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What's Wrong with Current Treatment?



From the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1934 to today recovery has meant one thing: Talk. People talk in 12 Step Meetings. People talk to counselors, case managers, and probation officers. People are expected, through talking, to stop their addictive behavior.

Talk CAN be profoundly healing for some conditions, but addiction is not one of them. Do we talk people out of diabetes, asthma, or hypertension? Like these conditions, addiction is primarily a biochemical malady. By definition it cannot be talked away. That’s why conventional treatment methods result in relapse rates that range from 40 to 50% for alcoholics, to as high as 90% or higher for those addicted to other drugs.

This isn’t the fault of the addict in treatment. It is the fault of the treatment design, which leaves out the most important task in recovery: biochemical repair. Yet, we’ve known since the 1980’s that brain chemistry deficits are the cause of all addictions….Would we complain that the car didn’t try hard enough after it was towed to the garage and talked to, but still wouldn’t start? Alliance members learn what biochemical problems are afflicting their addicted clients. They also learn how to use specific nutrients to repair these core problems.


We value counseling and 12 Step approaches, but find that they work best after the biochemical needs are met; when addicts are feeling better and have lost their cravings. Our formerly resistant clients suddenly become less depressed, anxious, and exhausted, and more willing and able to make needed changes. The result? Both clients and counselors report much faster progress in group, individual, and family counseling. They also report better retention of the information and wisdom available in educational and 12 Step meetings.

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