I want to thank you for articulating so well many of the things that I have been wondering myself. I have always known that alcohol is bad for you but had no clue about the global way it effects every part of your body. Looking back I should have known.

Before I quit drinking at 45, I’m 56 now, I had me some monumental hang overs. The kind where you go “Oh God please make me feel better and I will never drink again”. Uh huh and as soon as I could, I was popping the top on another cold one. I never got in trouble legally or financially but I knew I was in trouble. I could feel it changing me and I was a very unhappy person. I had no real plan to quit all together I just wanted to abstain and see how things went.

I started riding my bicycle again, something I always enjoyed going back to my childhood. A funny thing happened. I started feeling really, really good. I wanted more of that so I kept at it. I went to see a doctor. I was honest with him. 100% honest. I thought he was going to chew me out. He didn’t. In fact he was very kind. He encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing and had me come back for BP checks and to make sure I wasn’t drinking. I still see that same doctor. When I was 50 he had me go for a colonoscopy. I didn’t want to but he made me. You guessed it, I had colon cancer. I know it was caused by my years of drinking. Surgery followed and19 cm of my sigmoid colon was removed. One lymph node was positive. It was adenocarcinoma I believe. After that it was 6 months of chemo. The bottoms of my feet are still a bit numb but getting better. My Oncologist released me in the fall of 2013. I mentioned my drinking to my Oncologist but he never said alcohol was probably the cause. He didn’t have to.

I shake my head now when I see people drinking. I hang my head when I see where another drunk driver has died or killed someone on our roadways. I wonder why we seem to just accept it and don’t do anything except punish people after the fact. Your book is a good start. It really should be a text in every high school in the country. People need to know what they are doing to themselves. People need to talk about this instead of pretending all is good. All is not good. I’ve seen too many people, my father included, who drank themselves to death. It’s a problem that has always been with us but nobody wants to talk about it. Thanks for talking about it and thanks for writing your book.

Charlie M.

P.S. I look forward to the day that the alcohol industry gets the same treatment as the tobacco industry.


Founder, The Addicted Project

When I exited treatment I felt as though I was starved for medical knowledge in regards to my disease of alcoholism.  There are many books out on the current market that try to go the “medical” route when discussing addiction and alcoholism, yet can never achieve the necessary elements needed to make the publication meaningful and of any importance. When I am came across Jeff Herten’s book, The Sobering Truth, I thought, “Oh great, yet another doctor pretending to understand addiction.” When I read the book the first time I have to admit I was a bit taken back- this publication turned out to be something very different and something very honest.

I can say that I have never read anything regarding my disease that has been so sound, ethical, and truthful. The medical facts provided are startling to say the least; however the hope that is provided here cannot be mimicked. As an alcoholic I find that it is necessary to understand my disease a whole and The Sobering Truth provides the missing medical background that is skimmed over in treatment and counseling.

There is simply no book like this on the market—trust me—I have looked. I highly recommend anyone that is newly sober read this as it provides many necessary facts and explanations regarding our disease. I also recommend this book to anyone who is coming of age and thinking about experimenting with alcohol—after reading this you may think twice.

Joshua Robbins, Founder
The Addicted Project


Your book is outstanding and so helpful in educating my clients at a medical clinic. Thank you so much for what you are doing in our community to get the facts out about the toxicity of alcohol and how we need to educate our parents and youth!

Helen K. Erickson, LCSW

This was an excellent seminar….It was the best presentation on the medical aspects I have ever seen. We are very lucky to have Dr. Jeff Herten available in our county.

Susan Warren, Director
North County Connection Rehab Center

Loved the conference today in SLO. Dr. Herten’s presentation was captivating. When I posted information about Herten’s findings on my Facebook page, I was not surprised by the protests and finger pointing I received from talking about the risks of alcohol use. Society has a difficult time accepting that something they love to do (binge on alcohol), can be potentially fatal. I’m personally glad that Dr. Herten opened my eyes to the truth…and helped me understand how irresponsible/long term drinking can absolutely cause major health risks, including death. Thank you for your research and bravery! I’m sure not everyone is happy about your findings!

Denise Braun,
Forensic Specialist,
SLO County Mental Health

As a professional therapist employed in the recovery field for over twenty years, I am always on the lookout for new educational material for my clients. When I received the book The Sobering Truth and its associated DVD, I immediately began showing the DVD to my groups. 

The response was overwhelmingly positive and both the book and DVD are now a regular part of my curriculum. The Sobering Truth is beyond a doubt the best material I have found on the effects of alcohol on the body.  My clients found it enlightening and life changing; several want to purchase it for family members, including teenage children. It is especially effective because Dr. Herten combines personal revelations (he is a former high-functioning alcoholic) with medical facts. 

I highly recommend The Sobering Truth to anyone in or out of the treatment field. The information presented is relative to both alcoholics and anyone who consumes alcohol and cares about their health.

Kathryn Osgood, LMFT


I read your most excellent book The Sobering Truth. It should be required reading for early high school age through adult.

Gail M.


Thank you for such an awesome book. I bought The Sobering Truth two days ago and read it all—powerful and brutally honest.

Thank you again Dr Herten for giving back to others. Your style of writing was comforting and right on my level.

Chad W.

I found your personal account of addiction very engaging. As someone who has worked in the medical field I was particularly interested in the effects of alcohol on the body. Your book provides a great reference tool and has become another source, like my PDR.

I want to thank you for writing such an honest, courageous and informative book.  Like you, my friends would have never suspected that I had a drinking problem…The detail and honesty in the book are what struck me the most.  Sometimes I feel like there is no one else out there who abstains.  Reading your book reminded me otherwise.