Books on Nutrient Recovery from Addictive Disorders

The Craving Cure

Julia Ross, MA, Flatiron Books, 2017

A comprehensive description of treating cravings for food and other substances with amino acid therapy, useful for both the public and the medical professional.


The Prevention of Alcoholism Through Nutrition

Roger J. Williams, PhD, Bantam, 1981

Williams discovered pantothenic acid, named folic acid, and was founder/director of the Clayton Foundation Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas, Austin, where he taught from 1939 to 1986. His experiments with rats showed how normal rats uninterested in alcohol could be manipulated into craving alcohol instead of water just by changing the quality of their feed.


Overload: Attention Deficit Disorder and the Addictive Brain

David K. Miller and Kenneth Blum, PhD

1996, Andrews and McMeel

Blum, the research scientist, and Miller, the clinician are fantastic success stories in themselves and write for the lay public about the neurochemical connection of brain and behavior.


The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Take Charge of Your Emotions-Today

Julia Ross, MA, 2002 Penguin,.

Explains the connections of mood to adrenal and thyroid gland hormone imbalances, how to eliminate food cravings, and quickly figure out the nutrients and dietary changes that will bring back clearheaded focus and a joyful attitude while eliminating a need for drugs. We have given this book to clients upon graduation from Drug Court.


Depression-Free, Naturally

Joan Mathews Larson, PhD 2001 Random House.

Originally titled Seven Weeks to Emotional Health as a hardcover, Larson's publisher chose one popular problem to highlight in the title of the paperback but it's truly encyclopedic in covering all manner of emotional disturbances, including addiction, aggression, and ADD. An excellent guidebook for self-care or for designing a professional treatment program by the Mother of Addiction Nutrition.


Seven Weeks to Sobriety

Joan Mathews Larson, PhD, 1997, Fawcett Columbine

Personal grief was transformed into public welfare after her teenage son's suicide in recovery led her to research the hypoglycemia-alcoholism connection. Her effort to connect the research dots has led to this extraordinary Bible of self-care and a successful treatment program in Minneapolis.


Potatoes Not Prozac

Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD. 1998 Fireside.

Chapter Five Brain Chemistry 101 is a treasure in explaining simply and usefully the neurotransmitter connection to addiction.


Natural Highs

Hyla Cass, MD; 2002; Penguin Putnam

A Los Angeles holistic psychiatrist, author, and frequent presenter at conferences on spirituality, holistic health, and addiction, Cass and her coauthor Patrick Holford cover the terrain of feeling good from every imaginable viewpoint. We have given this book to clients upon graduation from Drug Court.


How to Defeat Alcoholism: Nutritional Guidelines for Getting Sober

Joseph D. Beasley, MD,1989, Times Books

Beasley has written so many books on the subject of successful treatment for alcoholism it's amazing he isn't fed up with America's stubborn resistance to what works.


End Your Addiction Now: The Proven Nutritional Supplement Program That Can Set You Free

Charles Gant, MD, PhD and Greg Lewis, PhD; 2002 Warner

One of the few excellent nutrition-oriented self-care guides with full chapters on stopping smoking.

NOTE: Gant article The Role of 5HTP as a Precursor for Serotonin and Melatonin in the Treatment of Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Sleep Disorder, Weight Management, Fibromyalgia, Migraine and Withdrawal from Antidepressant Medication


Alcoholism: The Cause & Cure

Genita Petralli; 1999-2005

Petralli runs an alcoholism treatment program in Los Angeles based on nutrition and naturopathic principles with unbridled enthusiasm and energy. This book has everything from bowel cleansing to meal planning from "The laws of health are not negotiable"  to "It's a beautiful journey, relax and enjoy it,"


Breaking Your Rx Addiction Habit

Billie J. Sahley, PhD, Katherine M. Birkner, CRNA, PhD, 1996, Pain & Stress Publications

Sahley, a pain management specialist and her coauthor produce a variety of pamphlets on addiction treatment via nutrition that needs proofreading but are useful for their brevity. She also creates formulas for brain repair such as Brain Link She runs the Pain and Stress Clinic in San Antonio, Texas where her staff uses email and phone for consultation.


5-HTP: The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia

Michael Murray, ND

NY, Bantam, 1999 


Alcohol and the Diet

Daphne Roe, MD; 1979, Avi Publishing

Roe was a highly respected Cornell University professor of nutrition who pioneered our understanding of the powerful nutritional factors at work in alcoholism.


Cleansing the Body, Mind and Spirit

Carolyn Reuben, 1998, Berkley

Myriad ways one can detoxify the body. Check out Chapter 14 starting p.275 on Addiction and Substance Abuse Detox.


The Healing Nutrients Within: Facts, Findings, and New Research on Amino Acids

Eric R. Braverman, MD, with Carl C. Pfeiffer, MD, PhD, Ken Blum, PhD, & Richard Smayda, DO, 2008, Accessible Publishing Systems. The most recent of many editions of this important book, which we consider the best book on amino acids ever written. The core information in it was written by Carl Pfeiffer, MD, PhD, the brilliant psychiatrist/biochemist who pioneered the therapeutic use of amino acids in a clinical setting.


Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism

Dr. James R. Milam and Katherine Ketcham, 1983, Bantam

One of the classics that opened many professionals' eyes to the nutrition link to addiction.


Diet, Crime and Delinquency

Alexander Schauss, 1981, Parker House,

A comprehensive review of the link between what prisoners eat and their behavior before and after incarceration.


Medical and Nutritional Complications of Alcoholism

Lieber, Charles S., Plenum Medical Book Co., 1994 Comprehensive text for the medical professional or anyone who wants to dive deep into the nutritional science involved in alcoholism.


Food for Recovery: The Complete Nutrition Companion for Recovering from Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Eating Disorders

Joseph D. Beasley, MD, Mary P. Cheney, and Susan Knightly, 2006, Publishing

The most recent of numerous books on the subject of nutrition and alcoholism by Dr. Beasley. This one includes not only how to repair the damage of addiction using food, but also where to find Whole Foods, how to store them, and how to cook whole foods if you're busy and not an experienced chef.


Alcohol and the Addictive Brain

Blum, Kenneth, New York, The Free Press, 1991

Blum may be one of the first scientists who understood the genetic precedents to addiction, but he couches his science in common language so non-scientists can understand. He explains brain physiology in the disease of alcoholism clearly and concisely.

Introducing Precision Addiction Management of Reward Deficiency Syndrome, the Construct That Underpins All Addictive Behaviors. 

Blum, Kenneth, Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C., et al, Frontiers of Psychiatry, 2018; 9:548. Published online 2018 Nov 27.


DLPA to End Chronic Pain and Depression

Arnold Fox, MD, NYT, Pocketbooks, 1985

An old book but just as useful today as when it was first published, especially considering the tragic epidemic of opiate addiction and overdosing in the US these days.


Scientific Studies 


Beasley, Joseph D., "Dietary intake of Certain Amino Acids Linked to Brain Function," Clinial Psychiatry, 8:10 (1980), pp.1-20


Beasley, Joseph D., et al. “Follow-up of a Cohort of Alcoholic Patients Through Twelve Months of Comprehensive Biobehavioral Treatment.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 8:133-142, 1991.


Budd, K, "Use of D-phenylalanine, an Enkephalinase Inhibitor, in the Treatment of Intractable Pain," Advances in Pain Research and Therapy, JJ Bonica et al Editors, NY Raven Press, 1983 5:305-08


Chen, TJ, Blum, K et al, Neurogenetics and clinical evidence for the putative activation of the brain reward circuitry by a neuroadaptagen: proposing an addiction candidate gene panel map; J Psychoactive Drugs, 2011, Apr-Jun; 43(2): 108-27.


Chen TJ, Blum K et al; Narcotic antagonists in drug dependence: pilot study showing enhancement of compliance with SYN-10, amino-acid precursors and enkephalinase inhibition therapy; Med Hypotheses. 2004;63(3):538-48


Coppen, A., et al, "Tryptophan Metabolism in Depressive Illness," Psychological Medicine, vol. 4 (1974), pp. 164-73


Durstin, SM et al, "The 'dalhousie serotonin cocktail' for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder," J. Psychopharmacol, June 2001;15(2):136-138


Evangelou, A., et al. “Ascorbic Acid Effects on Withdrawal Syndrome of Heroin Abusers.” In Vivo. 14(2):363-366. March 2000.


Gaby, Alan R., MD, editor. “Nutritional Therapy In Medical Practice: A Reference Manual and Study Guide.” Alcoholism and Drug Addiction. (Section 25):253-255, 2001. (Lists 43 scientific studies of various nutritional substances used for addiction treatment.)


Gant, Charles E., “Functional Medicine: The Missing Link in Addictionology.” Journal of Addictions Nursing. 12(3/4): 169-179, 2000.


Geidenberg, A., et al. "Tyrosine for the Treatment of Depression," American Journal of Psychiatry, 1984, 137: 622-32


Gelenberg, A.J. and R.J. Wurtman,  "Tyrosine for Depression," Lancet, October 1980


Grant L.P., et al; “Nutrition education is positively associated with substance abuse treatment program outcomes.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 104(4):604-10, April 2004.


Growden, J.H., et al, "Treatment of Brain Diseases with Dietary Precursors of Neurotransmitters," Annals of Internal Medicine, 80:10 (1980), pp. 1638-39


Guenther, Ruth M, PhD. “The Role of Nutritional Therapy in Alcoholism Treatment.” International Journal of Biosocial Research. 4(1)5-18, 1983


Maher, T.J., "Tyrosine, Catecholamines, and Brain Function," The Nutrition Report, vol. 3, No. 6, June, 1990


Mathews-Larson, Joan PhD. “Alcoholism Treatment With Biochemical Restoration as a Major Component.” International Journal of Biosocial Research. 9(1):92-106, 1987


Poldinger, W, PhD, "A functional-dimensional approach to depression: Serotonin deficiency as a target syndrome in a comparison of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and fluvoxamine," Psychopathology, 1991;24:53-81


Reinstein, DK, H. Lehnert, and RJ Wurtman, "Neurochemical and Behavioral Consequences of Stress: Effects of Dietary Tyrosine," Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 3(3), 1984


Rogers, LL, "Glutamine in the Treatment of Alcoholism" Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 18 No. 4 (1957); 581-87


Satel, SL, et al, "Tryptophan Depletion: An Attenuation of Cue-Induced Cravings for Cocaine," American Journal of Psychiatry, 152, No. 5 May 1995


Schoenthaler, Stephen J., "The Effect of Sugar on the Treatment and Control of Antisocial Behavior," The International Journal for Biosocial Research, 1981, vol. 3, No. 1, PP 1-9


Schoenthaler, J. and Doraz, Water E., "Types of Offenses Which Can Be Reduced in an Institutional Setting Using Nutritional Intervention: A Preliminary Empirical Evaluation," The International Journal for Biosocial Research, 1983, vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 74-84


Van der Does, AJ, "The effects of tryptophan depletion on mood and psychiatric symtpoms," J Affect Disorders, May 2001, 64(2-3):107-19


Van Heile JJ, "L-5-hydroxytryptophan in depression: The first substitution therapy in psychiatry?" Neurobiology, 1980;6:230-40


Young, S PhD, "Behavioral effects of dietary neurotransmitter precursors: Basic and Clinical aspects," Neurosci Biobehav Review, 1996, summer;20(2):313-23




Kenneth Blum, Ph.D.


One of the early researchers in the genetic basis for all compulsive, addictive, impulsive behaviors is pharmacogeneticist Kenneth Blum, PhD, who did much of his seminal work at the University of Texas in San Antonio. When he moved from laboratory rodents to field research with people, he and his colleagues discovered malnourished brains with neurotransmitter deficiencies, and he began creating formulas of nutrients designed for opiate users, stimulant users, people craving comfort foods, and other unique populations defined by their neurotransmitter needs.

Following are a very few of Blum’s studies, which date back to the 1960s.


Reward Deficiency Syndrome.”Blum, K., et al, American Scientist, March-April 1996, vol. 84(2), p.132.


"Neuro-nutrient therapy for compulsive disease: Rationale and clinical evidence," Blum, Kenneth, PhD et al Addiction and Recovery, Aug. 1990



Reward Deficiency Syndrome: A Biogenetic Model for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Impulsive, Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs; Vol. 32, Supplement; November 2000; Editors Kenneth Blum, PhD, Eric R. Braverman, MD. (The Journal, a quarterly publication, has been in print since 1967. Subscriptions are $90/year. Haight-Ashbury Publications, 856 Stanyon St. San Francisco, CA 94117, (415) 752-7601. This special issue is devoted to the concepts introduced by Ken Blum on the biological basis of addictions.)


•  “Enkephalinase inhibition and precursor amino acid loading improves inpatient treatment of alcohol and poly drug abusers: Double blind placebo controlled study of the nutritional adjunct.” Blum, K. et al. SAAVE Alcohol, 5: 481 493, 1988.


•  “Alcoholism: Scientific basis of a neuropsycho¬genetic disease.” With Trachtenberg, M.C. Intl. Journal of Addiction, 23: 781 796, 1988.


•  “Improvement of inpatient treatment of the alcoholic as a function of neurotransmitter restoration: A pilot study.” With Trachtenberg, M.C. and Ramsey, J.C. Intl. Journal of Addiction, 23: 991 998, 1988.


•  “Improvement of cocaine induced neuromodulator deficits by the neuronutrient Tropamine.” With Trachtenberg,

M.C. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 20: 315 331, 1988.


•  “Neurogenetic deficits caused by alcoholism: Restoration by SAAVE™, a neuronutrient intervention adjunct.” With Tractenberg, M.C.Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 20: 297 313, 1988.


•  “Reduction of both drug hunger and withdrawal against advice rate of cocaine abusers in a 30 day inpatient treatment program by the neuronutrient Tropamine” With Allison, D., Trachtenberg, M.C., Williams, R.W., and Loeblich, L.A. Current Therapeutic Research, 43: 1204 1214, 1988.


•  “Cocaine Therapy: The ‘Reward Cascade’ link.” With Trachtenberg, M.C., and Kozlowski, G.P. Professional Counselor, Jan. 1989.


•  “A commentary on neurotransmitter restoration as a common mode of treatment for alcohol, cocaine and opiate abuse.” Integrative Psychiatry, 6:199 204, 1989.


•  “Neurodynamics of relapse prevention: A neuronutrient approach to outpatient DUI offenders.” With Brown, R.J., and Trachtenberg, M.C. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 22(2):173 187, 1990.


•  “Neuronutrient therapy for compulsive disease: Rationale and clinical evidence.” With Rassner, M., and Payne, J.E. Addiction and Recovery, 10(2):12 16, 1990.


•  “Relapse Prevention and drug hunger reduction induced by potential neurochemical activation of brain reward circuitry using Synaptamine™ (Syn 11) in substance use disorder: A preliminary open clinical trial in a long term outpatient treatment program.” Blum, K., et al. (To be submitted to European Psychiatry.)


•  “Neuronutrient effects on weight loss in carbohydrate bingers: An open clinical trial.” With Trachtenberg, M.L. and Cook, D.W. Current Therapeutic Research. 48(2):217 233, 1990.


Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD


 DesMaisons, K., Biochemical restoration as an intervention for multiple offense drunk driving. PhD dissertation, The Union Institute, Cincinnati, OH, 1996


A county program for multiple offender drunk drivers in San Mateo County, California, focused on diet and nutrition and enjoyed dramatic success. Participants added a nutritional component to their prescribed court ordered treatment. they were taught to increase their awareness of what they were eating. They added protein, eliminated sugars and learned to eat enough, on time.


The Biochemical Restoration Program (BRP) was developed by Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD, a pioneering addiction specialist who recognized that alcoholics have a unique neurochemical make up that makes them highly sensitive to emotional pain. They are drawn at an early age to the drug effects of sugar. This solution gets transferred to alcohol. Treating the base neurochemistry affects treatment outcome in a significant way.


The DesMaisons program was a collaboration of the Criminal Justice Council and the Peninsula Community Foundation in San Mateo County. The Peninsula Community Foundation funded the program from 1994 to 1997 for $280,000. The courts sentenced offenders to participate. Adding the nutritional component to the standard treatment generated a 92% success rate.


 After tracking 64 people who had been arrested more than once for drunken driving: 32 who took the 4-month program with a follow-up 3 months later; and 32 "controls" who were sentenced to conventional treatment. After the program was over the researchers discovered that members of the control group were charged again, and for far more serious offenses, at four times the rate of program graduates. Only two participants in the nutrition program violated probation, while 13 members of the control group committed 32 violations.


DesMaisons later moved from Northern California to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and developed an international web based support program for sugar sensitive people using these same nutritional protocols.

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Google+ - Black Circle
  • Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon