Orthomolecular medicine is defined as establishing the right molecules in the brain and body by varying the concentration of substances normally present and required for optimum health,” or as Dr. Joan Mathews-Larson likes to say, “Use Ford parts to fix a Ford, and the real chemicals life runs on to fix people.”

The idea of orthomolecular medicine inspired Dr. Joan Mathews-Larson to set up the world’s first orthomolecular treatment center for addictions. Specifically, she developed a program that would:

  • Offer physical repair, especially to the brain and central nervous system
  • Restore the immune system and memory
  • Stabilize glucose metabolism
  • Rebuild adequate adrenal stamina, etc.

The significance of an orthomolecular approach to treating chemical addictions and mental health disorders becomes obvious when you look at the peer review study published in the International Journal of Biosocial Research, titled Alcoholism Treatment with Biochemical Restoration as a Major Component.


Comparing the Success Rates of Alcohol and Addiction Treatment

For many years the success of alcoholism and addiction treatment was measured by the length of abstinence following graduation from a program.

Most programs, (predominately psychological approaches) average around 20% abstinence one year following graduation (an 80% failure rate).

Health Recovery’s orthomolecular-based program, as documented by the peer-review study, averaged 74% abstinence (two to three and one-half years after graduation)! The highest ever achieved in a peer review study. 


How Will Treatment Ever Improve if they Don’t Keep Track of their Failures and Successes?

Although you might think that the treatment industry would be quick to embrace something that produces a better outcome, curriculum for students wishing to become counselors in the chemical dependency field still omits important biochemical ideas developed in Dr. Mathews-Larson’s program.

Psychological/spiritual-based programs continue to dominant the treatment industry with a new twist:

Clients are now told, “relapse is part of the recovery process.” Today’s programs are no longer required to keep track of client outcomes. 

Abstinence Without the Symptoms

Health Recovery Center’s orthomolecular approach provides many more advantages than just abstinence. In fact, it is the persistence of symptoms in abstinence that has encouraged the field to adopt the fatalistic viewpoint that relapse is part of the recovery process.

We know symptoms are intense and long lasting in abstinence. They are often camouflaged in creative terms like “The Dry-Drunk Syndrome and White knuckling it.” It’s what the industry calls “Being In Recovery.”

This has opened the door to the promotion/distribution of pharmaceutical drugs in treatment. Unfortunately most doctors and counselors do not understand the power of orthomolecular solutions. If they did, they might resist loading their clients with more drugs.

Providing biochemical repair achieves abstinence without the symptoms better than drugs ever will. It doesn’t take much imagination to see the threat orthomolecular medicine poses to drug manufacturers.

For an example, take a look at these figures taken from the study I mentioned. Keep in mind no drugs were used to produce these changes, only orthomolecular strategies:

  • Alcohol Cravings
    • Entry 84%
    • Discharge 9%
  • Irritability
    • Entry 74%
    • Discharge 18%
  • Chronic Fatigue
    • Entry 77%
    • Discharge 15%
  • Magnifying Insignificant Events
    • Entry 75%
    • Discharge 11%
  • Reduced Initiative
    • Entry 79%
    • Discharge 5%
  • Headaches
    • Entry 51%
    • Discharge 5%
  • Poor Memory
    • Entry 69%
    • Discharge 11%
  • Crying Easily
    • Entry 42%
    • Discharge 4%
  • Mood Swings
    • Entry 70%
    • Discharge 5%
  • Tremors, Shakes
    • Entry 44%
    • Discharge 2%
  • Dizziness
    • Entry 53%
    • Discharge 4%
  • Depression
    • Entry 61%
    • Discharge 5%
  • Insomnia
    • Entry 44%
    • Discharge 6%
  • Fearfulness, Anxiety
    • Entry 64%
    • Discharge 11%
  • Exhaustion
    • Entry 67%
    • Discharge 3%
  • Physical Weakness
    • Entry 44%
    • Discharge 2%

No drug comes close to the power of using the real substances the brain runs on. 

It never was Dr. Joan’s desire to promote abstinence in the absence of joy. White-knuckling ongoing recovery in the absence of joy is why her son committed suicide. Instead, her vision for Health Recovery Center is based on orthomolecular medicine.