Overcome Alcoholism and Drug Addiction


Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I am excited about the privilege to work with people who are “sick and tired of being sick and tired” and are eager to start a new path in life. Over the years I have been blessed with numerous opportunities to make real difference in the lives of men and women through my roles as a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Therapist in the state of Florida. I enjoy being a change agent and doing community improvement programs gained from my experience as a high school teacher, law enforcement officer, business consultant and University Professor (University of Phoenix & University of Swaziland). My calling is to listen to people, to give a voice and an ear to the untold stories of men and women, stories of daily struggles with alcohol/drugs, stories of worry, fear, sleepless nights, despair, rejection and isolation. I help my clients to formulate and develop appropriate solutions to the difficulty and hard questions they have with regard to their challenging life situations and specific individual circumstances. I have extensive experience working with employee assistance programs (EAP).

The first thing you may have noticed is my last name Nzuzu. Let me tell you the story behind my name. I grew up in Zimbabwe and Nzuzu means mermaid. In the late 80s I moved to Manchester (UK) where I lived, studied and worked. Before moving to the United States in 2003 I was a management consultant in Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe for both government entities and private commercial companies. In the United States I completed a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling at Springfield College in Tampa, Florida and went on to study for my PhD in psychology at Capella University. Once I graduated with my Master’s degree, that was all that the state of Florida required to get me licensed as a mental health counselor, but I knew in my heart that my standards are to be the best of the best; and that is why I spent four years studying for a doctoral degree at Capella University since that extra qualification would give me everything I needed to serve my clients.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Certified Addictions Professional. I have been in practice as a therapist for over 10 years working for private hospitals, substance abuse treatment agencies and public mental health institutions.

I specialize in helping men and women to effectively deal with destructive-dysfunctional thought patterns and behaviors related to alcohol/drug use, repair broken relationships and regain trust of loved ones. I also assist with stress management and empower people to lead active lives in the family, workplace, and community.

What inspired you to author your book?

Over the years I have seen many alcoholics and drug addicts move in and out of treatment programs without being able to overcome alcohol and drugs. This book was written for people who have a desire to be sober but have run out of their options. It is a life line to those people who believe that they have tried everything but nothing works.


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?


I am a firm believer in the power of freedom, liberty and choice. Human beings are not able to fully experience wholeness without these fundamental values. Alcohol and drugs rob a person of his/her ability to choose and right to freedom. The book cover portrays release from the cage of alcoholism and drugs into freedom ushered following and applying the practical guidelines in the book and workbook. The book covers depict the cherished freedom from the self-imposed prison of alcohol and drugs.


Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?


Dr Joe Dispenza---author, international speaker and visionary is a big influence to me personally and as a writer. Dr. Joe has remarkably demonstrated that human beings are endowed with supernatural ability to overcome any adversity and prevail over any challenges including healing from so-called incurable diseases.


What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?


How to Stay Sober is a book about healing, hope and living life again to the full. The greatest struggle was finding a way to convey the message in a manner that brings about healing, wellness, health and wholeness to my readers. I wanted to show the reader that both the addiction problem and its solution are inside the addict and not external. Sometimes, it was tempting to write in a judgmental, criticizing and blaming style---my fear was that this approach would offend the people I am supposed to help. So, I struggled to show that the alcoholic and drug addict are their own worst enemies without pointing fingers. I had to find diplomatic ways to show that they persevered in self-abuse and overseeing their own misery and suffering.



Tell your readers about your book.

The book seeks to convey the message that recovery is possible and always available. The major ingredients for sobriety are motivation, a clear vision, and  honesty. Recovery is possible when you need it and seek it from inside the heart. You can live a life free from alcohol and drugs but you have to cherish and embrace the new life and give up the old one. Your willingness and commitment to becoming brutally honest with yourself are key to successful recovery. A desire without willingness to change will remain just that, a desire and nothing else.


Who is your target audience, and why?

The primary target audiences for the book are people battling alcohol and drug addiction, who experienced a relapse and failed to stay sober after undergoing a treatment (for instance, who completed the AA 12 Step Program). They are looking for a long-term solution that will allow them to stay away from substance abuse. Most potential clients in this group are male, aged 25-55, of American Indian, Caucasian, African American, or Hispanic origin, and addicted to alcohol; many people in this target group have a criminal record, are more likely to be unemployed than not, and suffer from mental health disorders. They belong to the 10% of addicts who are actively seeking help and want to stay sober, and are likely to have tried a range of treatments before, and failed to stay clean longer-term.

The second target audience for the book are people close to the addicts, who are potentially co-dependent and co-suffer with the addict. They, therefore, are strongly motivated to help them fight their addiction. Because they have experienced the addicted person being sober for a while during and after their treatment, they are hopeful that the addiction can be treated and are actively looking for ways to help their loved one stay sober. They would purchase the book either for the person who is addicted and struggling to stay clean or for their own information, to find out how they can best support that person. They are likely to be wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters of the addict, 25-65 years old, of the same origin, and relatively well educated to seek professional advice through an expert book.

Lastly, the third target audience for the book are experts who specialize in the field of addiction treatment, who are looking for alternative long-term solutions that would enable the addicts to stay sober and prevent relapses. They are knowledgeable, well educated, aware of the weaknesses of traditional treatment models, and actively interested in improving them. This group is likely to be 35-65, well-read, and passionate about keeping their knowledge up-to-date and exploring new concepts and solutions.


If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?


How to Stay Sober is a unique book in that it takes a non-traditional approach to identifying and treating the drivers of addictions. While in the past, research suggested that addiction is caused by childhood issues, trauma, or abuse, Dr. Nzuzu proposes that instead, addictions are driven by fear, denial, hopelessness, helplessness, selfishness, dishonesty, self-centeredness, inconsideration, insensitivity, untrustworthiness, impatience and intolerance. Therefore, the author is looking to address these triggers, providing practical advice on how to turn these challenges into courage, love, care, honesty, trustworthiness, patience, humility, tolerance, and responsibility. This is a unique approach, which will appeal to people with addictions who tried traditional approaches that didn’t work or failed to identify themselves with the conventional line of thought in the field and experimental therapists who wish to add an additional resource to their toolkit.

Most importantly, however, the book offers practical, hands-on advice and guidance for people who are determined to clean up and stay sober long term. It addresses the issue that a large proportion of addicts who undergo treatment are unable to maintain sobriety after their treatment ends because they don’t have the tools and the skills to do so and are left ‘stranded’ with their struggles. Therefore, the most important quality that makes this book stand out from the crowd is that it is designed to provide long-lasting support to addicted people that will enable them to stay sober forever. It offers a new alternative model for treating addiction that addresses traditional treatment models' conceptual weaknesses and is designed to help addicted people with their recovery in a positive, inspiring, and practical way.


What do you consider your greatest success in life?


Success for me is being spiritually strong. Working for myself---being self employed, determining desired income and managing my own time, getting what I want when I want it, being debt free, buying what I want when I want it for cash, giving what I want to give and when I want to give freely and without any second thoughts, travelling around the world when I want to travel and where I want to travel 


What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?


I am writing from the front lines of alcohol and drug addiction recovery. Other writers write from imagination, unproven theories and books. My book is a first-hand report of my on-going observations and conversations with alcoholics and drug addicts. I used to struggle with alcohol myself and I know first-hand what it is like to be a slave to alcohol and drugs. Most of the available literature on addiction is written by authors who may have never interacted with an addict for a reasonable amount of time to develop clear and accurate understanding of what  the addict is going through.


How do you overcome writer’s block?


I take time off from writing and read a lot of inspiring spiritual books and YouTube videos.

Gospel music and the Bible help me to boost my creativity.


What one piece of advice do you have for new authors.


I really don’t have any advice for new authors because I don’t know where they are at and what their needs are. I didn’t start of as intending to write a book. I was recording my observations over the years and after sometime I realized that they formed a coherent pattern of messages which I can put together into book to help people.


Tell your readers anything else you want to share.


Change and transformation are possible-----anyone can do it----the essential elements for success in any area of life are:





4-EXPECTATION, and do all this with



You were expectant and passionate about doing alcohol and drugs; how excited and passionate are you about being sober today.