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Treatment of Drug Addiction

By Jurriaan Plesman BA(Psych), Post Grad Dip Clin Nutr

This web site, which is a self-help web site, aspires to help a drug addict or alcoholic overcome his addiction. If the client so wishes he could choose a tutor, friend or therapist to help him going through this program. It aims at the person who is highly motivated to treat his drug addiction. Motivation is at the core of this self-help treatment and the person who 1) recognizes that he has an addiction problems and 2) feels that there are more important things in life than drugs may have a chance to beat his addiction. Withdrawing from drugs – the most difficult part of treatment – may need the help of a physician, therapist, family member or good friend. The chances are much better with the help of of a Hospital Detoxification Centre, which must be considered the first step in the treatment program.

Drug addiction is a bio-psycho-social disease, which literally means that there is 1) physical disorder that needs to be treated, 2) that there is a damaged personality, affecting his self-image and social skills and 3) which affects his relationships with significant other people and society at large. However it must be realized that a low self-esteem is not necessarily the cause of addiction, it is a symptom!

It can be said that a highly motivated person would not have become involved with drug-taking in the first place, and therefore we ought to say a few words about the nature of motivation.

Motivation is closely related to a person’s value system, which may have been lost during his travels through the drug scene, such as values in regard to honesty, achievement, love of and respect for other people, hopes and ambition. Unfortunately, one’s motivation is also a reflection of one’s self-image. People with a low self-esteem set lower standards of personal achievements, goals and choice of friendship or love, than people with a high self-regard. People who have lost the capacity to enjoy life without chemicals, to dream, to look forward to a brighter future, to pursue their ambitions, seeing no light at the end of the tunnel, unable to experience pleasure and who cannot imagine what life would or should be like without drugs are said to be little motivated.

Often they are acutely aware of what THEY DON’T WANT, and strangely enough this negative motivation points to a hidden values system that can be turned around into positive motivation and action. They may come to a point when they don’t want to lose their wife or loved one, their job or their freedom if threatened with a gaol sentence. When we reach the “rock bottom” we hit the red line of negative motivation, that often brings addicts to AA or to a drug counsellor. Each person has his own ‘rock bottom’.

He may behave in an unacceptable way in his own eyes as when he hits his children, or commits a crime completely out of character. His motivation is controlled by the need of drugs and he sacrifices personal relationships. The majority of prisoners in prisons around the world are drug addicts.

One person – a lecturer at a University – who swore at one of his female students one morning after a ‘small’ drink, was so shocked that he – an otherwise respected and excellent lecturer – could not believe that he could steep to such behaviour. He suddenly realized this was not him, he was out of control, he was ‘out of character’, he was an alcoholic! Swearing to a student was his ‘rock bottom’. His ideal self-image as a competent and loved lecturer was smashed to smithereens. It was the first time he became aware he was an alcoholic. He hit a strongly felt value.

Thus if you are not clear as to why exactly you want to give up drugs, perhaps it would be worthwhile at this stage to look at the program called “Values Clarification”, which helps to clarify what your values system is, what is so important in your life for you to want giving up drugs. Knowing why may help your therapy!

As was stated before, the most difficult stage in the treatment of drug addiction is withdrawing from drugs. Not only is withdrawing difficult, but the temptation to return to drugs after withdrawal may be even more difficult.

The reason seems to be that drugs – and we mean most drugs – alter the receptors for natural neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. For example, cocaine blocks the reuptake of dopamine – a neurotransmitter sending messages of pleasure – thereby increasing dopamine levels which is responsible for the experience of the ‘highs’ and which cause addiction.

The brain adjusts by reducing the number of dopamine receptor sites at target cells – called down-regulation. Thus more of the drug is needed to experience the same feeling of pleasure. The same seems to be happening with medically prescribed drugs for mood disorders. Unfortunately, many patients taking AD medications don’t see themselves as drug addicts, although they may be called iatrogenic (doctor caused) drugs addicts.

Normally, the dopamine cells are regulated by another set of neurons – cells secreting gamma-amino-butyric-acid or GABA. One of the nutritional forerunners of GABA is glutamine, a non-essential amino acid, but which requires vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) (1) for its conversion to GABA. This is one reason to consider the nutritional aspects of detoxification. A toxic person is usually low in vitamin B6. Thus some nutrients or neurotransmitter precursors, such as phenylalanine, tyrosine, glutamine and tryptophan may help detoxification. They could be administered under the supervision of a health practitioner. After all, we all have a unique biochemical personality.

The point is that the structure and function of brain cells have been altered and that it may take a long time to allow the brain to recover from the toxic effects of drugs. In the case of amphetamine withdrawal one study showed that it takes 9- 14 months for a person to rebuild adequate dopamine receptors in the brain. Brookhaven National Laboratory December 2001

Once withdrawn from the addictive drugs, the brain needs time to readjust to the naturally produced neurotransmitters in the brain. Fresh receptor sites need to be created – called up-regulation – to respond to indigenous neurotransmitter now synthesized in the body. This is a critical time, for although free from drugs the person will experience strong cravings as a result of low levels of dopamine relative to reduced receptor sites. If he were tempted to return to drugs at this stage, he is vulnerable to overdose as a result of reduced tolerance with often fatal consequences. One more reason why withdrawal should be done under some sort of supervision.

Here super-nutrition rich in neurotransmitter precursors, together with a healthy mental attitude, will help the patients to ride the whirlwind.

Some of my alcoholic friends insist that “once an alcoholic always an alcoholic” and affirm that the brain damage is permanent. This probably means, that the recovering addict will always be sensitive to drugs of addiction, and that strict abstinence speeds up full recovery over time. Brain damage has been shown not to be permanent.

Doing ‘cold turkey’ can be dangerous and may results in fits and it is strongly recommended to enter a Detoxification Centre, where professionals will help you to detoxify.

Sometimes tranquilizers are used to help a patient withdraw. Recently scientists have experimented with a chemical called gamma–vinyl GABA (Gerasimov) which inhibits an enzyme – GABA transaminase – to reduce dopamine synthesis, even after injection with heroin. Another drug acamprosate (Campral) seems to have a similar action, which stops the craving for drugs. Please always consult a doctor when contemplating the use of drugs in an attempt to withdraw from addictive drugs.

Other medications should also be investigated.

Buprenorphine, an opioid mixed agonist-antagonist, is a potent analgesic that appears to be effective for the treatment of opiate abuse and significantly reduced both opiate and cocaine abuse by patients who had abused these drugs for more than 10 years. Most of these patients had failed in other drug abuse treatment programs. Mello NK et als. 1993.

Another product with a promise of helping drug addicts withdrawing from drugs is IBOGAINE. It is an indole alkaloid found in the roots of Tabernanthe iboga (Apocynaceae family), a rain forest shrub that is native to equatorial Africa. Anecdotal reports attest that a single dose of ibogaine eliminates withdrawal symptoms and reduces drug cravings for extended periods of time. However Ibogaine have been found to have toxic components, but its derivative – 12-hydroxyibogamine (Noribogaine) – has been reported to significantly decreased craving for cocaine and heroin during inpatient detoxification. Self-reports of depressive symptoms were also significantly lower after ibogaine treatment and at 30 days after program discharge. Because ibogaine is cleared rapidly from the blood, the beneficial aftereffects of the drug on craving and depressed mood may be related to the effects of noribogaine on the central nervous system.(2)

Administration of 12-hydroxyibogamine produced a marked dose-related elevation of extracellular 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan the forerunner of serotonin).(3) Thus experimenting with the supplementation of 5-hydroxytryptophan may also be beneficial and this should be under strict medical supervision at this stage.

Perhaps you should discuss this information with your doctor.

However, there are certain things you can do to help your detoxification. Choose a diet low in acidity and high in alkalinity. (See Rich Sources of Nutrients). Diets consisting mainly of meat, milk and refined flours (including sugar) have a high acidity and should be avoided, whereas diets rich in fruits and vegetables increase alkalinity, favourable to detoxification. Avoid all foods containing sugar, such as sweets, soda pop, ice cream, artificial juices, maple syrup, honey, chewing gum liqueurs, cokes, artificially sweetened soft drinks. Withdrawing from sugar addiction can be helped with glycerine. (See article : “What is Hypoglycemia?”)

Supplement the diet with vitamins and minerals, especially B-complex, vitamin C (up to 2,000 mg per day to tolerance level) (4) , zinc and chromium picolinate, amino acids such as glutamine; and antioxidants, vitamin E, selenium, glutathione. It has been reported that phosphatidyl choline, found in soya derived lecithin, helps to make to make brain cell membranes more fluid. Another report mentions the use of eggs – high in lecithin – also facilitates detoxification. But be careful that the uncooked white of eggs in egg-flips contains avidin which binds with biotin, an essential B vitamin, and deficiency of which can cause depression, dermatitis, malaise, anxiety, hyperesthesia. If using egg-flips, supplement with biotin away from consumption of egg-flips if this is your choice.

An other suggestion is to ask your doctor to give you vitamin B12 injections together with a prescription for folic acid. Coconut Oil can also reduce cravings, reduce obesity, improve thyroid function and insulin resistance.

Herbal teas made from Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum, Carduus marianus), increases certain enzymes in the liver speeding up detoxification. Valerian also help the liver in the detoxification. Other herbs with similar activities: Dandelion, Fringe tree, Yellow Gentian, Greater Celandine.

This website has access to an article called “Nutrients Against Drugs and Alcohol” in our Newsletter of September 1992 Page 2 in pdf format. This may also help a person during withdrawing from drugs.

Another good book is “Nature’s Road to Recovery” by Dr Bet M. Ley Jacobs, which is freely available as a Google Book.   Another book is The Cure for Alcoholism by Roy Eskapa PhD.

An ideal way of supplementing one’s diet with vitamins and minerals in the detoxification process is to have each day two glasses of fresh vegetable juices, made in an electric juicer. Use carrots as a base supplying carotene and other nutrients, mixed with a variety of other vegetables and fruits, such as celery, apples and a variety of veges. As most clients cannot afford expensive nutritional supplements this is a cheap alternative source of vitamins and minerals, bioflavonoids and antioxidants.

Drink plenty of water as “dilution is the solution to pollution” according to Bethany Arg Isle.

See good books on vegetable juices here.

Withdrawal from Marijuana

Purging the body of Marijuana is perhaps not as difficult as withdrawing from the harder drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, alcohol or speed. In most cases this can be achieved without the help of professionals.

Popular belief will have it that marijuana is harmless, but most scientists do not agree. Some therapists use marijuana to treat depression, glaucoma, but its side effects can cause lung irritation and bronchitis. Besides a chemical solution to depression does not treat the underlying cause. See “The Serotonin Connection”.

The active ingredient of cannabis – tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – is fat soluble and in long term use lodges in the fatty tissues of the body and lipid layers of brain cells.

Symptoms are: the person loses energy to carry out his intentions, becomes sluggish and there is a marked change in personality. It reduces testosterone levels in men, and hence they appear to be less aggressive and to have a more lay back attitude. This is called the amotivational syndrome. It certainly affects their ability to concentrate on tasks requiring long term attention.

It is not easy to dislodge the THC from the fatty layers. Medical urine tests show that the substance can be cleared within weeks. But from a psychological point of view – and in my experience – the person may suffer flashbacks up to six months after he used marijuana last. It is as if the contents of THC storage in fatty tissues all over the body travel to the membranes of brain cells. Thus it may take six months before the person can be said to be clear of marijuana from a behavioural point of view.

Also, marijuana often masks a psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia, which could have prompted the person to use marijuana in the first instance. Although marijuana use does not necessarily lead to the use of harder drugs, it is true that most heroin/cocaine users graduated from marijuana use.

Withdrawal from marijuana is often accompanied with an increase in irritability and aggression. Marijuana may cause a hypoglycemic dip – characterized by ‘munching’ after smoking – and is probably due to reduced glycogen storage.

The excretion of THC can be accelerated with strenuous daily exercises causing sweating, having sauna baths and taking fat soluble vitamins A and E.  For marijuana use in medical disorders (mental and physical) go to my index.

Withdrawing from all drugs and alcohol can be hastened by daily strenuous physical exercises. This can be of any kind, dancing to music, cycling, running, provided the person enjoys the activity and it produces perspiration. One theory suggests that these exercises – as by professional athletes – helps the body to produce its internal opiates – endorphins or enkephalins. In the Detoxification Centre this should be done under medical supervision after a thorough medical check-up.

Another theory is that any enjoyable activity such as regular exercises, walking your dog, listening to classical music, meditation, yoga and so on will stop the body from producing stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that interfere with the synthesis of our main ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter. In the absence of stress the body will synthesize serotonin and other neurotransmitters naturally.

Exercising should be continued in the post-withdrawal phase of drug treatment.

Post-Withdrawal Treatment of Drug Addiction

Withdrawal of drugs is basically a medical problem, and after this phase, the person is said to be drug-free and ready for psychotherapy.

The reality is that many drug addicts after detoxification return to drugs. I am always surprised how prisoners having served a sentence for an offence involving the use of drugs – alcohol or otherwise – return to that very same drug that got them into trouble. Many drug counsellors have experienced the same phenomenon when their clients leave the Detoxification Centre. Thus staying off drugs is a major problem after detoxification! The mechanism whereby some people become drug addicted and others has been explained in the article “The Serotonin Connection”.

It is quite clear that, although free from drugs, the person suffers from a metabolic disorder, that may have preceded the addiction and needs to be treated if we are to succeed in the treatment. Under conditions of stress the person will readily resort to drugs. The underlying metabolic disorder that leads people to addictive behaviour is often overlooked by drug counsellors and psychologists.

It has been argued elsewhere that ignoring these underlying biochemical underpinnings by psychologists and the counselling profession in general, has led to resistance to counselling and recidivism. The issue of recidivism in criminal behaviour is discussed in the “Forgotten Factor in the Crime Debate”.

There is overwhelming evidence that most drug addicts suffer from hypoglycemia. See  Alcoholism

See Hypoglycemia for an explanation what it is.

This has been confirmed again and again by a special Glucose Tolerance Tests (GTT) conducted by Dr George Samra. He has pioneered and established special criteria for the diagnosis of hypoglycemia. Many clients other than drug addicts share the same underlying condition, that may lead to depression, anxiety attacks and can contribute to many other mental illnesses.

The Glucose Tolerance Test for hypoglycemia is different from a test for diabetes and is described in this website. See: Samra GTT. Copy the letter attached to the article and present to your doctor who should then be able to test you for hypoglycemia.

Glucose Tolerance Tests are not only invasive and stressful but also costly.

An alternative is to test yourself with the Nutrition-Behavior Inventory Test or the NBI. A very short test is: Hypoglycemic Questionnaire

This enables you to test yourself at home. If you score high there is a likelihood that you have a hypoglycemic condition that may be partly responsible for your addiction.

This test was invented and used by Dr Alexander Schauss to test his clients when he was a probation officer in the USA and is appended to his book:

Schauss, AG(1980), DIET, CRIME AND DELINQUENCY, Parker House, Berkeley, Cal.

In my opinion, this book should be compulsory reading by any aspiring probation and parole officer.

Dr Schauss gave me permission to add it to my own book: “GETTING OFF THE HOOK”.

In our therapy model, we believe that treatment of hypoglycemia is a major and indispensable component of drug rehabilitation and that failure to do so means failure in the drug rehabilitation!

The sudden drop in glucose is believed to be responsible for the ‘psychological’ symptoms due to excess adrenaline being pumped into the system for the conversion of stored sugar – glycogen – to glucose. The latter is the only source of energy of the brain. But adrenaline is also the fight/flight hormone, that drives the patient back to drugs. Thus in the post-withdrawal phase when a client is under stress, he will produce excess stress hormones – adrenaline – driving him back to drugs. Hence the importance of going on the hypoglycemic diet in the overall treatment program!

In my work with drug addicts I have found that if my client scored higher than 60 in the NBI, chances are that he be diagnosed hypoglycemic by a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) carried out by Dr George Samra. This applied not only to addicts but many others with a ‘personality’ disorder so tested with the NBI and GTT. As a Probation and Parole Officer, I was not allowed to give a ‘medical’ diagnosis in a Court Report. By using the NBI, I was able to separate the grain from the chaff and eliminate non-hypoglycemic clients from expensive medical tests. This test also gave me an indication whether a released prisoner would be likely to return to drug use when placed under stress in the larger society. He was then strongly advised to seek treatment for his hypoglycemia and do a course in psychotherapy.

Strangely enough, the Corrective Service Department of NSW did not approve the use of the NBI, partly due to their skepticism as to the possible connection between nutrition and behaviour!

In situations where medical evidence of hypoglycemia is not necessary, the NBI is a useful test in monitoring clients’ progress in nutritional treatment.

I used it extensively in my work with clients and feel that the inclusion of clinical nutrition increased the therapeutic ‘success rate’ of clients.

Before a client embarks on psychotherapy, he should be familiar with

What is Hypoglycemia?” and/or “The Serotonin Connection

He should also be on a hypoglycemic diet, also described in The Hypoglycemic Diet with the necessary supplements of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, Zinc, B-Complex, Chromium, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil). Furthermore, he should be aware of his allergies, that may also contribute to unstable blood sugar levels. These usually emerge after he has been on the hypoglycemic diet for some time because the hypoglycemic symptoms may have masked allergic reactions before. See How to Find your Allergies by way of a nutritional diary.

Furthermore, the client should undertake a program of physical exercises preferably of his own liking. I have found that clients ‘addicted’ to exercises or sport usually succeed in beating drug addiction.

Withdrawing from Antidepressant Drugs

Although antidepressant medication is widely regarded as effective, a recent meta-analysis of published clinical trials indicates that 75 percent of the response to antidepressants is duplicated by placebo. Irving Kirsch.

One obvious reason is that AD medications do not necessarily treat the underlying causes of depression; biochemical and/or psychological.

Furthermore, the use of antidepressant drugs is bound to alter the receptors for neurotransmitters in the brain and elsewhere. You should never withdraw from AD drugs except under the supervision of the doctor who prescribed the medication. Sudden withdrawal may result in rebound depression. As mentioned before it may take up to 9 -14 months for altered neuro-receptors to rebuild themselves. Many supplemental nutrients listed in the hypoglycemic diet may help to speed up this repair, especially zinc, chromium, omega-3 fatty acids.

Elevated levels (often due to contaminated drinking water) can be toxic, causing profound mental and physical fatigue, poor memory, severe depression and insomnia.Werbach, 273

Some of my clients have experienced ‘miraculous’ improvement with the supplementation of niacin (Vitamin B3). When a person for some reason or other has a niacin deficiency (or has a special need for B3), the body uses up its tryptophan (obtained from food) to convert it to niacin at the rate of 60 to 1, leaving little tryptophan left for conversion to serotonin. Therefore, niacin liberates tryptophan so that it can be converted to serotonin!

Niacin may give a harmless flush – a sunburnt feeling – and a safe alternative is inositol hexaniacinate.

The best advice would be to contact your doctor and plan a gradual withdrawal of AD medication whilst going on a hypoglycemic diet. This would help you to withdraw from drugs more comfortably.

The nutrient chromium in the form of chromium picolinate has been reported to potentiate the action of antidepressant drugs. (McLeod MN et als. 1999) This supplement may allow for a lower dose of medication to begin with. A natural hypoglycemic diet should contain all the essential nutrients to gradually rebuild the neuro-receptors. This should be accompanied with a course in psychotherapy.

I am inclined to believe that the “gradual withdrawal” program also applies to people addicted to illegal street drugs. I admit this is a moot point. But if this approach is adopted then it must be done under the supervision of a health practitioner, counsellor or psychotherapist in conjunction with a medically qualified practitioner. The withdrawal should be accompanied by the hypoglycemic diet and a course in psychotherapy!

I suggest that the person see a doctor and discuss this with him.



The reason why it is important to undertake a course in psychotherapy is, that a hypoglycemic cannot afford to lead a stressful life. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline interfere with the natural production of serotonin, our main ‘good-feeling’ neurotransmitter.

Emotional stress derives mainly from our relationships with significant people in our lives; such as spouses and other family relations, partners, and bosses at work. Acquaintances rarely cause us any angst.

Stresses may be environmental, such as financial worries, but most are the result of internal personality factors. The unifying factor is our self-regard or our self-image. If we have a negative self-image, this will affect all our relationships with significant people.

A client coming off drugs very often shows features of a damaged personality. He may have suffered from a metabolic disorder since childhood, usually partly inherited and thus his parents may have suffered likewise. This metabolic disorder in the family may have contributed to the emotional turmoil. This could have affected his self-image. After many years of feeling out of control, having felt different from his peers in ’normal’ society, maybe having failed academically and career-wise, he is often conscious of a bruised low self-esteem. In the past he may have found relief from these painful feelings by joining his peers in the drug sub-culture, where he found people who shared these feelings. He may have found a home with surrogate brothers and sisters, but who nevertheless could exploit him because of his overwhelming addiction!

His experience with drugs may have stunted his personality development, and emotionally he may have stagnated in that development from the time he started using drugs. He may have learned to be suspicious of his fellow humans in the drug scene and be wondering whom he can trust now. No wonder that many drug treatment programs involve the separation of the client from his drug using peers.

However, psychotherapy means growth of one’s true personality and a successful psychotherapeutic program implies that he outgrows his peers and will reject them emotionally. In therapy he becomes the person he wants and chooses to be despite his peers, despite his family background and social influences.

Counselling usually involves a therapist and a client in a special relationship, or a group and a group leader. It involves some psychological theory or knowledge that helps a person to look at a problem in a different way. A person may start a new life with new insights gained from new social groups – AA or the church – or as a result of a religious experience. Whilst his personality is still fragile and vulnerable attendance at AA or NA meetings will help him, especially during the initial stages, because of the support given by fellow addicts. If he does not feel attracted to AA, there are many other forms of therapies. The client will eventually have to choose, which one suits him best. Thus he may have to shop around.

In this website the emphasis is on self-help psychotherapy as one option.

Although the term psychotherapy conjures up images of confrontational readjustments of attitudes and beliefs, in reality, psychotherapy will be found to be a pleasurable experience of growth in insight and understanding, not only of the self, but other people. It is pleasurable and exhilarating mainly because this program begins with transforming the painful self-image, which is at the core of his battered personality, and from which all other attitudes and reactions derive.

I know from experience during the last twenty years or so, that the short course of self-help psychotherapy has helped thousands of clients. Many of the principles have been formulated in response to problems presented by clients to the group.

The course consists of eight chapters. If a person carefully studies one chapter per week and applies its principles he should start to feel different about himself and others in about eight weeks!!!

Another important tenet is that clients want and should do their own therapy at their own pace and time. The concept of ‘responsibility for one’s own happiness’ leads to what is called the autonomous person – a person who is able to choose his friends and peers, according to standards he has set himself.

It is true that not all clients are suitable for self-help therapy; some need interpretations from teachers or ‘gurus’. Some people learn by reading, others from experience. Some may use a friend or helper to do this program. But all therapies start from within, often with a little help from others. Change in behaviour and the way we feel starts from within. Given the right tools and knowledge a person can undertake his own psychotherapy. He could use our own self-help PSYCHOTHERAPY course at this website or choose to do the course with the help of a professional counsellor. An overview of the course is given at:   Summary of Psychotherapy Course

It is also important that the person should do this course together with his/her partner. If a person in a close relationship grows, his or her partner may be left behind and this may threaten the relationship.

Clients could also start their own discussion group and study the PSYCHOTHERAPY course as in a tutorial. Most groups have natural leaders and a recovered drug addict would be ideal to fill that position.

Another way is for the group to find a trained professional facilitator.

In my groups, the times were divided into two sessions, the first half of about one hour was devoted to a mini-lecture on one of the topics contained in PSYCHOTHERAPY course. Then there was a short coffee break (caffeine free). The second half was dedicated to Communication and Counselling and this was the most popular session. This would start with one member interviewing another member following a list of personal topics, touching upon various aspects and experiences of a member. This would enable the interviewer to practise his skills of ‘empathy’, a basic skill in counselling. After feedback from the interviewee, other members would join in either with further questions or suggestions. Usually, a lively discussion would follow. The process is fully described in “Communication and Counselling” in PSYCHOTHERAPY. It permitted clients – grouped in a circle – to put into practice all the principles taught in the group, from being assertive, to communicating and counselling, to clarifying one’s values, to dealing with and analyzing problems and to helping fellow members. Being rather unstructured meetings, these sessions could last well beyond the times originally allocated. Clients learned to communicate at the feeling level and close bonds among members often lead to more lasting relationships, even weddings.

The order of topics appearing in the PSYCHOTHERAPY course is not important, although I have found that teaching “What is Hypoglycemia?” was very popular with clients as a first step, because they could readily identify themselves with it. Most clients became experts in nutrition.

“How to improve one’s self-image” or what I have called in my book the “Positive Ego Training Program” in terms of “Transactional Analysis” is the central germ of psychotherapy that sets personality change into motion. This was then followed by the “Assertiveness Training Program”, and “Values Clarification”. Sometimes evenings were just devoted to solving problems.

Clients found the “Values Clarification Program” attractive and very interesting. Once it gripped them, they could not leave it alone, for they could see their values system change dramatically since they started the program. It enabled them to find out what is really important in their lives, what friends and lovers, or what career to choose. Most important of all, with the skills acquired in communication they could approach people with comfort and find out what other people’s values were and to recognize ‘soul mates’. Tasks were set for members to meet people outside the group and report back on their experiences. The program provides guidelines in seeking out significant partners in the broader community, and to avoid the pitfalls of short-lived and transient relationships based on false expectations.

The best way of learning a new program is to first read all the article referred to in this website to gain an overview, and then return to the articles for closer study, one chapter per week. The psychotherapy self-help program is also explained in my book:  Getting off the Hook

For more research into the connection between nutrition and health (including mental health) ➜  Research Index.


The ultimate aim of this program is to find a lifestyle that allows us to enjoy the whole gamut of human emotions – love, excitement, adventure, curiosity, exhilaration, and tranquility – without recourse to chemicals!


* The person should seek assistance from a doctor, family member or friend to physically withdraw from drugs. We strongly recommend that the person gets booked into Professionally run Detoxification Centre at a hospital or voluntary organisation.

• Withdrawing from Antidepressant Medication should be done only under the supervision of the prescribing doctor and whilst on the Hypoglycemic diet.

* The person gets treatment for hypoglycemia. If the person wants a medical diagnosis, he should ask the doctor to do a special GTT for Hypoglycemia, and compare the results with the criteria given by Dr. George Samra, or he should complete the Nutrition-Behavior Questionnaire (NBI). Armed with a copy of the questionnaire (NBI), the client or therapist can monitor the progress of nutritional treatment.

* The client should be on the Hypoglycemic Diet in any case and follow instructions given on the website. This should include ample consumption of clean fresh water and fresh raw vegetable juices from an electric juicer, as an alternative or in addition to nutritional and herbal supplements. He should be familiar with “Nutrients against Drug and Alcohol”

* The client should have a daily schedule for exercises

* The client should undertake self-help PSYCHOTHERAPY by reading all the articles on this website under that section and practise its principles, especially those contained in “Improving one’s Self-image”. It is best to gain an overview of all the articles referred to and then study and practise them in detail. He can do this by himself or with other addicts or with the help of a therapist, who is willing to use this program.

* The client is encouraged to join a therapy group, or perhaps do the program with a friend or even start a mini group with friends or family.

* It is hoped that a client who feels he has benefited from this program offer some of his free time to help other drug addicts by joining a voluntary organisation, by completing their counselling training course or complying with any other requirements set by that organisation. People who have been through a course of psychotherapy make excellent counsellors.


Look up:  Research Evidence for Hypoglycemia

Werbach,M.R.(1991), NUTRITIONAL INFLUENCES ON MENTAL ILLNESS, Third Line Pres,Inc.,Tarzana,Cal.

1) Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is also required for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. A person using drugs or alcohol usually is vitamin B6 deficient, which is marked by poor dream recall. Pfeiffer,C.C.(1978), ZINC AND OTHER MICRO-NUTRIENTS, Keats Publishing Inc. New Canaan,Connecticut, Page 49

2)Mash DC, Kovera CA, Pablo J, Tyndale RF, Ervin FD, Williams IC, Singleton EG, Mayor M. Ibogaine: complex pharmacokinetics, concerns for safety, and preliminary efficacy measures Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;914: 394-401. PMID: 11085338

3)Mash DC, Staley JK, Baumann MH, Rothman RB, Hearn WL. Identification of a primary metabolite of ibogaine that targets serotonin transporters and elevates serotonin., Life Sci. 1995;57(3): PL45-50. PMID: 7596224

For those interested in following up further studies on Ibogaine, search PubMed for the following Unique Identifiers: 9631413 10911925 8725004 9365804 9668685 11085338 7596224 Enter numbers in a search engine of PubMed.

4)Addicts can tolerate high doses of vitamin C which is used in ethanol detoxification. Excess vitamin C may result in diarrhea and dosage should be 1,000 mg below tolerance level. In one study 91% of 35 patients with alcohol-related illness were found to be vitamin C deficient. (Baines M. Detection and incidence of B and C vitamin deficiency in alcohol-related illness. Ann Clin Biochem. 1978 Nov;15(6): 307-12. PMID: 32828)

2 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    Some of the Better information Ive received . thanks

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