ELKINS, W.Va. – Veteran, former Peace Corps Volunteer and author Duke Talbott has released “Appalachian Free Spirit: A Recovery Journey,” a poignant account detailing his struggle with alcohol and drug abuse stemming from undiagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) developed during his time spent in Somalia and Vietnam.

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“Appalachian Free Spirit” takes an in-depth look at the root of Talbott’s addiction and how, through addressing his chemical dependency, he was able to uncover many of his personal challenges. He incorporates letters written to his parents while he was overseas to help guide readers through the traumatic experiences that led to him self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.

Talbott also details his road to recovery and how, through adopting Twelve Step programs combined with the spiritual traditions of Gnosticism, Buddhism and Taoism, he was able to overcome addiction and make peace with his past. He decided to write this book to help others realize that there is hope even in the darkest of circumstances and they too can attain serenity and peace in their daily lives.

“Recovery is possible and, despite the trauma you’ve experienced, you don’t have to turn to alcohol and drugs,” said Talbott. “There is a way out.”

A moving memoir about a second chance at life, “Appalachian Free Spirit” imparts valuable wisdom to others grappling with trauma and addiction.

More About the Book:  Gnosticism, Buddhism, and Taoism coupled with the Twelve Steps provide a road to recovery for an Appalachian former Peace Corps Volunteer in Somalia and infantry sergeant in Vietnam to find a new way of life salvaged from PTSD and the long-term addiction that followed in its aftermath. Draws on numerous letters written to the author’s parents from Somalia and Vietnam half a century ago.






Appalachian Free Spirit: A Recovery Journey

By Duke Talbott

ISBN: 9781982232900 (softcover); 9781982232924 (hardcover); 9781982232917 (electronic)

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Balboa Press


About the author

Duke Talbott is a veteran who served as an infantry sergeant during the Vietnam War. He is also a former Peace Corps Volunteer. He currently resides in Appalachia. He is also the author of “Agricultural Innovation in Colonial Africa: Kenya and the Great Depression.” “Appalachian Free Spirit: A Recovery Journey” is his second book.

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