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Neurochemical Therapy

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Neurotransmitters: Restore and Repair

The nervous system is the body’s primary communication system. Comprised of a network of nerve cells called neurons, it relays information from neuron to neuron by receptors providing both electrical and chemical stimulation. Chemical stimulation naturally occurs by transmitting chemicals called neurotransmitters. Through a highly regulated electrochemical chain of events, the brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate with both itself and other organs and tissues in the body.

In this manner information is transmitted, neuron to neuron, from one area of the brain or body to another. When this information eventually reaches its final destination the message is translated into an emotion or action. The following video illustrates this process.

Neurotransmitters define our moods, actions and our overall health. The body synthesizes neurotransmitters from nutrients (amino acids & proteins) obtained through our diet. The list of clinical problems associated with neurotransmitter imbalance from alcohol and substance abuse is long and continues to grow as researchers establish important links between the scientific and clinical effects of neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters play a significant role in the region of the brain that governs satisfaction. The videos here show the effects of meth as an example of how alcohol and drugs increase chemical concentration in these regions of the brain by imitating natural neurotransmitters, causing excess stimulation of the receptors.

These videos pertain only to meth’s impact on dopamine, but alcohol and other drugs work much the same way with other neurotransmitters. After large amounts or long periods of excess stimulation, the receptors can become damaged and do not function well, causing the person to feel empty, anxious, or depressed. The person then experiences and reaches for artificial satisfaction, usually returning to substance abuse to escape those bad feelings.

Addictive use and tolerance (the need for ever higher doses to get the same effect) combined with poor habits, lifestyle, and choices (psychosocial dysfunction) further disrupt brain functioning to the extent that when addictive use ceases, abstinence symptoms arise that further interfere with an individual’s ability to maintain sobriety. These symptoms—hypersensitivity, overreaction to stress, restlessness, anxiety, lack of satisfaction, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, sleep problems, depression, and so on—create an uncomfortable sobriety and often lead to craving and relapse.

How do we help?

The body synthesizes neurotransmitters from nutrients, mostly derived from amino acids, which are the building blocks of neurotransmitters. They are obtained through diet, or can be manufactured by the body under the right conditions and precursors.

Scientists and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) now agree that five key neurotransmitters act as agents in changing cell function in the brain and subsequent behavior. The amount and availability of these natural neurotransmitters such as dopamine (for reward), GABA (anxiety), norepinephrine (depression), enkephalins (craving), and serotonin (sleep) can be depleted by addictive substances.

Research has found that abstinence without treatment may require 13 to 36 months for neurotransmitter pathways to rebalance and repair themselves. When this balance is eventually reached, it provides the patient an almost 90% chance of not relapsing (Dennis et al, Eval Rev, 2007). Results can be greatly improved or accelerated if the patient also follows a plan of health wellness that includes regular sleep (8 hours), good nutrition (low carbohydrates), and regular activity (30 minutes daily).

With the introduction of appropriate amino acids (neurotransmitter precursors) in addition to health wellness and other essential vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and nutrient derivatives, it is possible to eliminate or reduce the severity of artificial chemical craving symptoms in a matter of days or weeks.

Neurochemical Therapy

Our program employs scientific research that shows how neurotransmitter damage can be repaired. St. Gregory Retreat Centers’s protocols were developed to target and restore the key neurotransmitters that can bring brain chemistry into normal balance, reduce cravings and allow optimal brain functioning. These elements are the highest quality nutrients available and work as they target specific neurotransmitter deficiencies to achieve maximum benefit.

The St. Gregory Neurochemical Therapy program works to repair damage from the following substances:

Cocaine / Crack Cocaine
Opiates / Opioids (Heroin, Oxycontin, Percocete)
Benzodiazepines (Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, Ativan)

Why is this important?

With the use of appropriate amino acids, along with other essential vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and nutrient derivatives, it is possible to eliminate or reduce the severity of abstinence-based symptoms, craving, and relapse.

St. Gregory patients are treated with a protocol of amino acids that actually help rebuild the damaged areas of the brain. These basic amino acids are specially formulated to penetrate and positively influence neurotransmitters. Because the amino acids give the brain what it craves in a natural, non-habit-forming way while rebuilding the neurotransmitters, the cravings begin to recede very rapidly. During this period, neurochemistry stabilizes and cellular structures regenerate, creating the potential for reduced cravings, reduced tendency to relapse, and positive change after completing the St. Gregory addiction program.

Guests are treated with a protocol of amino acids that actually aid in restoring biochemical balance to dysfunctional areas of the brain while providing nutrition and hydration. During this phase, the fastest and most effective means of delivering these nutrients is intravenously. The use of intravenous nutrient therapy delivers the amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive tract where most orally administered supplements are lost due to poor absorption.

The intravenous delivery of nutrients (managed by St. Gregory doctors and nurses) assures a more rapid, predictable delivery and optimization of key nutrients into the bloodstream and brain, thereby achieving therapeutic levels not easily obtainable with oral supplements or diet alone. During this period, neurochemistry stabilizes and cellular structures are repaired, creating the potential for reduced cravings, reduced tendency to relapse, and the opportunity for positive change.

neurochemical therapy

Animations Courtesy of UCLA Eyes of the World and Dr. Arthur W. Toga, Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, UCLA

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

According to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended, Section 201 (g) (1), the term “DRUG” is defined to mean:

“Articles intended for use in the Diagnosis, Cure, Mitigation, Treatment or Prevention of disease.”

A Vitamin is not a drug, neither is a Mineral, Trace Element, Herb or Amino Acid.

Although a Vitamin, Mineral, Trace Element, Herb or Amino Acid may have an effect on any disease process or symptoms, this does not mean that it can be misrepresented, or be classified as a drug by anyone.

Therefore, please be advised that any suggested nutritional advice or dietary advice is not intended as any primary treatment and or therapy for any disease or particular bodily symptom.

Nutritional counseling, vitamin recommendations, nutritional advice, and the adjunctive schedule of nutrition and it’s delivery is provided solely to upgrade the quality and supply of beneficial nutrition supporting the physiological and bio-mechanical processes of the human body.

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Our graduates tell their stories…

When first arriving at St. Gregory I had mixed feelings about the health and wellness workouts. I came in at 136 lbs and didn’t think it was possible to reach...
- Chris
The good life is not merely a life free from addictions, physical and/or psychological—addictions that usually are the outward manifestations of deeper problems—but a life lived in harmonious balance, free...
- Matt
I came to St. Gregory’s at my all-time worst—physically, emotionally, and mentally. Having gone through a bad rehab experience once before, I had been very reluctant in succumbing to that...
- CJ
No matter where I start my thought process when reflecting upon my time before, during and after St. Gregory’s, I always seem to end up in the same place in...
- Kaele


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