7 Weeks to Sobriety
Replacement Formuls
Biochemical Traps
Liver Repair, Histamine & Thyroid
Biochemical Depression
Correcting Chemistry
Planning the Future
Ordering Products
Treatment That Works
Physical Restoration for Alcoholics/Drug Addicts
Video-Dr. Larson On Alcoholism

Alcoholism Treament That Works

Our alternative alcoholism treatment is based on science, more specifically
orthomolecular medicine. As you look through our pages, know that we
welcome your thoughts and observations. Our e-mail address is

Perhaps you've heard that excessive drinking is a character defect--- decadent behavior brought on by a lack of self-control. Proponents of this philosophy champion the psychological approach to treatment. The success rate for an alcohol treatment center operating under this approach is about 20% sober after a one year ... about as successful as no alcoholism medical treatment at all.

* Studies of treatment based on psychological approaches:

US Government Figures from the Rand Corp. 1980 Study; 922 patients from 8 major treatment centers (males); 6 months: 28% abstinent; 1 year: 21% abstinent; 4 years: 7% abstinent

Dr. George Vaillant's 1983 study; 100 alcoholics from Cambridge, Sommerville Program for Alcohol Rehabilitation; 2 years later: 81% remained alcohol dependant (19% success rate)

Dr's. Gerard & Saenger 1962; Followed 299 treated alcoholics; 1 year: 55 still abstinent (18% success rate)

Dr. Emrich in 1975; A review on 384 separate studies of psychologically based alcoholic treatment programs; Changes in psychological treatment methods did not effect outcome. Mean average: 23% abstinence or social drinking

New England Journal of Medicine study in 1985; A review of 1,290 patients from four treatment centers; 5-7 years: 15% abstinent, 13% dead (1 hospital had a 43% mortality rate!)

 Note: These studies predate the present philosophy in the treatment industry coined „duel diagnosis,š i.e. using drugs to treat alcohol and drug addiction. Our observations reveal shifting addicts to other drugs compounds the problems of their original addiction without bringing a long-term solution.

Then there's Alcoholics Anonymous, a wonderful network of psychological support for alcoholics. Their success rate is unknown; however, we do know that AA members represent less than 4% of the alcoholics in the USA . Regardless of how you feel about AA, one truth should be noted: attending meetings or calling sponsors does not correct physical symptoms caused by the biochemical disruption of alcohol abuse. Alcoholics who do no more than attend AA meetings to maintain sobriety may, indeed, never take another drink. However, they will also suffer with many „physicalš symptoms of disrupted biochemistry: cravings, anxiety, depression, insomnia, mood swings, etc ∑ until they take steps to correct the physical damage done to their bodies and brains. From a physical standpoint, AA's 12 step philosophy approach to alcoholism addiction treatment offers nothing but many painful years of „white knucklingš it.

But take heart!

The latest alternative alcohol treatment is based on a new scientific understanding of the disease as a disruption to biochemistry. For 20 years Health Recovery Center has pioneered and carefully tested a new approach to treatment known as biochemical restoration. Recovery by this form of treatment has proven to be far more successful than anyone had imagined: 74% success rate in a recent three-year follow-up study. In addition, symptoms associated with alcoholism: cravings, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, etc., are usually eliminated or greatly reduced. 

Alternative Alcoholism Treatment

Imagine... an end to cravings, depression, and emotional instability while restoring optimal health.

At Health Recovery Center, this concept is both achievable and predictable; we back it up with:

  • A New Understanding
  • A New Approach
  • Proven Results

Our Mission

Alcoholism is a physical disease. Alcohol and drugs are powerful chemicals. They disrupt and alter brain chemistry and body systems. (This is affirmed by hundreds of research papers.) This damage requires specific biochemical repair, as well as therapy.

Not All are Vulnerable. Problems with alcohol and drugs occur in people with unique chemistry inherited through genetics. Problems do "run in families." (There are at least 3 "types" specifically at risk to alcohol.)

"Loss of Control" is Real. In alcoholics, ongoing use alters brain chemistry, causing addiction for which willpower is no match. Willpower can't lift depression or stop cravings caused by chemical disruption. Anxiety, irritability, mental confusion, and irrational thinking are often caused by physical disruption of the brain and central nervous system. "Talk cannot reverse these conditions... biochemical repair must occur."

The AMA and World Health Organization define alcoholism as a physical disease. A Federal Verdict in 1982 ruled, "Alcoholism is a physical disease and not a mental disorder ...This court is unaware of any disease that so directly and persistently results in death." (3rd leading cause of death in the US .) 

Who We Serve

Our programs serve persons 16 years and older whose dependency on alcohol and/or drugs causes physiological or psychological distress. A no cost, initial assessment is offered by appointment.

Our Program

A new approach focuses on major Biochemical Renewal. HRC has pioneered a powerful addition of biochemical repair and restoration. Brain/body health and stability are restored and control is regained. In conjunction with our physician, HRC assesses and restores physical health via medical appointments, laboratory tests, and nutritional counseling.

Positive and Caring Counseling: The Rational Emotive Therapy used at HRC leads individuals to self-awareness and personal understanding. They learn effective tools to take control of responsible decision making, while rebuilding a sense of self worth. HRC conducts all group sessions in a supportive, non-confrontive style.

Extensive Individual Work: Each person is unique biochemically as well as psychologically. Individual weekly counseling sessions allow client/counselor to determine needs in order to set, monitor, and achieve individual goals.

Unique Family Support: Weekly lectures and group meetings are built around family involvement. In non-confrontive ways, families discover new understandings as well as traits "common" to members with shared genetics. Much relief comes from learning specific and reversible reasons for the many behaviors they have struggled with.

Treatment that Works! With this new understanding and the added element of biochemical repair, success is predictable and certain for most.

Our Results

Since the program's inception in 1981: One year follow-ups have consistently yielded "abstinent and stable" outcomes for most of our graduates. Our long term follow-up study, (published in the International Journal of Bio-social and Medical Research) yielded "abstinent and stable results" at 1 to 3 1/2 years for 74% of the graduates...far above the success results attained by conventional treatment.

What Research has Shown: Conventional "talk therapy" treatment alone yields far less effective results than treatment including biochemical repair. The consistent findings of hundreds of studies published over the last two decades yield abstinence-at-follow-up results no better than 20 - 25%.

Total Health Restoration: By using specific bio-chemical repair, more than abstinence is achieved. A wide rage of symptoms, i.e. cravings, depression anxiety, mental confusion, fatigue, and more are eliminated. Other health changes also occur, e.g. blood pressure normalizes, allergies clear, medications may become unnecessary, stamina and energy improve.

Gerald and G. Saenger, "The Abstinent
Alcoholic", Archives of General Psychiatry 6
(1962): pp 83- 95.

C. D. Emrich, "A Review of Psychologically
Oriented Treatments of Alcoholism, I"
Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol 35,
No. 2 (1974): pp 523- 549.

C. D. Emrich, "A Review of Psychologically
Oriented Treatments of Alcoholism, II"
Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol 36,
(1975): pp 88- 107.

V. Polick, D. Aarmor and H. Bracker, "The
Course of Alcoholism, Four Years after
Treatment", Santa Monica: Rand Corp.,
(1980): pp 169- 70.

George Vaillant, "The Natural History of
Alcoholism", Cambridge Harvard Press
(1983): pp 285.

K. Powell, E. Penick, M. Read & A. Ludwig,
"Comparison of three outpatient treatment
Interventions: A 12 month follow-up of male
alcoholics", Journal of Studies on Alcohol,
Vol. 46, No. 4 (1985): (KC VA Study).

J. Mathews-Larson and B. Parker,
"Alcoholism Treatment with biomedical/biochemical
Restoration as a Major Component",
International Journal of Biosocial and Medical
Research 9
, No. 1 (1987) : pp 92- 100.

J. D. Beasley, et al "Follow-up of a Cohort
of Alcoholic Patients thru 12 months of
Comprehensive Bio-behavioral Treatment",
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment,
Vol. 8, No. 2. May, (1991).D.

Our Staff

Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph.D., CCDP, LADC.
The Executive Director and Founder of Health Recovery Center . Published Author of the books:

  • Alcoholism, the Biochemical Connection. Villard/Random House, ©1991;
    Seven Weeks to Sobriety
    , Ballantine Publishing Group, ©1992, updated copyright ©1997.
  • Seven Weeks to Emotional Healing, Ballantine Publishing Group, ©1999; Depression Free, Naturally, Ballantine Publishing Group, ©1999, updated copyright ©2001.

All Health Recovery Center Counselors are certified as Chemical Dependency Counselors or Practitioners. All have specialized training in the HRC method of biochemical restoration.

Medical Personal:
Health Recovery Center has an on-staff physician who supervises each client throughout primary care. HRC also contracts with a psychiatrist who serves as a consultant to the program. Registered nurses and lab technicians assist our medical personnel.

If you would like additional information about our program, please complete our confidential inquiry request form.

Additional information: the cost of the program, qualifying insurance, and other questions concerning the structure of HRC's program can be answered by the HRC business office . Their toll-free telephone number is 1-800-554-9155 or you may e-mail them at hrc@healthrecovery.com

Information on this web page is reproduced and reprinted from brochures and promotional materials of Health Recovery Center, Inc. Copyright ©2001. All rights reserved. This information may not be reproduced without permission from Health Recovery Inc. & Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D.

Anyone wishing may link their site to the information found on this site. For a reciprocal link call 612-827-7800.

3255 Hennepin Av S
Minneapolis, MN 55408

toll-free: 1-800-554-9155
local: (612) 827-7800
fax: (612) 827-1948

Hours: 9:00 AM - 8:30 PM (CST)
Monday thru Friday

Video 1: Alcoholism Interview with Joan Mathews-Larson

Click on
Physical Restoration for Alcoholics & Drug Addicts

for additional information about the
Health Recovery Addiction Program

Program Hours & Cost | Opening Page


Click on either image to view a larger version in PDF format.