Addiction Treatment Centers Rosemount MN
St Paul, MN
Drug and Alcohol Information/Referral Services, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
Cottage Grove, MN
Apple Valley, MN
Cottage Grove, MN
By Lisa Marshall
Bill Beilhartz had run out of options. In fact, he was close to death.
At age 44, the Denver father-of-two had just spent two weeks in the hospital for alcohol-induced ulcers in his esophagus and stomach. He’d registered a nearly lethal blood alcohol level of .675. He’d been through two failed marriages, and his tall, once-handsome frame was withered from years of drinking a half-gallon of vodka a day. Yet, his first stop after leaving the hospital? Incredibly, the liquor store.
Three days later, after being rushed to the hospital again—this time for internal bleeding—he began desperately flipping through the Yellow Pages looking for something beyond what his three previous treatment centers had offered—something that might actually work.
“They all had the same approach,” says Beilhartz, an international casino consultant who had checked himself in each time before, paying as much as $10,000 per stay. “They tell you, ‘Don’t drink,’ and that is pretty much the education they give you.”
An ad for InnerBalance Health Center, a Colorado treatment program that takes a comprehensive holistic approach to addiction, jumped out at him. The clinic prescribed such treatments as nutritional counseling, intravenous vitamin therapy, yoga, and exercise programs. “It was different than anything I’d ever heard of. And it all just made sense to me,” says Beilhartz, who checked in to the 35-day program in January 2006.
Months later, he’s healthy, hopeful, and boasting more days of sobriety than in all the past 15 years combined. “Within a week of arriving, my mind was completely clear, and I felt energized and motivated to get on with life. I hadn’t felt like that since my early 20s,” he says.
Battling brain chemistry
Beilhartz is among a growing number of addicts and alcoholics turning toward complementary and alternative therapies to address the physiological underpinnings of addiction. The programs are rooted in the theory that addiction is largely the result of skewed levels of certain chemical messengers in the brain.
With too much of some messengers and not enough of others, researchers believe, addicts are caught—often from childhood—in a state of chronic imbalance and turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate in an attempt to feel “normal.”
Most addiction experts agree that talk therapy and 12-step programs—considered the gold standard for addiction treatment for decades—are a necessary component of a successful recovery. But in and of themselves, such methods have not proven terribly effective. Between 70 and 85 percent of addicts completing such programs will relapse within six to 12 months, studies show. Meanwhile, some alternative clinics that incorporate both physiological and psychological approaches boast six-month sobriety rates as high as 85 percent.
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