If You're Missing This In Your Diet, Kicking Addiction Will Be Much Harder

You may be unknowingly making your recovery more difficult.

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So, you just got out of rehab. Congratulations! What a huge step towards reclaiming a positive future for you and your family. How is it going? Oh, this is your fourth rehab? You're determined to overcome your addiction this time, but right now, you're white-knuckling your way through. You know you don't ever want to use it again, but you feel anxious every time you leave the house, you're irritable and yelling at the kids, and you toss and turn all night. At rehab, they told you to expect this. This is just post-acute withdrawal, and will go away ... in a year (maybe). The doctor wrote out prescriptions for a sleeping pill, anxiety medication, and an anti-depressant, but you don't want to take them. You're trying to live life without chemicals, but it's getting really hard.


You liked this last rehab. The staff and other clients were supportive and encouraging. They taught you good skills and helped you heal from the past. They explained that addiction is a "bio-psycho-social" disorder and explained the psycho-social piece. You're even "praying" now, thanks to their encouragement! But you don't understand the "bio" piece of addiction. Does that just mean you'll take medication from a doctor for the rest of your life to feel okay and stay clean and sober because a chemical imbalance is at the root of your addiction?

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If this is you, you are not alone. Gabrielle Glaser's article in the Atlantic claims that many treatment programs have no more than a 5 to 8 percent success rate. AA has a similarly low non-relapse rate. However, there is hope. For the past 40 years, a new movement has taken hold in the addiction field to specifically address the biochemical aspects of addiction using powerful, natural means, which quickly reduce cravings and relapse rates.

The Alliance for Addiction Solutions is a non-profit educational and networking organization dedicated to educating the public about these easily available tools. Research regarding the effects of low blood sugar on a recovering brain— and the clinical experience of members of The Alliance for Addiction Solutions — indicates that the number one relapse trigger for all addictions is missing a meal. This is because a lack of glucose in the area of the brain where we access our recovery skills leads to a loss of willpower, and the inability to utilize these skills.

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Furthermore, treatment teaches you that depleted neurotransmitters drive addiction. This is why psychiatrists prescribe anti-depressants, to make up for this loss. However, Dr. Kenneth Blum, who discovered some of the genetics underlying addictive disorders, found that feeding the brain simple nutrients called amino acids, along with crucial vitamins and minerals, rebuilds the store of these neurotransmitters within minutes! At the end of 10 months or so, this reverses the effects of Reward Deficiency Syndrome. These amino acids are available at your local vitamin store. The following stories are only small examples of the life-saving effects of this approach:

"Julie," a well-groomed woman in her late thirties, previously relapsed back into drinking enormous amounts of alcohol within a month following each of her five previous high-end treatment programs. Six months following her 10 days at the IV amino acid detox program, Colorado Recovery Infusion Center (in Denver, CO), she showed me her six-month sobriety chip from AA with tears in her eyes. "Why didn't any of those other programs teach me about keeping my blood sugar stable? My cravings would come out of the blue, and each time it was because I had missed a meal. Now I know what to do to stay sober."

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"Billy," an 18-year-old college student, sat on the couch at The Raleigh House of Hope, a nutritionally-grounded residential treatment program in Denver, CO. Six days into his program, he said, "This is the easiest heroin withdrawal I've ever experienced. The supplements, especially the amino acids, make it feel bearable. I could never make it through treatment before. I didn't think it was possible."

"Tom," a 50-year-old professional, told me that he'd been on 20mg of Ambien and 15mg of Xanax for chronic insomnia, both of which had stopped working, but the high dose of drugs impaired his ability to work. Until he started using amino acids to rebuild his depleted neurotransmitters, he found it impossible to lower his doses because of the dramatic withdrawal symptoms he experienced. Now, he successfully uses diet and nutrients to slowly wean himself off both drugs and is sleeping soundly through the night.

Drug and alcohol addiction is incredibly common.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that approximately 20.3 million people above the age of 12 have suffered from a substance use disorder in the past year. According to SAMHSA’s 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, close to 2 million people of the same age bracket have suffered from opioid use disorders and 14.8 million from alcohol use disorders. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, there are resources to get help.

The process of recovery is not linear, but the first step to getting better is asking for help. For more information, referrals to local treatment facilities and support groups, and relevant links, visit SAMHSA’s website. If you’d like to join a recovery support group, you can locate the nearest Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings near you. Or you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-799-7233, which is a free 24/7 confidential information service in both English and Spanish. For TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, call 1-800-487-4889. 

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Christina T. Veselak is the founder and director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition. She has been a licensed psychotherapist for over 30 years and currently provides Relapse Prevention Coaching and Mental Health Nutrition to a wide variety of clients.