John Giordano is an experienced addictions expert, researcher, speaker, and author - MAC, DHL, CAP, Certified Hypnotherapist, Certified NLP, CCJS
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John Giordano is an experienced addictions expert, researcher, speaker, and author - MAC, DHL, CAP, Certified Hypnotherapist, Certified NLP, CCJS
Support the show (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl8NPB2H4Mf/?igshid=1m9w8d28oarlu&utm_source=fb_www_attr)
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You're now listening to the project to the project to the project, where we stop at nothing to bring you the right backs on health, fitness and psychology, featuring some of the world's most experienced professionals. So you can learn, live and play with your hosts make dr. D, and methane. Hey, guys, before this episode gets going, I just want to give you a little bit of a background. We've done several episodes on addiction because I think addiction is one of the least talked about subjects in our society today. And it is one of the most impactful subjects and situations that family members and close loved ones fall into. So it's very important that we listen to some of these experts and some of these people that come on here and share their experiences with addiction to help our society and help those who are near and dear to our hearts. So enjoy this episode. And please lend a helping hand to someone that you love today. All this and more in today's episode. Hey, everybody. Welcome to the project. And in this episode, we are coming back with another addiction series with john Giordano, who is going to talk about his background and addiction. And we all know in the Middle East addiction is a very taboo topic. And our goal is to try and break that taboo right. dr. D?
Yeah, because I feel like you know, a lot of times people don't talk about it here. People are scared. Also religion plays a big impact, but we have it. And I think some people live in a bubble that no, no, no, we don't have it here. And other people that have it are very secretive. Because we don't really have a proper, we don't have treatment center here. But I feel like there are two things. One, they don't want other people to know that they've gone to this center and be they still haven't recognized the seriousness of it. So I'm so thankful for you to be here, you can shed some light about how you started and maybe give us some tips of what we can do for our listeners that are suffering from addiction.
In general, if you could start from the beginning from your childhood, and how that led into addiction and how that led you down different paths. I think that would shed some light for a lot of student to be parents or a lot of people that have family members that are suffering from addiction and don't understand how they start come to it. So if you could start right from the beginning, we'd really appreciate it, man.
Sure. Okay. Well, first of all, my father was a heroin dealer. My family's like a mafia type of family. So I come from one of those kinds of families. And when I was a kid, my father went to jail. I grew up without a father for four years. And then I got sexually abused when I was eight and a half by some kids in a neighborhood. And then eventually I joined gangs. And so I was in gangs. And then eventually what happened was, I stumbled into a karate school. And what winds up happening is that I left the gangs and the drugs. Early on I I drank a little bit, and I just used to get six I never drank. So I never did any drugs, never smoked pot never did anything. And I'm also a grandmaster in the martial arts. I'm temporary black Bob, I think as you read on my bio, I'm in the black belt Hall of Fame, national karate champion, all that stuff. And what happened was, I went, I was teaching my students and my Oh, also I quit school in the ninth grade. So I didn't really complete any schooling. And I moved to Florida, and I started teaching karate, and my students would come into my class high. And I'm going, are you guys crazy. So I used to work them out. So they used to throw up, I figure I discourage them, and they would come back the next time. And again, so one day, they said to me, john Sensei, why maybe you should drive and you know, instead of, you know, going and guess what we're doing. So what happened was the first show I ever did was acid, some guy had some acid, and I didn't know what it was. And he says, Oh, this is acid. And this is a 1965. And I did some of that. And I was on the trip for three days. Wow. And then I went from there. And the answer that I did was for five people. I didn't know Wow, I didn't know anything about drugs. Well, so I was really like out there. And I was always interested in learning. So I to me, I heard about it. I said, I heard that it helps you to learn and expand your consciousness. So I was gravitated towards it from there and went to pot from there. I smoked some pot and then from pot it wider going into pills, then over to cocaine over the years and about 37 that this term, read through it real quick. But I did a lot of things on drugs. I mean, I was on drugs while I did these things, but I was using drugs. And I see us on the weekend and sometimes during the week. So I thought it was okay back in the 60s. It was kind of normalized. So you know, in the United States, and what what did we know back then we didn't know much. So what happened was I did plays in a theater Performing Arts. I threw a concert with James Brown. I had 60,000 people show up and this is all I was using. I invited President Reagan the Come to the grand opening of a flea market that we were doing this concert at. And everybody was laughing at me. But it was crazy, which I probably am anyway. But what happened was is I went around to all the deacons, all the churches and everything like that. And the theme of what I was doing is I was in the black community where they just had the riots, so the community was a mess. So white people, Hispanics, nobody would go into the community and shop because they were scared. So what they did was to revitalize Liberty City to bring the different racist, other stalwart white winds up happening is I got a letter back from the White House, which everybody was shocked. And they said, they're sending a representative which one of the being representative carry me to became send it to me. And she checked me out, because, you know, they don't just send people without checking you out our government, right, like all governments in any way. They found out what it was doing in a community. And they went to the Martin Luther King foundation. And they presented me with the Martin Luther King award onstage in front of 60,000. People. Wow. That's my using Dave's amaze. You know, I did eight plays in the theater, performing arts, I mean, they did a lot of things. But the drugs started to take hold. And nobody knew that I was on drugs, because I didn't have that to the sauna. I was competing vitamins I was winning, you know, it's it didn't look like anything, like a lot of drug addicts, except when you go really deep. And eventually, at 37 years old, it took hold me really bad. My family did an intervention. I mean, I told you what my family was. So it's kind of comical. I was wondering who's doing an intervention on them. But you know, I said, My mother said, she'll never talk to me again, my mother's nine on all the time lady, then I like pattern. So I said, Okay, so I went to treatment, I didn't believe in it. They, you know, they did an intervention. And I figured I'd let me go take a break, you know, get everybody off my back. So I went to treatment, and I had a spiritual awakening in treatment. Now, I was raised a Catholic, but I didn't believe in God anymore. I didn't believe in anything anymore. And you know, when you use drugs, you lose your faith, you lose your faith in yourself, you lose your faith and everyone else, and you lose your faith in the God of your understanding. So I had a spiritual awakening while I was in treatment. And what went down was, I never forget it because it was Christmas time and I wanted to go home for Christmas Eve, they wouldn't let me go. And I says, Listen, this is ridiculous. You know, I got really pissed off. And I walked in the room, I punched the door. It was so angry. And I remember my counselor telling me about getting on my knees to pray. And I told him, I said, Listen, what do you mean, God doesn't listen to me, if I'm in a closet, a brain was really nasty as my brain was not working properly anyway. But I got down to my knees and I couldn't push my knee down, which is really strange. And I finally pushed one knee down, and I finally pushed the other knee down. And for the first time I pray to a god or energy or whatever it was alright, for help his will or will not mine. And my anger went away, like it never was there. Now, that's not how I function, I usually went into rage. And I usually had that for days. So as sick as I was, I tried to get it back. It didn't come back. That was my turning point in treatment. And then eventually, as time went on, I got out of treatment. And I wanted to give back to people that was suffering from this addiction. And to read the story real quick, I wind up doing is I wanted to opening up a treatment center. I went with the wrong partners. I didn't know anything about treatment, but the only thing I knew about treatment, I was in a treatment center. And it didn't work out very well that put it bluntly, and then I worked in another place. And that didn't work either. I picked the wrong point. Because in a battle lawyer, itis I'm speaking the mess with a punch in the face.
Yes, yeah. Yeah, that's understandable. Yeah.
Okay. But that's I'm in recovery now. So that's not the way it's supposed to work. So then the last time I opened up the trigger center with my own money, I started with $300. And I knew something was wrong with the recovery process, because it was only a five to 8% recovery rate. Yeah, yeah. And I said, something's not right. We're missing something. I got together with Dr. Deborah mash. She's a normal electro scientist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, who was doing the Ibogaine project. I don't know if you guys know what I became is
I actually read up on it a little bit when, you know, when we first connected, you know, and I'd love for you to dive deep into that. Because, you know, obviously, that's something you know a lot about and yeah, I asked several other addicts and they were like, yeah, that you know, that Iosco Yeah, those are the two things that they were like, you know, that will get you off of drugs. And one of my friends, he was like, Look, it was a spiritual awakening that I had, and it got me away from everything. So I'd love it if you dive a little deeper into that.
Okay, well, I'm Dr. Messrs. I'm one of the leading experts on IV I worked with for 12 years in in St. Kitts and we had a detox center there, but you see the problem, but I became that A lot of people think that is really dangerous. It's only it's like any drug in the world, even you got to detox people, but I am being taxed. People don't realize that because by the time they get to detox, they're so depleted, their body is such a mess, besides the drugs, that they can die, but if it's done properly, that doesn't happen. We treated hundreds of people over the years, nothing happened, if you do it right. And we had, it was a medical way of doing things. In other words, before they could even come to the island because you can't use this drug to schedule one drug and in the United States, so we had to go offshore. Now in order to do this drug, we put a heart monitor on them for 24 hours to make sure if the hearts okay, because this original investigation and I'm again, it's for lowering blood pressure. So you don't want them to have low blood pressure go then they can't breathe, and he could die anyway, then we would give them a Toxicology tests, and then we would give him a blood work. And then if they pass that, then we would allow them to come to the island, they would come to the island, we will repeat everything, just to make sure we see what's on board. Because you know, addicts, they always want the last hurrah before they go to detox. Yeah. So what they do is, you know, they hide drugs and get out, they want to get it one more time. So you have to make sure that they can't do that, then what we would do is I would tear them down directly with them and see where they're at. And these are people that tried anything in the world. And this is a last resort for them. People that have been using 2030 years and 10 years, 15 years, you know all kinds of different times. And what we would do is I would prepare them for their journey. All right. And then what we would do is we would put them in a bed a hospital bed with a nurse by their side, we put an IV in their arm, and we will put a heart monitor on the chest, we would give them a test dose the care tolerate. If they will tolerate them, we will give them a full dose we will put ice shades on them and a headset and keep them in a contained field. And then we go on a journey for 810 12 hours depending of the request metabolizing slow metabolites and how their liver functions. Now the unique properties of Ibogaine is not only does it detox you from drugs and alcohol, but it sends you back into your childhood and they make it simplistically as an adult. And you have what is known as a cathartic cathartic experience. You have resolution from your traumas of early childhood, and they come out detoxed and 24 hours, which is unheard of you got guys doing heroin, guys going methadone, 80 milligrams, It's unheard of 24 hours and they come out and they have this this peacefulness about them and they want to stay clean. And it's unbelievable when you see this see because I began was used for rite of passage in Gabon and West Africa and that's what this does now I Alaska is very different than Ibogaine, Ibogaine is at the top of the family tree of plant medicine. Ayahuasca is lower, I Alaska only lasts for four hours, it's a different journey. It's a spiritual journey, like I began, when I began is very powerful. And I was it doesn't really detox people the way I became. And then after that, they need to go to treatment and the problem we would have with clients, they would feel so good, and they don't want to do drugs anymore. They didn't want to go to treatment. So we had to convince them and show them that all the behaviors that they acquired while using that they needed to have some psychological approaches to undo some of the traumas and some of the things that they experienced growing up through their life. And usually it was anywhere from 30 to 120 days, depending on the addict, metabolism fast metabolizer, slow metabolizer that's how long the blocks the opioid receptor sites, so you don't have any cravings. So Dr. Mash, I used to take care of her clients, they used to go to the island during the race to bring the ones that want to go to treatment back to my treatment center. Now, what we found out as I also hooked up with Dr. Kenneth blem. Are you guys familiar with Dr. Bluhm?
No, not really.
Okay. He's a geneticist who found the addiction gene in the 1970s with Ernie noble,
now that you say that Yeah, I remember reading. Yeah, I remember reading some research articles on that. Yeah. Yeah. Now I'm familiar with them. I know exactly what you're talking about. Yeah, the
reason addiction gene, there was some controversy. But now finally, neither was an essence to the dragon. family says, Oh, yeah, there was an addiction. Gee, it's the Dr. de tu le one variant gene. Now just because you have that gene doesn't mean you're going to be inadequate, because it's such a thing as we call epigenetics. epigenetics is a social environment can change what is called the gene expression. So what we did was we did research at my facility. And what we did different at my facility that no one's still, they still not doing it. We did hyperbaric medicine As oxygen under pressure, and remember, drugs and alcohol damage the brain so you can talk to the brain all day long if it's broken is broken, so they don't get the inflammation properly. That's what happens. So we use hyperbaric medicine to help heal the brain, and the brain has electricity. So as the heals, okay, it takes a new neurons and worth measuring to be important to that person. We then acupuncture, which has only been around for 5000 years, we did massage therapy, everybody says, Oh, that's a Gucci program. No, there's such a thing as called lymphatic drainage. Yeah, drugs and alcohol hang out on a cellular level in the body. So you have to get them out as well. Now you've got what is known as co contributing factors to addiction, which is low thyroid, which causes depression and anxiety and suicidal ideation. You have leaky gut syndrome, H. pylori, which is a credit issue, which also causes depression and anxiety and suicidal ideation, you have low testosterone in males, which is really interesting, which also causes depression and anxiety who have hyperglycemia, you'll find that out a lot of times without go Oryx. So we looked at all the things plus allergies, certain allergies, believe it or not, can cause depression. And this is all science, this is not me making it up. This is all I lecture all over the world about this stuff to scientists, and researchers and clinicians, and nobody argues with it, because that's in their wheelhouse. You know, nobody argues with low thyroid causes depression, who's gonna argue with that knowing so what we as therapists and as treatment centers don't realize is that a 30 day model is ridiculous. If you really think about he hasn't guys using drugs for years, they go to detox, they come out and it should be called detox. Because we're not detoxing anybody with stabilizing them. You don't put toxins in to stabilize toxins. Yeah. And it says the detox. So they come out, they still drug affected, their brains have clouded, all right, so they go in treatment for two weeks, and they still a mess. And maybe the third week, they bond with therapists, and then they have to leave treatment is done all wrong. That model was based on a 28 day model from Minnesota based on really alcoholism modeling drugs. And as you know, drugs are more severe than as far as damaging the body and the brain. So it was drawn as a 28 day model. Now the insurance companies are looking to make it even shorter. And as a science shows, it takes anywhere from 60 to 90 days to change a habit and for the brain to start healing, at least in the process. So people should be in at least 60 to 90 days. And this way, they can effectuate change, and we can get the body stabilized when you got all psychologists and therapists their brain like retrained, okay to look at a certain set of symptoms, all right, psychologically, not medically, psychologically. And then we say, well, you need medication, you need this, you need that, what people don't realize this, when people come off with drugs and alcohol, all the mental health issues come to the surface. Now, that could be something that was there before or gonna be something that was caused by drugs and alcohol, but you have to look at the body comprehensively in order to find what's really going on and get the body to restabilized. So you can know what the heck's happening?
I think, john, you're making a good statement. And I think a lot of people don't understand. I mean, we've interviewed few people where, you know, when we're talking about, well, what about your childhood, whatever, if there's any trauma that might have like, you know, influenced or, I mean, besides that we all know about this, like addiction gene, there are also the environmental factor that we have to keep in mind. But there's a lot of people like in denial of that, like, you know, no, no, no, I had a great childhood. My parents were very great. You know, I had nothing, obviously, we can't say every person who uses drugs have had trauma in their life. But we could say that there is a big percentage of people that use drugs is because they're numbing themselves from something deeper than the drug itself. Correct? Correct. I mean, how do you convince these people,
you don't really convince anybody of anything? habits don't believe anybody or anything, because they don't even believe themselves. So what happens is, you know, what I usually do when I say I work with trauma, police officers that have been in shootings, women that have been raped, guys coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and I have a technique that I use, Are you guys familiar with EMDR? Okay, that's eye movement. reprocessing? Yeah, of course, I read them developed it. I've been doing EMDR for 21 years right at the dock, okay. And I'm also an NLP trainer and neuro booster programming. I'm also a hypnotherapist, and I also do holotropic breathing and also karate breathing. This is similar to holotropic. And I put all those modalities together and I formulated a technique called TRT trauma release technique, and within 20 minutes, I get rid of trauma, and I know it sounds absurd, but I always tell people sit in my chair, if what I tell you if it doesn't work You can laugh at me, well, it's been over 20 years, nobody left you. And if you see talk therapy deals with what I call the software, the frontal lobes, the conscious mind, what things are stored on the hard drive, which is I call the subconscious mind. So a lot of times therapeutic interventions, with talk therapy deals with, you know, to the frontal lobes and deals with the software of the brain, but it's still in the back. And that's where it comes in. It reinvents itself, according to what's going on in their social environment. But when you deal with the hard drive, okay, it changes just like with trauma, as you know, trauma is a closed memory that keeps on re living itself, and the emotions that come with it. So what EMDR does with your T, it desensitizes them from that. And we have to look at that therapeutically. To me, it's like a year or therapy, you may do that with people, but you have to really know how to I developed this with if you're doing let's say EMDR was once people know what EMDR is, and somebody starts moving their fingers, or they start to hold their breath, or they move their lips, or they start shaking their leg that diminishes the effect of EMDR. It's opposed to being distracted with your eyes. And if they distracting themselves with other things, it minimizes the effects. So you have to be very cognizant of what they're doing. Because people do that to this associate. And I teach people how to do this inner child work very important.
I mean, I've heard of EMDR. But I feel like a lot of times people feel like the effect of it doesn't really last a long time that yes, you can desensitize them. Yes, you can get into but I mean, I don't know what your experience. Have you found it that it really does last a long time. Like, what's happened to that trauma.
You know, it's like anything else? You know, how many psychologists Do you know that really not that good at what they do? Unfortunately,
Okay, so we all know the same thing. You have to look at the practitioner, not so much the technique, sometimes you say, so you go to a doctor, and when he helps you, and the other one hurts you, it just because it's the doctor doesn't mean they're good or bad. It's just like anything. It's like karate, you know, some people do karate. They're great. And some people aren't. So that's another issue, you know that we have to retrain a therapist or psychologist, and a lot of I do a lot of psychiatrists, and a lot of them are close minded. I did a lecture in Taipei at the neuroscience conference, and I'm lecturing the neuroscientists, and researchers and clinicians. So I'm giving this whole conversation about how to heal, you know, the human mind. And it was really interesting. So the psychiatrists afterwards, they come around me and they go, this is your dental. Let me ask you a question. Do you believe in medication, so I know where they were going, right? I said, No, I believe in what works. Okay. But let's talk about medication, if that's what you choose to take, you know what to talk about. First of all, medication was never researched for long term use. It was a short term intervention. And then we made it the pharmaceutical companies decided I can make money. And they made it into a long term that they really have.
No one's ever brought up on the show before. And I commend you on saying that that was just there. Farmers, I hate the pharmaceutical companies.
Well, I know the research, I work with researchers. So I know what the researchers and you know what else, they don't even know what what they do, but a bunch of medications together. They don't know the cross pollination of what that really effective is. And what's really interesting is you got to a psychiatrist, and you say, Well, I'm feeling this and feel that okay, up the medication. Okay, let's lower the medication. Oh, no, let's do this medication with that medication. They don't know the outcomes. It's a guessing game. Okay. It's an educated guessing game. I don't want people guessing with my life.
What's your perspective then on the gut microbiome when introducing, you know, I was? I was dying to ask that question. I had to get it out there. I wanted to ask it for about five minutes now.
Oh, well, we were talking about leaky gut syndrome. H. pylori. Yeah, that's often the microbiome, the microbiota. See most people don't realize dopamine and serotonin. Those feel good drugs that we manufacture naturally, come to gut and it goes up to Vegas nerve and into the brain. So 90% of dopamine and serotonin is manufactured in the gut. And guess what most people's gut are out of whack. See, people think bacteria is bad. Okay, bacteria is good. All the pens have is out of balance with the bad there is bad bacteria, and there's good bacteria. Most people's got around a whack. And if your guts out of whack, guess what happens to your dopamine or immune diseases come from the gut. They're having this so much research on it. It's unbelievable. But you got to understand most people don't understand they take probiotics united. Take prebiotics with it. Okay? You don't just take probiotics because probiotic, let's put it this way is a seed, okay? That helps to flourish good flora. But prebiotic is the rain that helps you to continue growing. So you need to treat the gut if you want to treat the brain. So the gut brain axis is very important. We're not treating addiction properly. We're just doing it like we've been doing it for 60 years. You know, there's a saying you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Do you think that's the reason why we have a lot high relapse? Because to be honest, I mean, that's not my specialty, substance abuse, but I realized that from the people we interview and the people that I see at the clinic that if they are addict, they've had such high relapse, you know, there's
reasons for that. Okay. So I give you the reasons that I know of, first of all, you have to look at addiction and mental health as a mosaic. It's not one shoe fits all. It's not one thing causes the problem. It's a cumulative. So now, most people don't exercise properly. Number one, most people don't eat properly and our food supply is really getting worse and worse and worse. Our air supply is getting worse. And I don't know why people don't think it affects our brains in the whole body. But I'm amazed by that. So you got improper diet, you got no exercise. Okay? If you ever see heroin addicts attempting to get off heroin, they become Kava holics. And what does that mean? They start eating a lot of carbs and they get overweight. Most addicts that are clean and sober, they die of strokes, diabetes, heart failure, cancer, because what did they do? They start smoking cigarettes like crazy because they still in that that mode of medicating their emotions. Now we don't look at addiction. Dr. Bluhm is the one that coined the phrase RDS. Have you guys ever heard of RDS? I don't think it's called reward Deficiency Syndrome. Yeah. One of addicts and alcoholics and people that have mental health problems are seeking. They're seeking dopamine, serotonin, the feel good drugs, that's what they want. Okay. So if you are predisposed for addiction, genetically, you don't have enough receptor sites that allow for dopamine to come in and serotonin. So you're going to go out and search. Now we always keep separating alcohol. Oh, he's an alcoholic. Oh, he's a drug addict. He's a sex addict. He's a gambler. Okay, no, no, no, no, no, no, this is different symptomatology when all of them, but they all have a core driver, lack of dopamine, lack of serotonin. So we're not addressing the core driver, or windowing is superficially addressing the outward symptomatology of the condition. It's not gonna work.
I got a question for you. Just to bring this to a realistic perspective. For our listeners, especially now, say we have two people. One who's been sober for 13 years and has been on the right track has dealt with thick and thin and is just mentally tough, I would say and is able to go through the day to day hardship that he faces and comes from a broken family broken background, you name it, he's got the problems going on. Now subject be the second person is from a very wealthy family, Mum and Dad love them probably had some trauma during his childhood, but has suffered a relapse after relapse after relapse. And me and dr. D. Were talking about this earlier, because I have two friends. Yep, one of them who has managed to stay clean for 13 years. And he was the one who did iosa. And he had an enlightening moment, and it helped him continue his path of being clean. Now the other friend that I have has been in and out of jail, and then at a rehab, you name it. And it's like, you know, this time around, I thought he was gonna do different, but I found the lies coming in. And I could tell the pattern coming back. I was telling dr. D, I don't get it how this person who has had all the odds? Oh, I
get it. I get it. I can tell you. I can tell you right away.
I mean, he's had all the odds stacked up against him. You know, where this guy, he's just like,
you just gave your own? I think you gave the answer. I don't think you're realizing, okay, you know, family members are sicker than the attic.
I never really thought of that. Yeah.
So people don't get that part. I didn't think of that. Yeah. Okay. What do I mean by that? I'll explain that. Okay. You know what, they're addicted to the addict. Okay, what they do, I just did a whole show on this. Remember the whole family sick. It's not just the addict. We all know about domestic violence, right? The first problem is the perpetrator of the violence. And the woman that's the recipient. The girl has a black tie, swollen lip and the police come and she's No, he didn't mean it. He's really a good guy, and they stay in the sick relationship and then it happens again, okay. So it takes two to be sick. Now, same thing with addiction. Okay, but the problem is people don't have a lot of money. They try to enable a client, they don't allow them to feel the pain of what they're going through. I go jail to get the best lawyers and get them out and give you a fine executive two examples. One, I had a client who comes from a very wealthy family sending a talking about in a family members, they bought him an apartment, they bought him a car, and he said he's stopping drugs. He's not using drugs. And they come into me and they say, look how much better he's doing. I said, No, no, no, you don't understand. He became a better liar. Okay. Yeah, yeah, that's what really happened. All right.
Relating That's right. So what happens
is, is that I told him, I says, Listen, he's on his road to die, you need to listen to me. All right, you are causing him to die, we got to loving him to death, okay, he needs to be in treatment he needs to be to realize that everybody's not going to always, you know, throw a pillow under him when he folds. Okay. Two weeks later, the kid died. And I went to a funeral. Now, I'll give you another thing about parents, which is, I had a mother, it's all two stories. I had a mother who wouldn't go into the hood, okay, and get her son heroine powwow. And her rationale was, I didn't want to get arrested, okay. And if he's gonna do drugs, I wanted to do it in front of me. Well, the moral of the story happened like this, he did do drugs in front of her, locked himself in a room and odede and died. So when you're looking at addiction, you have to look at the family. It's just like anything else. When you get clean and sober. If you go back to the same place to hang out a barbershop long enough, you're going to get a haircut. That's an old stain that we have made. So if you keep hanging out with the same people you've been hanging out when you were using, see this is recovery is not a diet, okay? It's a life change. It's a lifestyle change, you can do the same things you were doing before and expecting to get healthy. And now let's look at what happens. The guy goes with you guys and went to 20 treatment centers before they came to us. I'll give you an example. I had a kid, very wealthy family. I mean, they spent over a million dollars on treatment. Right? He was homeless, they stopped, they cut him off. All right, they did the right thing. They cut them off, right? Well, they felt bad. And they finally heard about my treatment center. They sent that to us. We found out the kid had heavy metal toxicity. So heavy metals, mercury, lead antinomy, okay, all these things interfere with neural transmission. And they can look like attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder. They're all over the place that can focus, you know, all of this stuff that we learned in therapy, right? So we culated him out. Okay, we put him in the hyperbaric chamber, and we gave him amino acids and nutrients that help rebuild neurotransmission Well, the kid now is, I don't know, maybe eight years clean and sober. He made millions of dollars. He founded a company, an internet company. And this is a kid that couldn't put two words together. When he came to us. He had yellow caked on teeth from living industry, never brushing his teeth, His hair was matted. Okay. And he couldn't put two sentences together. And I don't know When's the last time you shower? If you do a comprehensive intake, and I mean comprehensive on a claim, not just psychological, it's their medical background, see what's going on? See what tests you can, you know, ask them to take you will see a much better results now. Can they still be left? Absolutely. Okay. But like I said before, it's a mosaic so they can hang out with the same friends, the family members definitely have to go okay to get help to learn about this disease. And you'll need the family out to get because they're the ones that are also sick. addicts do not just abuse drugs and alcohol, they abuse people, places and things. That's their Mo. I'm a recovering addict and all about that. I'm in recovery now. 36 years, I'm 75. I still train, I fight, okay, because I'm a karate guy to debating whether to go back into competition at 75. He did it at 72. I live when I tell people I learned a long time ago do as they say not as I do never work for me. And I don't think it works for anyone. And I have my new book. If people want to get it. It's on Amazon, the kid from the South Bronx who never gave up. I wrote that book. It was it's my life story. It's how I turned $300 into 45 million with my treatment center that I started and it's showing people now he had an eighth grade education. But when I got to recovery, I went back to school and got my certifications. I got my degrees I did all the things I needed to do. And here I am today I do podcasts. I do lectures and
write books. What an amazing story because I feel like you know especially like I'm hoping that our our listeners would see it There are hope out there because sometimes like you, when you talk to, you know someone that is taking drugs or even recovering their sense of helplessness and hopelessness, that they're not only from him or her, it's usually the family, especially here. We're a collectivist society. So family matters a lot. But also what other matters is that what people think of you. So a lot of times the family will keep in touch, they don't want to talk about it, there's a sense of shame attached to it. And so these kids that grow up believing that there's no sense of hope, no one wants to really be able to associate with them. And it's nice to have you be able, wow, 75, I would have never guessed that never, never. And the idea that you can write a story like this, and really, I think we need, I think, you know, it's very important that people can read your story and understand that there is hope that you don't have to be a millionaire. And even if you are, that doesn't mean that your life will be graded, that you can start from zero, you don't have to have
a job, I was homeless. When I started. I got the voice thing. I was homeless, I lived in a hotel room, my friend on the hotel, he lent me a room, my kids used to come, we all used to cry together. And you know, I used to sell drugs. And I used to do collection work for smugglers. So I used to make a lot of money every week, and then I couldn't do it anymore. And plus it feeds karate make money from that. And what I did was I wanted to just teaching karate, making a few dollars and come up with these different ideas to make money. And you know what's interesting, and I tell people this all the time, even though I didn't have a car, because when I got divorced, she got everything I just left him. And I only had a bicycle that somebody will only I had a jewelry store, put my cortisone and I would go to these meetings that I couldn't stand. I thought these people I would even get high with these people used to say, and I used to curse God in the meetings, and one of the old timers came up to me, he says, It's done. How about God? I suck. I know how to spell. Okay, so he said, No, no, no good, orderly direction. I said, You know what, I can deal with that as a god for now? Well, higher power that they say the program, and I had that for about two years. And it's interesting how things happen when you stay in recovery. I'm a chaplain for the police department. Wow. Wow, I became a minister. I mean, you don't know what this journey is going to lead. You see, that's the problem, people. And that's why I bought the book never give up. And when people suffered, you don't understand my family how they got, I said, Tell you what, I'll give you my family. My uncle was a hitman, when I hit send the book, when I had a wedding when I was 20. Right, I married a Jewish girl. And I wasn't Jewish. And the parents didn't really like the idea. But they met my parents and they thought they were great. And he liked me a lot better know who my parents really weren't, you know, and my uncle threw the wedding and the caterer insulted him in front of the family. And it was an interesting wedding on one side, because my wife's at the time family was lawyers and head of the PTA. And you know, all of this, you know, very high Echelon, you know, people and on the other side, we're racketeers, guys with guns inside guys with pens. So the next morning, we have to kill the caterer. And I had to go run home with my new bride and nobody and we didn't want anybody to know, because the police were coming to my grandmother's house, okay, looking for him. So I had to leave four hours early. Thank God for my mother. She talked to everybody into it that I get anxiety, which I didn't, but I was getting anxiety, but the cops come into the house. And that's part of my story. So you know, I encourage people to read the book to show them no matter where you came from, no matter what education you came from, no matter what drugs you did, okay? No matter where you are in life, no matter how low you think you go. There's always hope if you don't give up
that reminds me of a great book I read that actually changed my life when I was 21 years old. It was a street soldier by Edward McKenzie. He was a muscle man for whitey Bolger, you know, out of the Irish mob in Boston. And it's stories like that, and stories like yours that actually do change lives, none of that fiction bullshit that we see all day in and day out, but real life true stories of people who turn it all around and make something of nothing. And I think, you know, guys, like you, you know, I tip my hat to you. And it's just the work that you're doing is amazing. And one thing that I love that you brought light to is a holistic approach to treating the problem from inside, outside in throughout the entire system of you know, an addicts life, especially with family because here in the Middle East, especially and in this region, they don't deal with it. dr. D, I'm sure you can throw your two cents and they just kind of sweep it under the rug, the family will sweep it under the rug.
That's why I was saying it's because I think because there's stigma associated with it, it's haraam, which means it's sinful for Islamic religion. I mean, obviously it's sinful for everybody but the idea is is here is like they're so caught up I feel a lot of families are so caught up about what are my neighbors going to say and sounds like you're Italian, right? I'm sure it's like so part of it is You understand? Because it's the same thing. It's like what your neighbors are thinking, what a bad boy it is. Yeah, of course. And But the idea here, it's this idea is that if they said something about their daughter or their son that have a drug addiction, then that prohibit their first it's going to ruin the family name, but also marriages connected to it. having kids family, with family will accept another family. So it's all this like socio economic problems that we talked about. But I feel like with you, you seem to have had you found a purpose early on of why you needed to change who you are, there was a purpose. And regardless if it was your family, because you didn't really have a supportive family, either, but you made it. So I feel like a lot of times family are important, but what can we tell our listeners, so they understand that even if your family doesn't care about this thing, they want to keep it Hush, what is the driving force, because we can't expect that the family I mean, at least from this part of the world, I don't know that the family is going to accept it. They're going to take you to rehab some families won't while
I can help you with this to the families become what I call ostriches. You know what an ostrich does, right? I think nobody sees him. Yes. Right. Okay. He asked his family. That's what the bottom line is. Is that what I would tell the families real simple, you're worried about anybody finding out when they do drugs? What are you going to say to them when he's laying in a casket because the drugs and you didn't help them?
Do you know that one time I asked the family one question about if you don't help them, the person is going to die. Do you know what this person said to me? The dad said that dad? Yeah,
That is so sad that sometimes. And I could see I mean, I'm a parent, you're a parent. I mean, sometimes you feel like it's exhausting to be with a drug addict.
My children are addicts. My son almost died from this. I know what they go see when I talk to family members. I'm a family member. I'm not just a recovering addict. I'm also a family member, my son, okay, you know, a man always wants a son, you know, you know, I got a daughter too. I love my daughter too. But he almost died. And you know, he was selling drugs. And he was doing this and I, I put him in treatment. And we went to court, he was robbing houses, right? And when this was me, I was in recovery at the time. And we went, he called me from jail. He says, I'm in jail. You gotta get me out. I said, No, no, no, no, you're staying there. Okay, you made these choices. That's what you say. This is the same thing. I tell parents. Then we went to court and the judge knew because I was always in court with the fanatics. He says we're going to remand them to your custody. I said, Your Honor, may I make a gesture? He says, Sure. JOHN, what do you want? Would you put them on house arrest, like and get them in treatment? Please? He's a drug addict. Absolutely. My son hated me cursing me. Okay. Listen, that's how they are, you know, it's not a personality contest. This is life and my life, because it affects me just like it affects is I don't want my son to die. You know. So I blamed myself, I was crying, oh, it's my I'm an addict. And he followed me and bla bla bla, now he made the choices. I know, kids that the family matters. radix. They went the other way. They're not addicts. Today, my son is 18 years of recovery. If I had to design a son, I would fall short. He has integrity. He has values. He runs his business with that he's successful. I couldn't answer. He helps me unbelievable. Like I said, things change. But in order for things to change, you see what people don't understand what you can tell your patients and your clients. No decision is a decision. And that's just the bottom line. And if they're better off dead, let me know how you do when you didn't do enough when you wake up and you realized that you didn't help your kid? What kind of parent to you if the kid was sick with cancer? Why would you just say Oh, it's too bad. You're better off dead?
Yeah, I mean, that's what Maggie and I were also saying we had an earlier episode and and I said, I was telling my the I was venting this sometimes our podcast is me trying to make him my therapist is that I'm so sick and tired of constantly people trying to minimize the idea that psychological disorders does exist and I'm so sick and tired of constantly telling people would you do that if they had cancer? Would you have said that if someone has cholesterol or high blood pressure, which have said that if someone had also it's constant battle in my field and yours to kind of defend that substance abuse and
I thought I could tell you how to help you with that, okay,
I just went to MACD and then I'm fine.
Let's let's look at what's really going on with the parents, me being an apparent boss, and having the knowledge on what to do even and still feeling what they feel, first of all, is fear. Second of all, they blame themselves, okay, and I gave them everything. Isn't that he's got a home, he's got money. And look what he did. Really what they're saying is, I didn't do the right thing, even though they may not be saying that. So they're working from fear they're working, are people gonna look that they didn't raise their kid properly? Okay? It's not about the attic. It's about them. You're talking to the wrong addict? They're the addict. Okay? And that's what the problem is. So when they say, Oh, he's better off dead? Is that because you feel like you failed? I would have been my question to them. And watch them stutter. Because I've been down this road, I'm doing this 35 years, I've seen 1000s of people. And it's really interesting. There's only so many stories, they're all the same, almost basically the same. And it's kind of hilarious. You need to go, wow, this is kind of weird. You know, the old thing the same way. So when you learn that they have a kind of like karate, when I learned where a guy is weak that I know where to attack, okay, so the parents, okay, are addicted. So we have to look at the parents as addicts, and they're addicted to the kid and to the outcome, and they blame just like the addict blames everybody else, they blame the drug dealer, they blame the friends that he hangs out with. Everybody gets blamed, okay. And we did everything. So they're the victim. So I go that way with them. I don't talk about the Kennedy when I talk about them, and how they view how well did they raise the children? And then they get insulted. But what do you mean? Well, let's look at it What's going on? Okay. And then you start to do therapy with them. And you'd be surprised, then they start realizing, wait a second, we got a part of this.
That is if they get involved, if they get involved in treatment? Yeah, the thing is, is that a lot of times, I mean, we have a center here, but a lot of times, you know, here, families will send their their kid to a rehab, they wouldn't want to go
because they don't want to see anybody.
No, no, they won't go, No, they won't go with me, they might take the person over while he's reading. And then they come back here. So there's not a lot of family therapy, that's going to happen maybe virtually a little bit. But the idea is, is that then he is responsible, or she's responsible for our own treatment, they got to get treated, they got to get better and come back. So it's not like, you know, the US were their local family could be involved every
day, what you do is you switch it over, that's what I do. I switch it over to them. I say, Okay, what do you guys go to treatment? Well, we don't have a problem. He does. No, no, no, no. You do have a problem. He's your son. And how do you feel? Are you happy about that? Okay, how's your sleeping at night? Do you worry, okay, are you going through like a little dip, or you're fighting with your wife or your eyes or wife riding with your husband over what to do? Sounds like you guys got a problem, too. That's how I approach it with that. I go into them instead of them taking all the focus on the addict because they're good at that the family, you know, and the bottom line is Oh,
God, of course. Yeah. So
that's the that's the kid, right? Yeah, that's right. Yeah. They don't look at themselves. It's like, a lot of boring. Okay. I don't know how to do it in Kuwait. Are you allowed to drink alcohol?
Yeah, no, it's forbidden. But I mean, we got a black market and you can pretty much get anything in Kuwait.
Well, I don't think anybody just goes along with what's going on. And what about Zabbix? Yeah. Are they doing Zanna gay?
Oh, yeah. Yeah, we got we got everything. Yeah, it's a religious country, but we definitely have
perscribed we have everything.
Okay, so here's my point. Okay. How the parents doing Zionists?
We have Xanax? Yeah, of course. Yeah.
Yeah. What are the parents doing? Okay, and here's them, they come back? Well, I'm not a control. Okay. So let me ask a question, then why do you need a substance to change your mood? What's wrong with you that you can't do that on your own? Are you looking for alternatives? Ah, nice to see once you start going into their territory and what they're doing, okay, changes the whole the whole thing with the relationship, I believe you have to make them see where they're not the perfect parents even so they can start to look at that's
okay. To me not to be perfect.
Yeah, but he's perfect. is perfect. You know, right. And I think somebody's gonna pray to him.
Yeah, we have to make sure that they understand you don't have to be a perfect parent. Right. And you've done the best you can to be honest, right here because it is a collectivist. You have to side not side with the parent, but you really got to support the parents a lot. By making them I understand because they're caught up in guilt so much that they're not right,
and guilt and shame, and all of this stuff. But you know, if they say to you, and when parents say to me, I give me an example I was doing. I did the same thing with parents. I was teaching at the university. I was teaching group therapy, and I had all mental health people that don't know anything about addiction. We go we don't understand why do I keep doing it? Even though Look, they got money. This one's got. I said, you don't understand about addiction as yet. No, no, we don't understand. You're right. I can't be just stop. Okay, let me ask you a question. Do you smoke cigarettes? So couple of times a year? I said, Okay, I want you to stop smoking for a month. Oh, wow. What do you mean maybe? Well, you want to know what addiction is smoking. They're the ones that drink caffeine. They sell you like coffee, how many coffees you do and I have people that prefer don't drink caffeine for a month. You should hate everyone like I was taking away the baby All right, he says well times by 100. That's what it's like humans think that the drugs, look at the resistance, you're giving me about a simple thing of quitting coffee. And you do know cigarettes do cause cancer. So maybe explain to me why you're trying to get cancer. Simple, I'd look at what they're doing, because they're hyper focused on the other person. And that's a cover for me. That's the way when I say, look, nobody's perfect. But you know, we all have to work on our issues. And if you want to understand, you know, it's like anything else, if you want to know what the person's going through, you have to walk in their shoes. Okay, you can't just stand on the outside and look at them. All right, look at yourself, look at the things that you're having a hard time with, look at all the consequences you have for making poor decisions. But human beings, we all make poor decisions, but you can learn from the good and the bad. So that's the conversation. To me, I focus on the parents a lot, you know, the addict is the addict, he's going to do what he's going to do regardless. But if I can at least get them in the right direction, he doesn't have somebody to go back to and get the wrong answers. And I always tell the family members, if you don't know what to do, please call me and I did it with my children. So they can't say anything to me, because I already did this. And the biggest fear is that they're going to die. Even the ones that said, I don't care, you should die. They're full of crap. They just say that. They don't know what else to say, you know,
I love it.
Well, that's why you do these podcasts.
That's a perfect note to end on. I mean, seriously, john, thank you so much for coming on here and shedding so much light and, and actually bringing in a different perspective, from our other interviews and our other experts that have been on the show by having this holistic approach from the diet to the psychologist to the different aspects of you know, seeking treatment, I think it's needed. Just like when I talk to people about weight loss and about changing their life, I say, it's, it's changing your lifestyle, that's the biggest thing that you need to go to.
It's a lifestyle, change the lifestyle,
you build in something new into your lifestyle, and you have to stick to it, you know, and then once that happens, it becomes habit, and it just becomes your life for the rest of your life.
Well, people don't know how to get rid of stress. Stress is the killer for chronic stress, boredom, and shame and guilt and loneliness. So those are the things that kill attics, and they don't realize if you exercise robotically at a minimum of five days a week. All right, stress depletes dopamine. Now, if you already showed a dopamine to begin with, I really depleted so but what exercise does it raises dopamine? Yep, number one, it stops it from depleting 100%. Yeah. So that's how you help with depression. 100% is nutrients you can take for that people don't understand what holistic means it's comprehensive whole ism, a comprehensive approach to something
and I think coming from you who has a history and who is because you have a personal experience. So someone can say like, well, you don't understand what I'm going, you're also a parent who had gone through it. So I think for you, it's more valid and more accurate measure of what does it mean to be a recovering addict? That it's possibility? What have I done with my dreams and how you went got over that stress, boredom, guilt, you know, so I really appreciate you coming today. And I think our listeners are really, really going to benefit. Anyone that hears it can buy your book, first of all, but second of all, to really know that there is hope. There's a light at the end of the tunnel it does I feel
I'm doing God's work, like you guys are doing good. I don't care what religion religion to me, I don't pay attention to spirituality. So it doesn't matter. Listen, if you help people less fortunate than you, you do your best not to like to still hurt another human being right? And if you prove yourself, God, to me, God, whatever God is, anybody in this program gave us the gift of life, what you do with that life is your gift back to the Creator. And that's how I look at life. And that's what I tell my clients, okay? They say a day at a time. I said, No, no, no, it's a moment at a time for every moment changes the next moment. And that's what people have to learn. And unfortunately, like rape people like yourself, you're interested in learning other techniques, other ideas, notice a lot of therapists and doctors, there's so close minded. It's almost comical. I'm in 70. Now it's 75 medical and scientific peer reviewed journals. And when I talk to the doctors, I'm going to try to argue image, hey, is the research, you know, you guys got to get out of your box and get into a bigger box. Okay. Or is it how's your effectiveness with your clients? You know, how long are they staying clean? How many have died? Maybe to do something different kind of reset period?
Yeah. Well, thank you so much. Thank you, john. Thank
you. My pleasure. And I hope to get the book. There's two books actually. It's hard to beat your addiction and live a quality life. If you go to my website. You have my website. Yes.
Yeah, that will be on the show notes
on j Donald calm. Yep, yep, go there. You'll see all the different books the way I wrote the book, how to beat your addictions and live a quality life. I interview 200 addicts and alcoholics, they felt a good recovery, just quitting drugs and alcohol. And I see what they had to say what they did to maintain constant recovery that I interviewed about 150. addicts and alcoholics, eating disorders, all kinds of Patrick's parade. I want to know what they didn't do, or what they did do you get the rear the eyes of chronic relapse, or, and I put that into the book, then I put my own personal stuff in there. So there's two books, one helps them having a true recovery and all the questions they're going to ask and what you can do to help with all the stuff that you go through. So just a word awesome. Yeah,
no, definitely. That will be in all the show notes. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it, man.
All right. Love you guys and keep doing God's man. You guys are cool. Thank you.
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