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A great book on healing the addicted brain

Old 05-18-2009, 04:13 AM
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A great book on healing the addicted brain

I'm kind of new to all this so everyone may have heard of it but for those who haven't it's called: Healing the Addicted Brain by Harold C. Urschel, III, M.D.

I'm only on chapter 4 but it's wonderful and makes me feel hopeful. The author was on the Dr. Phil show on his program entitled 'How to Stay Sober'.

Chapter 1 starts with the quote "Everything you know about addiction treatment is wrong."

I got the book at Barnes and Noble online for $10 (& $5 postage). I think it's a must read for all of us.

The part that has impressed me the most so far is that there are non addicting meds to take away the cravings. This is especially true for alcoholics but also for addicts. I didn't know that but then my son has just relapsed after a year and I wasn't into finding all this out until now.

Anyway, I thought I'd pass it on.

It's also a very easy read and packed with science backup.

KariSue

P.S. I posted this in the Families of Substance Abusers folder as well. I'm an atheist so I thought you all would like it as well.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:04 AM
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I think this is the most important aspect that is being overlooked in addiction treatment. I feel that paying attention to my body and brain chemistry played the most important role in getting me clean.

I did not struggle to stay clean the way so many other people seem to when they start on the road to recovery.

I can drink like a normal person if I want to I can have a glass of wine with dinner or a drink if I go out with friends. One drink is my limit because I know if I drink more I will feel rotten for days. I do not drink with any regularity or very often only because I do not want to. At one time in my life I drank and drugged a lot. I take aspirin for pain and one most everyday for heart health.

It is so obvious that people who are addicted aren't "thinking" right.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:06 PM
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bump for more reads.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by splendra View Post
I think this is the most important aspect that is being overlooked in addiction treatment. I feel that paying attention to my body and brain chemistry played the most important role in getting me clean.

I did not struggle to stay clean the way so many other people seem to when they start on the road to recovery.

I can drink like a normal person if I want to I can have a glass of wine with dinner or a drink if I go out with friends. One drink is my limit because I know if I drink more I will feel rotten for days. I do not drink with any regularity or very often only because I do not want to. At one time in my life I drank and drugged a lot. I take aspirin for pain and one most everyday for heart health.

It is so obvious that people who are addicted aren't "thinking" right.
I think you're right. So far, the book confirms what you are saying. I haven't read it all yet though.

My son says he can drink a little alcohol too but if he has too many then he wants drugs as well. So it's better for him to have nothing.

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Old 05-18-2009, 08:49 PM
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I recently heard about that book Kari. Thanks for the post as I would like to read it.

I read a review in the paper over the weekend re: Addiction: A Disorder of Choice by Gene M. Heyman. Heyman is a Harvard Psychologist who argues that addiction isn't really an illness, infuriating many in the medical community.

For example, he talks about there being a genetic predisposition, while not discounting that as a theory he offers however that it doesn't mean addicts drug or alcohol use is not a voluntary behaviour. Are addicts self destructive? He answered, yes, but this doesn't mean that they do not respond to the costs and benefits associated with their decisions, even when addiction has changed their brains.

It also caught my attention as a must read. There is so much research currently being done in the area of addiction. Since we are living in the 21st Century, I like to avail of the newest, latest research findings. I like to be able to collect all the information that is going around. maybe the answers to this is a combination of separate studies. I believe we are on our way and will get there sooner than later. Makes the program of AA seem more and more ridiculous to me everyday. (I can say this here, can't I?)
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by gerryP View Post
(I can say this here, can't I?)
Your post is still there, I guess it's ok. You can think it for sure. You're just not supposed to bash!
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:16 AM
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I am for anything that brings attention to the brain in dealing with addiction.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by gerryP View Post
I read a review in the paper over the weekend re: Addiction: A Disorder of Choice by Gene M. Heyman. Heyman is a Harvard Psychologist who argues that addiction isn't really an illness, infuriating many in the medical community.
just pre-ordered it on amazon....sounds interesting to say the least...
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by KariSue View Post
The part that has impressed me the most so far is that there are non addicting meds to take away the cravings.
I have yet to meet a single alcoholic or addict that has acheived long term sobriety solely by using non addicting meds to take away the cravings. These people may exist.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gerryP View Post
I recently heard about that book Kari. Thanks for the post as I would like to read it.

I read a review in the paper over the weekend re: Addiction: A Disorder of Choice by Gene M. Heyman. Heyman is a Harvard Psychologist who argues that addiction isn't really an illness, infuriating many in the medical community.

For example, he talks about there being a genetic predisposition, while not discounting that as a theory he offers however that it doesn't mean addicts drug or alcohol use is not a voluntary behaviour. Are addicts self destructive? He answered, yes, but this doesn't mean that they do not respond to the costs and benefits associated with their decisions, even when addiction has changed their brains.

It also caught my attention as a must read. There is so much research currently being done in the area of addiction. Since we are living in the 21st Century, I like to avail of the newest, latest research findings. I like to be able to collect all the information that is going around. maybe the answers to this is a combination of separate studies. I believe we are on our way and will get there sooner than later. Makes the program of AA seem more and more ridiculous to me everyday. (I can say this here, can't I?)
I'd like to read that one too.

I see down this thread that someone found out where to get a copy so I'll check into it.

Kari
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by keithj View Post
I have yet to meet a single alcoholic or addict that has acheived long term sobriety solely by using non addicting meds to take away the cravings. These people may exist.
Well I haven't read the whole book yet but from what I gather so far, it isn't 'solely' by using the meds. It sounds like he advocates counseling or group meetings or traditional methods after being on the meds or maybe at the same time. I forget. I think it was the general idea of using the meds to improve the brain enough to get the counseling to be more effective.

Don't quote me though.

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Old 05-19-2009, 01:00 PM
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I did not use any meds to get clean I used diet to bring my brain and body into balance
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:28 PM
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There is more than one way to skin a Cat.

Not everyone is the same in dealing with addiction. Sometimes there is a chemical imbalance that needs to be addressed with SSRI's, something that food and exercise can not fully accomplish for some. I have read that therapy in addition to med's can work beautifully.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gerryP View Post
I have read that therapy in addition to med's can work beautifully.
That is exactly my program! Alright I just ordered the first book mentioned as well even though it is backed up on amazon and won't ship for 2 weeks.

I think there is no harm in exploring all options. It is not like someone fully exploring another option invalidates your own recovery method if it was different. I think it is frustrating to take that attitude because it will only stunt our learning about addiction. Not all models work for everyone. The more the merrier in my opinion.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by splendra View Post
I did not use any meds to get clean I used diet to bring my brain and body into balance
What kind of diet?

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Old 05-19-2009, 07:43 PM
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Excuse me for cutting in, but I am reminded of a great book I read about 3 years ago and still continue to follow to a large extent. "Potatoes Not Prozac" by Kathleen Des Maisons Ph.D who specializes in Addictive Nutrition. Really terrific book and you can order it from Amazon.

Night all.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:45 PM
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not another book i'm going to have to order......
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by KariSue View Post
What kind of diet?
A diet that had a lot of focus on trace minerals no sugar, artificial sweeteners, white flour or chemically processed foods. Everything I ate was fresh and for the most part organic. The no sugar or sweeteners I think was the most important aspect. That meant no sodas, candy, cakes pies, white bread,,any things with nitrates.

The FDA would have us believe that foods have no "medical" benefit and they are working hard to make sure it doesn't which I think is a real shame.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by splendra View Post
A diet that had a lot of focus on trace minerals no sugar, artificial sweeteners, white flour or chemically processed foods. Everything I ate was fresh and for the most part organic. The no sugar or sweeteners I think was the most important aspect. That meant no sodas, candy, cakes pies, white bread,,any things with nitrates.

The FDA would have us believe that foods have no "medical" benefit and they are working hard to make sure it doesn't which I think is a real shame.
I'm not an addict myself but I eat low carb which sounds pretty close to what you're eating except I don't limit myself to organic foods but I probably should.

I post on a low carb forum and many people there feel like they were addicted to sugar and feel this diet made their "off switch" work again.

I'm not sure if it's true but I read that sugar is a particular problem for those with addictions. A recovering alcoholic nurse on the low carb site feels the same way and she works with patients on dialysis. People that let their diabetes go too far without treating it by abstaining from sugar.

Do you just do the above or have a specific diet you are following. I mean one that I could show my son and see if he is interested?

Thanks, KariSue
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:02 AM
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Exactly Splendra, this is what Potatoes Not Prozac is about.

I do have a lil problem still getting along without the pie though and sugar in my tea, only one. I use raw sugar, or brown. Do you know if that's better...if I'm going to use sugar. Lesser of two evils perhaps.

I've heard that Suzanne Sommers developed an alternative to sugar to use in cakes and pies, baking etc. In fact I think she has a whole line available for purchase. I saw it on our Shopping channel (I know...I know...(blush) Does anyone know anything about her line or have tried it?
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