Whether it involves drugs, alcohol, smoking, or food, addiction is an overwhelming and destructive force. While many rehabilitation programs are available, the truth is that too many people return to their old habits. Why? End Your Addiction Now not only explores the biochemical factors that are the real cause of this problem, but offers proven advice on how to break addictions once and for all.
Based upon the research and experience of Dr. Charles Gantand other pioneers, this practical handbook provides simple step-by-step directions for kicking the habit. Perhaps most unique, End Your Addiction Now is designed both to guide its readers to effective physicians and treatment facilities, and to provide a path for those who wish to seek wellness on their own.
At the heart of Dr. Gant’s approach is a distinctive program of nutritional supplements designed to jump-start recovery by reducing substance cravings. Dr. Gant then walks readers through a natural process of detoxification and biochemical testing that pinpoints the specific deficiencies that must be addressed to achieve complete recovery.
"The future direction of addiction treatment is here clearly outlined. I strongly recommend End Your Addiction Now to all who are involved in the huge addiction problem facing the United States."—Joseph D. Beasley, MD, PhD, Director AddictionEnd.com
Charles Gant, MD received his medical degree from the University of Virginia, with residencies in Family Practice and Psychiatry. For over a decade, he has pioneered the practice of orthomolecular medicine in the treatment of substance abuse. He has served as medical director of Tully Hill Hospital, a rehabilitation facility in Syracuse, New York, where he achieved an 83-percent success rate in ending patients’ addictions.
Dr. Greg Lewis received his PhD in English from Kent State University and has been a member of the faculties of Kent State and St. Bonaventure University. For the past twenty years, he has worked as a professional freelance writer.
Table of contents
Table of Contents
Part One: Introducing the Power Recovery Program
Chapter 1. A Revolution in the Treatment of Substance Use Problems
Chapter 2. How Has Substance Use Been Treated Historically?
Chapter 3. Our Billion-Year-Old Biochemistry
Chapter 4. Why Do Some People Develop Substance Problems?
Part Two: The Power Recovery Program
Chapter 5. Stage One: Quick-Start
Chapter 6. Stage Two: Detoxification
Chapter 7. Maintaining Your Newfound Health: Diet and Lifestyle Changes As You're Overcoming Your Substance Problem
Part Three: Long-Term Biochemical Rebalancing
Chapter 8. Overcoming an Addiction to Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
Chapter 9. Overcoming the Consequences of Smoking
Chapter 10. Overcoming the Consequences of Alcohol Abuse
Chapter 11. Overcoming the Consequences of Cocaine and Amphetamine Abuse
Chapter 12. Overcoming the Consequences of Abusing Opiates and Painkillers
Chapter 13. Stopping the Use of Marijuana
Part Four: America’s “Other Drug Problem”: Avoiding the Prescription Drug Trap
Chapter 14. When Bad Prescription Drugs Happen to Good People
Chapter 15. Readin', Writin', and Ritalin: Getting Kids Off of Prescription Drugs
Appendix A: Resources
Appendix B: Nutritional Supplement Checklists
Appendix C: Biochemical Tests
Introduction or preface
It’s been only about a quarter of a century since we discovered that, contrary to what we’d thought for decades prior to that, the brain actually sends signals from one neuron to another by means of chemical molecules, called neurotransmitters. That discovery has enabled us to put together the pieces of the puzzle of addiction in a way that we simply hadn’t been able to do before we knew about these amazing chemical messengers.
Once we’d begun to understand how neurotransmitters work, we also began to understand how they control our moods, memory, thinking, and behavior. Each of our brain cells is a tiny but very powerful manufacturing plant that assembles these chemical molecules out of nutrients and passes them along to other neurons. When our brains have enough of the nutrients necessary to manufacture all of the neurotransmitters we need, we’re able to feel relaxed and alert, focused and free of fear, happy and pain-free. In short, when our brains have the nutrients they need to create neurotransmitters in the necessary quantities, we’re most fully alive, engaged, and productive.
When we’re unable to produce neurotransmitters in the necessary quantities, our moods, intellectual capability, and behavior tend to deteriorate. We’re often unable to focus, we tend to worry about things that we probably shouldn’t be concerned with, we’re not “up” and alert and happy, and we have difficulty coping with pain, whether it’s physical or emotional. If neurotransmitter deficiencies persist over time, we’re often led to use prescription drugs, alcohol, so-called “street drugs,” and other substances, including nicotine, to substitute for our neurotransmitter shortages. They’re capable of temporarily alleviating the symptoms of neurotransmitter deficiencies, but continued use of these substances can, often quite quickly, result in addiction, a situation where our brains adapt and begin to rely on these neurotransmitter substitutes to keep us going.
The problem is, of course, that drugs and alcohol are enormously harmful to us in so many ways. Rather than enabling us to function, they actually reduce our ability to function without them. They alter our behavior and reduce our ability to experience the normal emotions of life. They ultimately cause depletions or diminished effects of the very neurotransmitters which they are meant to mimic or bolster.
Although the disciplines of medicine and psychiatry have understood neurotransmitters and how they work for quite some time, the primary use they’ve made of this information is to find ways to use prescription drugs to do the job that, prior to the biochemical revolution, could only be found through illicit drugs and legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco. They’ve given us Ritalin to control our kids’ Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Ritalin works in the brain in exactly the same way as cocaine. They’ve given us anti-depressants such as Paxil and Prozac, which work in the brain to eventually shut down one of our most important neurotransmitters, a natural brain chemical that keeps us happy and relaxed. In short, they’ve pioneered “drug interventions.” They’ve found ways to prescribe dozens, if not hundreds, of additional substances to which we can become very rapidly addicted. Indeed, the prescription drug problem in the United States is now much more severe and deadly than that of illicit drugs, and one of the main differences is that drug companies can now advertise their addictive drugs, while drug dealers can’t. Young people now need to go only so far as their parents’ medicine cabinets to procure drugs that are often equally as powerful and addictive as those they can buy on the street.
Part One of this book introduces you to my Power Recovery Program, providing some important information to help you understand your brain’s biochemistry and how disruptions in its natural biochemical processes can lead to substance abuse. You’ll also learn about the three stages of the Power Recovery Program and how it can lead you back to addiction-free biochemical health.
Part Two of the book takes you through the first two stages of the Power Recovery Program, Quick-Start and Detoxification. These stages are designed to quickly reduce or eliminate your substance cravings and to enable you to get rid of the toxins that are most likely at the root of the biochemical imbalances that cause your substance cravings.
Part Three deals with what I call Long-Term Biochemical Rebalancing. It’s designed to help you consolidate the positive changes you’ve brought about in the first two stages. It will also help those who’ve been using drugs and alcohol for long periods of time to diagnose and correct secondary conditions that may have resulted from the substance use.
Part Four will enable you to recognize many of the pitfalls of modern medical treatment, particularly the overuse of potentially addictive drugs in the treatment of psychological disorders and conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It will provide you with the knowledge you need to resist the tendency of so many physicians to overmedicate their patients, especially children and young adults.
End Your Addiction Now will help you understand how your brain works naturally and what you can do to restore its normal function and rid yourself or someone you love of the terrible burden of addiction. By following the step-by-step principles and practices outlined in this book, you can solve the puzzle of addiction and once again become a healthy, happy, drug-free person.