Food addicts (more properly, junk food addicts) are treated by withdrawal. They are advised that the withdrawal symptoms will not be that bad and that they can cope with them. They are also reassured that no food for a few days will not kill them and will not cause hypoglycemic attacks. After many months of abstinence, the craving for the food will disappear, but it can be readily reactivated by starting back on the foods they are allergic to.
Alcohol addiction requires special additional treatment, because many years of consuming alcohol, devoid of any useful nutrients except water, markedly distorts te body's metabolism. During withdrawal from alcohol, there is serious danger of developing delirium tremens and/or convulsions. The delirium can be treated by massive quantities of vitamins given at first intravenously and then orally. The most important vitamin is B3, either niacin or niacinimide. Vitamin C is used to replenish that lost bu the stress of alcoholism. Thiamine is also required and a balance of other B vitamins. Since alcohol increases loss of zinc and magnesium, these minerals should also be given. Once all danger of alcoholism's toxic aftereffects are gone, the dose of vitamins can be decreased.
Treating the second phase is more difficult, because it is inversely related to motivation. The highly motivated patient requires little treatment. Motivation is gained from "hitting bottom", realizing that the pain and suffering from the alcohol is greater than that experienced when sober. It is also gained by responding to social pressure from family and the community. Motivation is reduced by pain, tension, and depression. Treatment is aimed at encouraging the person to persevere, improve general health, and reduce depression and anxiety. General health is promoted by the sugar-free, allergy-free diet supplemented with vitamins, especially B3 and C. Bill Wilson, known as Bill W., cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, released the first report on the usefulness of niacin in relieving fatigue, depression, and anxiety. The first medical studies were reported in 1974. Antidepressants are useful for depression.
Drug addicts have different problems. Here, also, there are two phases, the withdrawal phase and treatment to prevent relapse. I will not describe the use of methadone to replace heroin, as I see little medical value in replacing one addictive drug with another, even if there are social advantages in doing so. However, I am convinced addicts can be treated successfully if they will accept orthomolecular treatment. Withdrawal is easily treated by using junk-free food or fasting, if the patient is agreeable, supplemented with vitamins. The two most important ones are B3 and ascorbic acid. Research has shown that large doses of niacin are very helpful in moderating withdrawal symptoms
Adolescent acne is one of the most common afflictions, but it is seldom the main complaint among the patients referred to me (A.H.). Rarely is it so severe that it is the primary concern. About thirty years ago, in Saskatoon, a sixteen-year-old boy was very depressed. His face was hideously covered with huge, irregular, red, oozing bumps and lumps, here and there infected. He told me he could no longer live with his face and that if my treatment did not help he would kill himself. He told me this very calmly and seriously, saying that the acne had ruined his social life.
I have never considered acne a chronic infection and cannot understand why antibiotics help, but they had not helped him. I consider acne a form of malnutrition, as does Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer, and he describes a nutritional treatment for acne in his book Mental and Elemental Nutrients. I started the boy on a sugar-free diet, eliminated all milk products, and added a daily supplement program of niacin, (3,000 milligrams [mg]), ascorbic acid (3,000 mg), pyridoxine (250 mg), and zinc sulfate (220 mg). One month later, his face was better: the vivid reddening had begun to recede, his face was no longer infected, and his mood was better. He told me he was no longer considering suicide. After three months, his face was almost clear. He was cheerful and had begun to resume his social activities as school and elsewhere.
While this is a dramatic example, there are very few failures, although the rate of recovery varies enormously. I also advise people not to scrub their faces vigorously and not to squeeze or play with their faces. I will describe a few cases from a very large number whose acne was their main complaint and was associated with depression and anxiety. Most adolescents have minor degrees of acne: a few pimples on their face, shoulders, and back. They do not present it as a problem, but when questioned they admit they are concerned. In every case, their acne cleared on orthomolecular treatment.
"I have had measurement done of serum vitamin levels in over ten thousand patients since 1978, and have safely corrected low levels with supplements in amounts far higher than the RDA. Vitamin supplements are safe and essential to correct low vitamin levels and to correct ill health. In my experience, vitamin supplements can save people from premature death, depression, suicide, dementia, psychosis, and heart failure."
-Chris M. Reading, M.D.