Rob Mathews Memorial Foundation

The History of the Foundation

In 1975, Joan Mathews-Larson’s seventeen-year-old son, Rob, committed suicide. Following the sudden death of his father, Joan had seen Rob go from bright, outgoing, and cheerful, to moody, unstable and depressed as he began to use alcohol heavily. She finally brought him to a well-known treatment center that followed the typical psychological, twelve-step approach. Focusing on talk therapy, counselors reviewed Rob’s young life and convinced him that his drinking was a response to blaming himself for his father’s death— new idea for Rob. He left the program abstinent, but still unstable with severe mood swings and depression. Shortly after returning home, he talked enthusiastically about his plans for school; the next morning his brother found him dead under the exhaust pipe of the car. Treatment did its best but it wasn’t enough. The tragedy launched his mother, Joan, on a search for answers: what might have made a difference to saving his young life; what was missing from the traditional treatment; why was one in every four deaths of alcoholics who went to treatment, a suicide?

This search has spanned over thirty years. Lifesaving research gathered, developed, and tested at a unique clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota—Health Recovery Center. The Rob Mathews Memorial Foundation continues in memory of Rob whose life could have been saved if only such a clinic had been available to him.

The Foundation’s three-fold purpose

  • To study new methods of biochemical repair
  • To offer treatment that includes biochemical restoration to impoverished alcoholics
  • To educate professionals about our approach and train them to use the techniques effectively

The foundation welcomes any gifts, no matter how small to continue this work.

Make a Donation


It should be noted that to qualify for non-profit status, a foundation must give away at least 5% of their annual donated income, which most do; however, the RM Foundation gives between 95-100% of its donations directly back to the people it was set up to help. The RMF does not use any donated money to pay board member salaries or for overhead costs. Health Recovery Center donates space for meetings and lunch for the RM Foundation board of directors when they meet four times per year to decide how donations will be divided among those alcoholics and addicts whose needs are the greatest and whose financial resources are small.

Research That Provides New Hope

The strength of Dr. Mathews-Larson’s orthomolecular treatment model may be reviewed in the study done as part of Dr. Mathews-Larson’s Ph.D. dissertation. The results appeared in a peer-reviewed journal: The International Journal of Bio-Social and Medical Research. The study’s conclusions support the findings of current researchers as to the physiologic basis and the biochemical effects of this disease, which, though appearing emotional, responds dramatically to treatment of the brain and central nervous system.

The study’s 100 clients share a combined tally of 98 previously failed treatment attempts, yet after completing a psycho-biologic treatment model, 74 of the 100 sustained abstinence and stability one to three years later. By comparing the study’s long-term follow-up to average one-year follow-ups available from this field today, it becomes clear that this combination of biochemical repair, combined with therapy offers a far greater chance of success: 3/4 abstinence instead of 1/4 abstinence.

The Population That Needs This Treatment

Adults and teens from the US, Canada, Mexico, and Europe struggle with suicide ideation, and depression just as Rob Mathews did. Often they are put on anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety drugs etc…yet the effect is short-term. Often their misery increases as they slowly deteriorate to a state worse than they had known before they started psychiatric drugs. Herein lie the dangers, and the illogic of prescribing drugs to treat symptoms, rather than determining and treating the cause of addictions and mental imbalances.

Joan Mathews-Larson and great researchers that have preceded her have identified lab tests that reveal underlying causes of cravings and emotional disorders. Once imbalances have been identified, IV-therapy and specific biochemical repair is used to reload the brain with substances required to stabilize. This, in a nutshell, is the orthomolecular (cause-based) approach developed at Health Recovery Center. Overwhelmingly the results of this approach have helped nearly everyone rise from the ashes and attain stability and wellness in only six weeks.

An orthomolecular (cause-based) approach eliminates or greatly reduces:

  • Cravings for alcohol and/or drugs
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Unstable emotions i.e. bi-polar, paranoia, psychotic episodes
  • The need for toxic psycho-active drugs (often they are weaned down and replaced with the real missing chemicals)
  • Lingering mistakes in the brain/body functioning
  • Hypoglycemia (The Centerpiece of Alcoholism)
  • Hormone abnormalities
  • Heavy metal build up
  • Histadelia/histapenia
  • Pyroluria
  • Food/chemical allergy addictions/sensitivities
  • Candida yeast infections and more

A complete explanation can be found in Joan Mathews-Larson’s books 7 Weeks to Sobriety and Depression Free, Naturally published by Random House (a national bestseller translated into many languages).

Real People with Real Results

One thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety-Three days I have been sober thanks to HRC.

Best Regards,

- M.H.

I came into this program sick, broken, and much stressed! Hopeless!! I feel very confident in my future knowing I have the tools to live healthy physically and emotionally.


Thank you for your kindness, wisdom, and guidance for J. Especially for the extra effort, it appears to be working as he is sleeping better. He even said he had clarity this morning.

- G