Take Back Your Power From Addiction – Featuring Mark Scheeren

Mark Scheeren

In episode 285 of the Elevation Recovery Podcast, Chris Scott interviews Mark Scheeren, the co-author of The Freedom Model for Addictions. They go over Mark’s personal story of addiction, the making of the book, and alternative ways to gain back your power from addiction.

Mark Scheeren is the co-author of The Freedom Model for Addictions: Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap. He is also the co-founder of the Baldwin Research Institute and Saint Jude Retreats. He is the only researcher who conducted his studies on individuals with addiction by living with his subjects. He openly criticizes the faults in traditional 12-step programs and offers alternatives to alcohol recovery. 

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Mark Scheeren: I immediately pretty much took up boxing, became a drummer, finished number one in my class at college. I kicked ass. I was like, "You know what? I'm going to abstain," and I abstained for 21 years. Now, I moderately drank. I had for 10 years, and I enjoy all of it, all of it. What a wonderful life. So we are not lab rats. We are not these animals that they've reduced us to, and we are not at the mercy of biochemistry. We are masteries of our biochemistry with the choices we make, and why would we choose to make it healthy?

Announcer: Thanks for tuning into the Elevation Recovery Podcast, your hub for addiction, recovery strategies, hosted by Chris Scott and Matt Finch.

Chris Scott: Welcome everyone to the Elevation Recovery Podcast. We have a really cool episode today. We have Mark Scheeren, who is the co-author of The Freedom Model, which is one of my favorite books. It might be my number one favorite book on, well, I would say about addiction, but the interesting thing is we're going to be, I guess you could say for lack of a better term, deconstructing some of the terms that are commonly used, including the disease of addiction and so forth.

Chris Scott: Without digressing here, Mark is also the, I suppose, co-founder or founder of the Baldwin Research Institute and of Saint Jude's Retreats. So you've been helping people for a long time. We talked before this episode started about some of the work you're doing in the early '90s as well, and we've just scratched the service a little bit. As I said, I could probably talk to you for eight hours. So we're going to try to keep this as concise and informative for our audience as possible.

Chris Scott: Before we start, I want to show everyone the book. For anyone who is curious about alternatives to the mainstream treatment addiction recovery paradigms and wondering if there's more to life and more to gaining your own power back, check out this book. It's a great read. One thing that I often say to my private clients and course members is that I never read a book with the implicit standard being whether or not I automatically or immediately agree with everything in the book.

Chris Scott: Probably a lot of people who read this book for the first time were shocked or taken aback or offended or experienced some painful cognitive dissonance upon learning some of the things in this book, and then maybe they read it a second time and just had a ridiculous epiphany. I could see that happening. Anyway, without further ado, welcome to the show, Mark. Thank you for joining us.

Mark Scheeren: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me. So that was a good introduction. Maybe I could give a little background of how the model developed and who I am as a person.

Chris Scott: Absolutely.

Mark Scheeren: What my motives were in writing the book with, I want to give credit also to Steven Slate. Steven is really the writer and I was the idea guy, and I'm the guy that has always been able to see trends in addiction and politics and all kinds of things. I just have a gift of seeing what's coming. I also can read people really well because I grew up in a family that was steeped in treatment. My mother was a certified alcoholism counselor, an ardent AA member, hardcore. We had a hardcore AA family, and I'm the youngest of the 12 kids. So I watched a bunch of my siblings go to rehab. Then eventually, I fulfilled the prophecy of being an alcoholic and a drug addict and fell right into the whole paradigm deeply, went to jail, did the whole nine yards, did a lot of drugs, did a lot of drinking, and by 18 had very serious withdrawals, pancreatitis, and things like that, and I was dying. I was dying at 18 years old, and I just got to a point where I was really sad and depressed and lonely and suicidal.

Mark Scheeren: I got my life together. I got into a car accident, nearly killed some people, drunk driving and said, "I'm going to change my life," and I did. Six months later, I went through withdrawal the whole nine yards. Six months later, the courts caught up with me and said, "You have to go to treatment."

Mark Scheeren: I said, "Well, I haven't drank or drugged in six months. My life's taking off. I'm getting re-enrolled in college. I have an apartment. I don't live home kicking ass."

Mark Scheeren: They said, "We don't care. You're going to treatment."

Mark Scheeren: I said, "Well, it's either there or jail. I'll go to treatment."

Mark Scheeren: So I did that for a year. They extended it out six months. So I ended up 18 months because I wouldn't say I was an alcoholic. So the whole premise of treatment or a year and a half of my life was that I had to say I was an alcoholic and I refused. The day that I finally succumbed to their propaganda, they broke me. They institutionalized my mind just with repetition and propaganda, and they broke me. I said I was an alcoholic, and they gave me my exit papers and said, "Good luck."

Mark Scheeren: I went home to my mother's apartment, her house, and I had a suicide attempt. So I went from having my life completely in fantastic shape to treatment, breaking me down into a minion of that model, and I saw no reason to live if I was so broken that I couldn't even trust my own memories because my memories were that I was okay, but obviously I wasn't according to the experts. That mind trick devastated me mentally.

Mark Scheeren: So I had a moment of clarity right before I shot myself. I had the gun in my mouth and it was my hunting rifle, actually, a little Carbine .30-30. I was going to shoot myself. I had a moment of real intense clarity, which is the beginning of the freedom up. This was December 1989. I realized that I was better before treatment. That's the only thing I could remember as being true. Then I said to myself being the little researcher that I was already, "Well, maybe I should find out why that this happened," and that embarked on 12 years of me matriculating out of the AA recovery society, which was a brutal undertaking.

Mark Scheeren: I started my first retreat called the Hagaman Guest House in those days, but now it's called Saint Jude Retreat, formed Baldwin Research with a fellow named Jerry Brown, who was a career researcher, and we created the term non-12 step, and then I was the first person on the worldwide web, first addiction health person, and our retreats filled up. Then I had two retreats, then three retreats, then an office in New York, and we were helping thousands of people all across the world. That went on for 20 years. Then I downsized the company about 10 years ago, five to 10 years ago because my life was way too busy.

Mark Scheeren: Raised three kids, got married, did all that, and then me, Steven, and Michelle wrote The Freedom Model, and that really took the world by storm. Now, we have influence all over the world, and Europe really loves The Freedom Model. The UK, Germany, they love it. They do here in America too. We live in basic neutrality with the model, the AA model. They don't mess with us. I don't mess with them. Well, I poked at them constantly, but I can't help myself. So that's what I've been doing for 33 years is teaching people in this office right here at my retreat and online, and it's been an awesome career.

Chris Scott: Amazing, yeah. A lot of inspiration there. I think I can already tell for people who are in my former shoes or your former shoes, it is possible to get out of the addiction and recovery treatment trap, but I think people might be wondering at this point, if you had to stand on one leg and say and answer the question what is the freedom model, how might you do it?

Mark Scheeren: It's two things. It's two things. It's understanding that you were born with every single thing necessary to get over an addiction without treatment, without support networks, without people, without external means of change, okay? So you possess everything internally in the human mind to do that. The other part is debunking the mythology so that you can recognize who you are. I think when I say debunking the mythology, I'm talking about the recovery model. Most of it is simply logically false. It's incorrect. It's the wrong information.

Mark Scheeren: So a lot of times people think I have an ax grind, and I think that in the early days I did. It's what fueled me. I had a lot of anger, frustration. I was pissed off and hurt, but in the process of that 12 years of matriculating out, I had to come to grips with the fact that this really wasn't about me. This was about changing the paradigm and understanding it.

Mark Scheeren: So I let go of the anger and I became a real researcher and author, and in that process, so it's really about taking all the misconceptions, misinformation. As an example, addiction is not a disease, right? Pretty simple thing to me, but to most people they don't know that. So what does that mean? How do we debunk that theory, and what is the research that proves that that would be one aspect? The other aspect is you have free will, autonomy, and the positive drive principle is what motivates you, which I can explain later, internally. So you debunk the information that's got you distracted from making an internal decision about what level of substance use you want in your life. That isn't an easy answer because it's not the answer, right?

Chris Scott: Very well put, and I suppose, as I told you before we started this episode, I have a little devil's advocate alarm that goes off at times, which I think is going to be informative for people. I love your approach. I think it dovetails with mine, but some people might be thinking, "Well, why are we having this conversation then? Why is there a book that's relatively large?"

Chris Scott: If it's just a simple choice and there's no excuse for wallowing in any kind of misery or pain if everything is just a choice, I'm sure you've come up against that, and I could attempt to answer that for you, and I'll give some of my thoughts about how I think this dovetails with Fit Recovery and my evolution over the years and the experiences of myself and my clients, but I'd love to hear you address that. What are we doing here, and I'll say a little hint reductionist, if this is just a simple choice to get over it in an instant, what's going on?

Mark Scheeren: That's really good that you said that because I get that with every single person, "If it's just a choice, Mark, then why the hell am I ready to put a gun in my mouth? Why am I drinking and drugging to the point to where I've lost my family, my kids, my job, my career, and my health?"

Mark Scheeren: So while it's a choice, it's a confusing choice, first of all. So it's never just a choice. It's just a choice for people that don't have a boatload of mythology that's keeping them from making just a choice. If you have all these ideas that it's a powerful entity, that a drug is addictive, that it is a disorder, that my brain is hijacked and my biochemistry drives me and compels me mentally to now use, if you believe all of those things at face value, well, then it's not just a choice, is it? It's all this information and what's true and what isn't.

Mark Scheeren: So that's why there's over 500 pages to delve into each one of those topics and say, "Here's what the research shows. You actually don't need to believe A, B, C, D, and E, but F is true." Do drugs affect the body? Of course, but does a molecule have the capacity to then go in and relieve a stressful thought? No, but you may believe it does. So we have to work on that belief system coupled with the active placebo of a drunk and screwed up body.

Mark Scheeren: That's a complex problem that needs deep conversation and has to be systematically pulled apart, and half of that, people are going to go, "I don't even understand what that means because I'm hitting a massive amount of information." So it's not just a choice. It really takes a tremendous understanding of what's happening.

Chris Scott: One of the most interesting experiences for me was about probably three and a half years after I had quit drinking. I was served accidentally in a restaurant. It was a noisy restaurant, not the waitress' fault. It was supposed to be in a cocktail glass, a clear thing, I think Birch beer and lemon juice or something like that, and she brought straight gin, basically. I don't know what she thought I said. It was a hot day and I gulped down about two or three shots of gin.

Chris Scott: Now, I had existed in a mental paradigm, and I would say even biochemical paradigm to there's an interplay between how drugs affect your brain and what your thoughts are and what you associate in which the last time I had drank, it was the best thing of all time, immediately relaxed me, made me euphoric. It made me smart. It made me sexy. It made me all these things.

Chris Scott: So I'd been accidentally served. I wasn't prepared. The only thing I felt was as if I'd taken a sleeping pill and an anesthetic that numbed my taste buds at the same time. The only thing I could perceive from that experience was that the electrical activity in my brain seemed to have been reduced, and having done a lot of the research that I'd done since starting Fit Recovery, I realized, "All right. So my GABA activity is being stimulated, and that's why there's less electrical activity in my brain."

Chris Scott: I went to go to the bathroom because for a second, I still had some residual AA conditioning from the 12-step rehab I went through years ago, even though I'd been trying to expunge it. I actually clumsily knocked into someone's chair on the way there. Hadn't done that in years. Hadn't done that since I was a drunk and I thought, "This is weird. Something's happening," but the weirdest thing was the absence of euphoria, the absence of relaxation.

Chris Scott: I could tell that the volume in my brain was being brought down, but it was not something I was welcoming, which made me a little nervous. So actually, the alcohol at that point, it made me nervous. It made me the complete opposite of euphoric. It made me the opposite of confident at that time, but overall, it was actually a really liberating experience because I realized that I had failed to disaggregate the objective biochemical effects of alcohol in my brain in the past with what were actually maybe quantum level permissions that I was giving myself to feel certain emotions.

Chris Scott: So that helped me break the connection between what's going on and with the substance itself, with ethanol as a molecule, and with what I allowed the power of suggestion or placebo to do for me and which I falsely attributed as a special mythical, magical power of alcohol itself in the past.

Chris Scott: So I no longer say that, obviously, I don't say that I have a disease. I don't think addiction is a disease. I think it is a complex phenomenon in what you just described. That takes a tremendous amount of deconditioning for a lot of people, especially if they've been stuck in the recovery trap. We've got a lot of people in our course and I've had as private clients who have been to mainstream or even other alternative rehabs seven, eight, nine, 10 times, and it's unbelievable. So there's clearly something that is hindering them at that point.

Chris Scott: Then also, I focus a lot on the biochemical restoration point, which honestly I think could apply to everyone in the Western world who has a deficient diet. They're not getting enough magnesium from the soil. Their dopamine and serotonin has been hijacked by their iPhones at this point, and that's not to say that iPhones have a special power. It's saying that they're giving them that power.

Chris Scott: We'll get into a little bit of the ways that I think the nutrition can step in here and help to empower people, but was there a point at which you realized that or an epiphany that you had in which you realized like, "Aha, it's not the substance doing all of this for me automatically. I'm not an automaton at the mercy of a substance for my emotions. It's actually I can," in a way that maybe similarly to Tony Robbins would describe, "I can decide to feel euphoric or relaxed or I can decide to proactively create triggers," which is another word that I don't love, "but if I want to create a trigger, it could be a good friend who makes me happy when I see them. It could be my favorite meal. That causes me euphoria or relaxation or comfort or whatever because of the power that I imbue it with."

Mark Scheeren: Yeah. So I had an experience that was really ... First of all, that was all really well said. There's a couple of small nuances that I would look at differently, but I don't want to get into that yet. So I hadn't experienced three months before the end of my drinking when I got in that car accident. First, let me say the car accident didn't stop me from drinking. It was just an event that gave me an excuse to finally leave my hometown and get on with life, okay? Where I come from in Redneckville, drinking the way I did was a badge of honor. So I needed to break free of that shit, and that was my excuse.

Mark Scheeren: Three months prior to that, I had come to a really unique conclusion. My parents had gone to Hawaii. It was my senior summer, and I was just partying outrageously, and because I was the 12th kid, they just didn't give a shit in or my father's like, "Whatever, son. Take care." So I throw this massive, massive party. There's probably a hundred people there. There's hot chicks running around, kegs. I got bodyguards that are my buddies because I came from a tough crew, and it was just so fun. I was doing mushrooms. I smoked pot. I was smoking cocaine. I was drinking for two days straight and I was sitting in my throne, his master ceremony, and I wanted to die. I was completely sober in my mind.

Mark Scheeren: This is where I realized that the human body and the mind are two very separate things, and we conflate the brain tissue with mind. Now, I didn't know any of this. I was a drunk kid who only knew how to get fucked up and cause trouble at this point in my life. I was sitting there thinking, "It's been two days. I don't think there's another drug I can put in my body without dying, and I'm totally with it, and I want to escape so badly. Where's the magic? The magic's gone," which is exactly what you experienced by secretly or by accident ingesting alcohol.

Mark Scheeren: So I was starting to come to grips with the fact that I was very aware of my body being totally screwed up, but my mind could observe that. I remember thinking, "Wow, that's a real wild thought, and how am I thinking that with all these drugs in my body? Is it the result of the drugs?" but I couldn't get over the fact that I just wasn't happy.

Mark Scheeren: So I wandered around. I eventually went into my bedroom and all chaos. There's shit burning outside. I mean, it was so crazy and I didn't care. I just wanted to just leave the world. My love affair with drugs at that point for the next three months, I was on a wicked bender every day ruminating on the fact that I can't get drunk enough to feel the magic anymore. It was over. The romance was over. My romance with alcohol was over.

Mark Scheeren: So that's where I started to learn about what an active placebo is. So my body is falling apart, but yet my mind was completely whole. So I tell people all the time, if you don't believe that your mind is separate from your body in some capacity, I don't know how that works, and nobody does, by the way, all you have to do is get really shit faced, get in your car, go for a drive, and have the cops show up.

Mark Scheeren: All of a sudden you're like, "Whew! Okay. My tongue is really numb. Don't face the cop. Where's the registration? It's in the glove box." All of a sudden, your mind supersedes the active placebo of a drunk body very quickly, instantly, and you become acutely aware that this vessel is poisoned, but that the mind is. You can be close to blackout shit faced drunk. I'd actually studied courses in college blacked out, blacked out taking the exam and passed.

Chris Scott: Me too.

Mark Scheeren: So it's obviously not taking me over or making me do anything. It's just affecting the body in a very, fairly reliable, physical way, exactly what you described with alcohol. You get hot, anesthetic, blood pressure goes up, feel sick and tired. Then we are taught by Anheuser-Busch that that's magic. So we attribute that sensation to magic. The social setting is maybe the beach like the Corona ad or spring break like a Budweiser ad, right? Then we imbue that entire experience on an active placebo, the vessel and brain. So that's how I explain that. Did that answer the question?

Chris Scott: Right. That's very good. It does. One of the things that I've found to be useful in speaking with clients who can't imagine life beyond alcohol or drugs is imagine when you were a kid. I had a place I used to go down to the Jersey shore every year, every summer, Avalon, New Jersey, and that was the highlight of my life in some ways when I was a child from the ages of probably two to 13 or something, and just saying Avalon elicited images of the sun and the beach and the waves and the crab house that we would go to and people being laid back and everyone being nice and it filled me with euphoria.

Chris Scott: So there are two things I think that we can take from that. The first is that I started attributing to alcohol what I attributed to Avalon, which is a location. It's not a substance of a molecule, but there's a similar associative memory and euphoric recall, which I guess is a big term in rehabs, but they don't flesh out the full implications of that. The second is that if I was able to feel those emotions as a kid without drinking, I was not drinking when I was two or 13, some people are drinking young but I wasn't, then I'm fully in control of what I can associate euphoria with or happiness or any of these positive emotions.

Chris Scott: So that seems to be useful for some people in trying to understand like, "Oh, actually, I'm giving alcohol the power. This little inanimate bubbly or substance that I've seen ads for trying to get me to make further associations is not more powerful than me as Matt Finch, my cohost says. He says, 'I'm a walking super computer with an eternal consciousness and soul.'" I know that gets into some religious language. Some people might be uncomfortable with, but I mean, yes, regardless of how you cut it, we're more powerful than some inanimate object or substance or molecule. It's only as powerful as we allow it to be.

Chris Scott: I wanted to transition, unless you wanted to add anything to that. Some of the half truths or kernels of truth that we've, before this call, we discussed are fodder for the mainstream recovery programs to capitalize on and then create myths out of, such as, and this will be a big one for my audience, we have a lot of people who can relate to my story. I was once drinking a handle of vodka per day. I had serious withdrawal. If you had told me that I didn't have a disease when I was in that state, especially when I was trying to quit on my own and that relapsing, it was almost like the severity of my situation warranted the term disease, and that's a very powerful emotion for some people to the point where they might say, "Well, why even address semantics here when I am suffering so miserably?"

Chris Scott: I think it's clear from both of our stories we both suffered immensely. It's not that we lack compassion for people in that circumstance, but I think it's not just semantics. It is important. The kernel of truth, obviously, as we said, as we discussed before this episode, neither of us object to tweeting the withdrawal syndrome, which can be failed for alcohol and some other drugs like benzodiazepines, but we have to get very clear on what we're dealing with, and this is my opinion. I'd like to hear yours. As we move beyond the point of severe physical dependence and withdrawal, we have to get clear on what we're dealing with so that we don't give it undue power over our lives going forward.

Mark Scheeren: I think you make a great point. So people conflate detoxification with disease all the time. They also conflate treatment with the term treatment with detox and it gets all mixed up. Treatment I consider rehab and dealing with the emotional and mental portions of getting off of booze and moving on with your life, right? That's the goal supposedly of every rehab, at least from the marketing perspective.

Mark Scheeren: Detoxification then also gets conflated with disease. So now, we're getting detox conflated with mental treatment and disease, and it's all over the place. Let's be very clear. Detoxification is detoxifying your body. If you were to be fool hearty and hang out with rattlesnakes all day, you'll get bit, you'll have poison in your body, you'll go to a poison control center, and they'll detoxify your body with antivenom, and then a myriad of other things and vitamin therapy. That's what they'll do.

Mark Scheeren: You could consider detoxification or detox as exactly that for booze. The booze is the rattlesnake then. Simple. You poisoned your body, you're going to detoxify it. That's not a disease. We wouldn't call handling rattlesnakes, rattlesnake is a disease that renders you compel to be with rattlesnakes and, therefore, you have a disease now. See how it all gets mixed up and weird. So detox, detoxification, not disease, and it has nothing to do with treatment except for it is a medical treatment of detox.

Mark Scheeren: Now, rehab is different. That's where you go and you're going to supposedly get the information necessary to get past a different disease. This is where, by using very general terms, they mix disease into something that isn't even remotely close to a disease, and that is talk therapy so that you don't go out and drink a handle of vodka. Has nothing to do with disease. It's not even in the realm of disease, but yet they talk about it endlessly as if you're compelled to use.

Mark Scheeren: So they realized the sham that that was in the '60s and '70s, that it really wasn't applying well. They couldn't get people to believe that their compulsion to drink, their desire to drink wasn't transferring into the disease. The insurance companies were like, "Listen, we need a diagnostic code here. We've made it a disease. People aren't buying it," so they started to really double down on these ideas.

Mark Scheeren: So now, if you have a desire to drink or desire to put a needle in your arm, you are now diseased and compelled with a brain disease. So we go through that in The Freedom Model and we totally debunked that bugger. I mean, there is no brain disease because the very people in the study that is trying to show that there's compelled use, every one of them voluntarily quit when the researcher said quit at the height of their brain change. So the very study proved the opposite. It proved that you could stop with a completely mucked up brain. So there's all this stuff. I'm hitting so many topics here it's ridiculous, but that's why we have chapters that slowly take each piece. We have to define what we're talking about, and then be very careful with it.

Mark Scheeren: I'm going to go into a different direction for a second if you don't mind. Bill Wilson was a master at marketing, which is where the disease concept was popularized or mainstream was through that man and his marketing campaign for 40 years. What he did was masterful in a bad way, and that is step one of AA is that your life has become unmanageable and you're powerless over alcohol, essentially.

Mark Scheeren: What Bill would do is he would take a truth, where your life's in the shit, right? You're drinking, your life is a mess, and then he attaches his theory to that, which is totally bogus and made up, and that is that you're powerless over alcohol. So a person's drinking, their life is a mess, they say, "Yeah, it is. Maybe I am powerless. Boy, that's new." So now you start massaging ideas into the psyche of a person who's very vulnerable, beat up.

Mark Scheeren: So each step, if you break it down, I'm an AA historian and I dug in deep, deep into the AA model. I could recite the entire 164 pages of The Big Book without looking at it. That's how many times I read that damn thing. He was masterful, and that's what it's called too is they take little nuggets of truth and then they attach their agenda to it. That's false and designed to keep you involved in the track of their call. So treatment is just an extension of that. It uses the same techniques.

Chris Scott: Right. Yeah. All of that is very valid. Interesting. I think a lot of people will agree with you. One of the things that I found when I was reading your book, which I said is probably two years ago, and as I said before, when I find something interesting, I dogear the bottom of it. You can see there are a lot of dogeared parts, which could explain why I'm, hopefully people can follow, but conducting this conversation in such a way that we're hitting all sorts of things at once. I get excited. I have a rapid machine gun fire-

Mark Scheeren: Me too. Me too.

Chris Scott: ... style of info. People seem to like it. So people like it, they keep watching my stuff. One of the things that occurred to me about the disease model, which I used to subscribe to is-

Mark Scheeren: Me too.

Chris Scott: ... and you know we've had our evolutions, is that it's hard to find a replacement for terms like disease or recovery or treatment. It's hard to find people online if you're trying to help people and you don't use those terms, which is why I have Fit Recovery. Fit Recovery is my baby and I like it, but I don't say that I'm in recovery. I say that I'm recovered. I don't say that I have a disease. I say that I used to drink too much so I quit. When I started though, I would say I didn't realize until now that vitamin therapy was the cure for the disease of addiction.

Chris Scott: Now, my terminology's much different, and I say that I used to have a distortion of my pain-pleasure principle and of my psyche, which I had total control over the whole time, and I had toxified my body with this ridiculously deleterious substance alcohol so I needed to infuse myself with things to make myself whole again physically while I reconditioned my mind and rewired my brain towards healthy activities and things, and gave myself a stable baseline using these infusions of things that alcohol objectively leaches out of your body.

Chris Scott: It's very straightforward for me at this point. I think that's the best way I can do without using those terms, but as you say, there are these nuggets of truth. There are these half truths about what it is precisely we're dealing with. You also mentioned in the book that the sensation of being powerless or helpless is the hallmark of someone who is depressed, and these people are vulnerable because they're at risk of feeling powerless over their lives.

Chris Scott: I used to feel powerless. AA, I almost fell into the trap of allowing AA to put that term into my psyche permanently as a disease state, which would be a self-created image. Yet I was able to replace that instead with being empowered, feeling powerful, taking control of my sphere of influence itself. I think it is tragic that, and I know this is a very open-ended declaration more than it is a question, but so many people who feel vulnerable, who do need some kind of help get the permanent powerless sensation, which equals depression, implanted in them. It's very hard to get over that. If you think that you can't control your life, then you're not going to.

Mark Scheeren: Yeah. So here's what we know. Thankfully, very few people get treatment. That's one of the treatment industries' unfortunate ... They want everybody in treatment, but luckily, not many people statistically do it that are in the problem category. So what we see is that in time as we age, the largest studies like the NESARC study is a landmark study. It's been done now three times. That study takes 43,000 people from across the entire nation. They are very careful with selecting sample size that collected everybody in different socioeconomic groups. They found that when you factor in age, essentially, everybody gets over the problem. There's very, very few. It's over 90% get past an addiction, whether they moderate to a non-problematic level or they abstain for the rest of their lives. Alcohol is 91%. Heroin is 96%. Methamphetamine and cocaine, over 99%, very short-lived drug in people's lives.

Mark Scheeren: You don't hear that in treatment because when you go to treatment, it actually elongates the problem, and that's why we call it the trap. I didn't call it the trap because it's hyperbole, because I'm pissed off. I'm saying you literally go from being self-efficacious into a model that says, "No, you can't change," when actually the human psyche is designed so well, so perfectly to mind that it will constantly problem solve. We can't help ourselves. We will find happiness.

Mark Scheeren: Now, if we believe we only have a couple of options for happiness in our lives or maybe one called the bottle, my God we'll be hit. To your point, there are two things that we have to do. One is get rid of the mythology with this research, realize that we probably will move on with our lives, that drinking and drugging isn't the end all be all. That's number one, but also, wouldn't it be nice to feel good both in body and mind as we move forward? Because that does move us further along, but, and this is important, I was miserable and sober, and there are many miserable, miserable, depressed, suicidal people that don't drink and drug.

Mark Scheeren: So it's not dependent on feeling physically good, but it is better to feel good, right? I mean, why the hell would I choose to be a miserable prick who's totally unhealthy and falling apart? You don't have to do that, and that's part of the recovery thing is smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, sitting in a dingy church basement lamenting the fact that I can't go get fucked up every day. That's crazy. That's craziness, but that's their solution.

Mark Scheeren: So I think that I've decided, in my case like you, I immediately pretty much took up boxing, became a drummer, finished number one in my class at college. I kicked ass. I was like, "You know what? I'm going to abstain," and I abstained for 21 years. Now, I moderately drank, but I had for 10 years, and I enjoy all of it, all of it. What a wonderful life.

Mark Scheeren: So we are not lab rats. We are not these animals that they've reduced us to, and we are not at the mercy of biochemistry. We are masters of our biochemistry with the choices we make and why wouldn't you choose to make it healthy? You don't have to, but it does make it a lot more fun.

Chris Scott: One of the early conceptual barriers I ran into as I was trying to help people and continue my own evolution of thought was, "Am I trying to heal the disease of addiction or am I trying to make people happy and optimized physically?" Then I struggled with that for a period of time. I thought, "Well, isn't it interesting that we have this so-called disease in which the so-called cure involves the same thing that would be involved for pretty much anyone trying to live a happy, balanced, optimized, fit life?"

Chris Scott: So I reached the point where back then I thought, "Well, it doesn't matter because either way, I think I'm doing some good. So I'm going to keep doing this. I'm not going to worry about semantics." That was the point I was at when I read your book. So that's why I had epiphanies reading your book because it was like I had certain thoughts before that you articulated better than my thoughts amorphously try to convey things to me. It was like, "Aha, well, that makes a lot of sense."

Chris Scott: So I did find it interesting that there are so many people for whom alcohol or heroin or whatever it is ceases to be the thing that works for them. They stay depressed. Maybe they move on to something else. That is inherently interesting because it means that you don't have to be happy or fulfilled or optimized or healthy in order to stop an addiction, but then my answer to that is, "Well, but why the hell would you want to be unhappy or not fulfilled or not optimized?"

Mark Scheeren: Yes. There are two different subjects that in my path I did the exact same thing you did. I used to teach at my retreat that you had to be happy to be sober. We were like, "Kumbaya. We're going to be happy. We're going to optimize our life. We're going to do goal setting. We're all going to be runners. We're all going to get healthy. I'm going to get a chef." I did all this stuff.

Mark Scheeren: Then I started doing follow up studies, which I was smart to do, and I tracked every single guest for more than 12 years that I ever taught, 12 years, and I'd ask questions, very specific questions, "Did you obtain your goals? Did you keep up with your physical fitness? Did you change your diet? Are you happy?" Do you know that it was 88% said, "Ah, fuck no. I just knew it was a choice and I moved on. Pretty much I got the same life, but I just don't stick a needle in my arm anymore."

Mark Scheeren: I was pressed ball because I had invested massive amounts of work into actually creating a beast called learned connections. I thought that I knew best what learned connection they should have, "If you want to stop drinking, you need to do A, B, C, and D." I was recreating a trap, and it was really dangerous shit because I was telling people, "You have to live a style of life in order to stop or change a preference," because that's what addiction is. It's a preference for heavy use. It's an appetite for that experience, but appetite and preference are things of the mind.

Mark Scheeren: So some people had the optimized life. I did. I really. I started running races. I changed my life, man, in a major way, but then it really hit me. It really hit me and all the brain disease studies prove this out. I stopped drinking and drugging. The following day after that car accident, it's so crazy that this was my experience and I was blind to it. It's embarrassing, really, but I lost my girlfriend that day. I lost my father. I lost my home. I lost my license. I lost my freedom and my standing in the community all in 24 hours. I was on the front page of the local section with my father's company car smashed and a cop car with the hood open and steam coming out from the high speed chase. I had a black eye. I had a felony, and yet I stopped drinking and drugging that day and never drank again. I was homeless for the first three weeks of my sobriety in the pit of depression, and yet I didn't drink and drug. That was my experience.

Mark Scheeren: Here's the funny part. We always tell people, "You got to hit a bottom to get sober. Then we have the other side that says, "No, you got to be optimized to get sober and stay sober," and none of that is true. It's whatever the hell you want. It's changing a preference. In the myriad of all this other stuff, there's a problem with alcohol and drugs, and you can change that. You can break up with your girlfriend. You can decide to go get a course in college. It's no different.

Mark Scheeren: When I came to grips with that, addiction became very small, became very small. The chapter learned connections is my baby because the research bears that out over and over again. So optimizing your life is wonderful. I do it at the retreat with people if they want to. I offer great food with a chef, nutritional food, exercise, going to the gym. We have an Olympic pool out back. We have 80 acres of trails. Do you know maybe 10% actually do it the rest of them, but our success rate is crazy high? 62% abstain for the rest of their lives when they leave here in four weeks. So it really has nothing to do with it, but I think that a company like you can take this population and say, "Hey, you don't have to live like shit, by the way. You don't have to-"

Chris Scott: That's basically what we do. Yeah. There's my own father who he's 75 now, he's glowing, he's radiant. I've had him taking 15 supplements well-researched every day for the last, I don't know, six years at this point. Looks better than he's 30 pounds later than he was when he retired 10 years ago. Literally, my friends who visit in different cities where I went to college would say, "Chris, why do your parents reverse age? I don't understand it," and I say, "Well, I'm optimizing them."

Chris Scott: So I think there's an appeal to that, but my dad always says, "I'm glad you're helping people in your former shoes, but this really needs to be offered to more people," and I say, "Well, these are my people for now. I'd love to expand." Well, we've got people, big names like Huberman and Rhonda Patrick, helping people with optimization. It's there, but what continues to frustrate me is that there's this walled gate around addiction recovery people, who are claimed by the system, so to speak, and it's almost like, "Yes, gut health is important for everyone, but it can't possibly be useful for someone trying to optimize their lives away from addiction."

Chris Scott: We know all these things about the brain. We have people taking, admitting that 5-HTP can be useful to increase serotonin after you take ecstasy or molly or whatever or for depression. Maybe it's, and I don't know if I can even say this on YouTube, but maybe it's as useful as antidepressants for some people. Maybe exercise is as useful as antidepressants for some people. I heard none of that when I was in rehab.

Chris Scott: In fact, what they did tell me was, "Don't get cross-addicted to exercise. Maybe go on two or three slow walks per week." I was 26 years old and they're telling me, and I've been an athlete my whole life, and they're telling me that I was at risk of this disease following me around for the rest of my life in the guise of things that were actually healthy, which is to say that they decided that all preferences to which some endorphin release might attach themselves were manifestations of this disease, which I could never overcome, and I'm still doing what I do, and that pissed me off. That lit fire. That's what motivates me.

Mark Scheeren: Yeah. So that was your fire, and then mine was being told that I had to say I was powerless, right? We all have our experience in rehab that we rebel against. The saddest thing for me is when I see somebody ... I had a fellow who came through here who was in 50 rehabs at the age of 28. Mathematically, I said, "That's just not even possibly."

Mark Scheeren: He goes, "No, it is because in those days, this was the early '90s, not all states had reciprocity." So he would go on Medicaid in a state, stay in three rehabs in that state, use up all the Medicaid funding, then go to the next state, and each time you get kicked out, go on a ship-based bender using his public funds and then get stuck in another rehab, and he did that for all through his 20s.

Mark Scheeren: I was like, "That is really impressive."

Mark Scheeren: He goes, "Yeah, but I am really tired of it. Three hats in a cot and coming off of booze every four to eight weeks is not too fun."

Mark Scheeren: So he came through here and he changed, but that track is all designed around limiting your thought, your critical thinking skills, and making sure that you believe that there is an entity, some sort of metaphysical entity called addiction outside of you that happens to you. That's why they use disease nomenclature, right? I mean, it's like a virus. It's going to attack. Cravings happen to you. No, they don't. A craving is a thought based on a preference, based on a framing in my mind about something, an object of my desire. That's of my creation. That's not outside happening to me. There's no power in a bottle of vodka or in a heroin syringe.

Mark Scheeren: I tell people all the time, they say, "Yeah, it calls me."

Mark Scheeren: I said, "Does it? Got a fucking mouth? Really? I mean, tell me. That's interesting. I'd like to know how it calls you."

Mark Scheeren: "Well, no, not really, but it overtake me."

Mark Scheeren: I said, "Really? How does it do that? Let's be specific. Stop saying it if it's not true, but let's be specific."

Mark Scheeren: People, when they start drilling down, they go, "Oh, my God, I can't believe I'm saying that," and they'll say things like, "I need to get clean."

Mark Scheeren: I say, "Don't ever say that because you're not dirty," right? That's shaming. You've been shamed over and over, and shame just blocks you from analyzing what you like. You like heroin. It's okay to me. I don't judge that. For God's sakes, I did it, not heroin, but heroin wasn't big in the '80s.

Mark Scheeren: The point is is these terms and what we say and how we say them matter big. So there is no metaphorical, psychosocial, spiritual disease, nonsense, absolute bunk. There is no brain disease. We have to be very careful about this. There are brain changes. There is brain poisoning. There's damage to the brain, absolutely, all the way to wet brain or overdose and death. I get that, but there is no change in the brain in which compels you to use beyond your will.

Mark Scheeren: So let's be very specific about it. I'm saying this for the readers, not for you. You know this, but that's not to say that when you come off of it, why not live a better lifestyle so that you don't feel like shit? I mean, why not have your life be wonderful physically and mentally once you know that there's no force or nebulous force called addiction that you're battling there? Now, there's nothing to battle even mentally because there's no nebulous force out there called addiction. Doesn't exist. That's a straw man that Bill Wilson started in 1935 so that you'd be scared shitless, you'd put a dollar in the basket, you'd buy his book, and you'd stay forever. That's what it's designed to do. So break the traffic. Get out of treatment and move on.

Chris Scott: Right. Exactly. I mean, I could listen to you talk all day. That was very impressive. I agree with pretty much everything you're saying. I always think of ways that I've actually reframed some of the things that I've written about. I said it's hard for me to look at my book drinking sucks sometimes. While I stand by everything in it, I would phrase things differently. Eventually, I'm going to write a book called Fit Recovery and it's going to be 600 pages long and I'm going to go through everything and give my nuance because I have an emotional attachment to truth and to nuance. I want to understand the nature of the thing. I don't have an attachment to ... If I had started out with an attachment to what I decided on the fourth day away from alcohol for me with what was true, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Chris Scott: Some people might think, "Chris, you're having a guy on who's saying that treatment isn't necessary. Why the hell would I buy your course?"

Chris Scott: "Fine. Don't buy my course. If you don't think it's necessary for you, if you think you can just quit, maybe you can't, some people do, I'm very confident in what I offer and in what my book offers people and the kind of inspiration and the narrative that I think people can have."

Chris Scott: I've, since day one, I think, embraced the empowerment mentality rather than a powerlessness mentality, which can be very important. Also, we could go down the rabbit hole of biochemistry for people with or without addictions. One of my favorite recent anecdotes was I had a client, who, and obviously everyone stays anonymous, but this person was having psychotic episodes, breakdowns. Nothing was seeming to help. Didn't like alcohol. Would say she was going to quit, would end up three days later, "I'm on a bender."

Chris Scott: Turned out she had heavy metal toxicity, which one of the symptoms of that could be psychotic breakdowns. So I'm thinking, "All right." So she needed something. Ultimately, she had a protocol to remove the heavy metals. Started feeling much better. If I could play devil's advocate I'd say, "Well, that turned her into an automaton."

Chris Scott: It's like, "Well, no, there's a condition there." There's something going on biochemically as there can be as I've also seen with people with serious blood sugar dysregulation. It's common to have bad judgment or to not be your best self when you have blood sugar swings that are wild or if you have diabetes and you're not being treated. It can be fatal.

Chris Scott: So there are things going on in our bodies that can affect our brains. Our gut health can affect our brains, but we have the power to take control of those things and identify them. I can't imagine what her experience would've been like if she spent the rest of her life going to AA with a heavy metal toxicity, having psychotic breakdowns, being told that she didn't take sufficient moral inventory, and that she wasn't being honest with herself. That to me would be totally tragic.

Mark Scheeren: Yeah, that is, and there's a nuance here that I think is important when it comes to your program, and that is ... Meth is a great example because meth is illicit. I wish they would just legalize all these drugs, but it's illicit. So you have to expend a tremendous energy chasing it. It's an upper, so you don't eat. You don't take care of yourself. You don't sleep. That fucks your brain for a while. Now, not very long though, but it does, but here's the nuance, and to your point this is important.

Mark Scheeren: As your mind is aware of crazy in the brain, the mind is trying desperately to work through a process the hardware that is scrambled, okay? That's psychosis. So a thought originates, "Oh, I want to go down the street and get more meth," it goes into the scrambled and there's some attachment that, "I'm scared when I go down there because of the cops. Oh, my God," and then the thought goes back to awareness because that's how it works, mind, thought, awareness. We are now aware of our thought. Well, it just went through and now it commingles police paranoia, "Holy fuck! The cops are after me," okay?

Mark Scheeren: Now, that's a case where if I get that person here at the retreat, I usually make sure there's nobody else here because I got to walk somebody through some pretty wild psychosis craziness, okay? I get them in the office and they say, "I think there's somebody outside," but there's not.

Mark Scheeren: "There's not, but tell me about it."

Mark Scheeren: Then two days later, we're feeding them. Eventually, they start to sleep. They crash. Then eventually, because I probably don't have the best optimized scenario to get that brain tissue ready perfectly, five days in, psychosis go on and they're fine, but I have a retreat to do that.

Mark Scheeren: If you're home and you're trying to get off meth and you have every reminder and your processor and cues, not triggers, but cues all around you and the awareness is off the charts and you're going nutty, you may need to get out of that environment, sequester yourself, take your program because I don't know that much about it, but I do know that if you don't sleep and you don't eat well and you take meth, you're going to be crazy for a bit.

Mark Scheeren: So there is value to all these pieces, but here's what's why. People do get off of meth without anything, and they do it 99% of the time, but how long do you have to make them do that? So my point is so people say, "Well, then why have The Freedom Model?" One is so they don't go into the trap, whether that's a rabbit hole they're finding, okay? All those other people that don't go to treatment, why have The Freedom Model? Well, let's shorten up the cycle. Why wait till you're 60 to stop to have it, right?

Mark Scheeren: So if you have that plus your program, my God, now we've shortened it with knowledge, and now we feel better in five days, five to 10 days, and we're kicking ass. Why not? That's the issue. I know that the methamphetamine user is not, most likely not going to dive in overdose. I know most likely you may have some jail time and things like that, but most don't. They just get a little crazy and then they stop, but it could be six years of their life and the loss of a marriage, needlessly. So let's stop that from happening. You understand?

Chris Scott: That's a fantastic point. Yup. Totally agree. Also, this leads me to another question that I think, and I know we're running a little bit over the time that we allotted here, but this is a great conversation. One of the things that I feel some of our audience members who are listening on behalf of their kids or their spouse or loved ones or friends might wonder then and it's like, "All right. This is great information. I see how this is not just semantics. It can be really helpful. I want to avoid the recovery trap for this person or help them avoid it, but how do I get this person to change their preferences?"

Chris Scott: I'm sure you get this all the time. Even the phrasing of that question is probably a bit of an issue, but I would love to get your take because there are a lot of people, and I feel for these people. I got an email this morning from someone saying, "I've been looking into your coaching for my son. I know that he would benefit just from talking to you. He's watched a couple of your videos, but I can't get him to take action. He's destroying himself." What do you say to something like that?

Mark Scheeren: Well, two things. If it's a person that hasn't made the call yet, I say, "Listen, if you can just convince him to have a five-minute conversation with me, with me, personal, here's my cellphone number, my personal cellphone number, because I have to show him that this is not what he did or his buddy did at rehab last month and came out because that's his perspective now." Now, if they're ... So what was the question again? I'm sorry.

Chris Scott: You might get a lot of phone calls after this. Yeah, no. The question was just for people who are concerned with helping their loved ones. It might come as simultaneously a relief that their loved one isn't an automaton that would respond to some intervention that's a cookie cutter approach, but it also might be scary, the idea-

Mark Scheeren: Oh, how to change their preference, is that it?

Chris Scott: They have to change the preferences as they say in rehab, as you note in your book, it's all said in rehab after a 70,000 stint in rehab, "Well, he just didn't or she just didn't want to quit," and you have to want to quit. It's like, "Well, if that's the case, then what's the need for all of the fancy stuff that you're doing and all the steps and the programs and the meetings we're being bust to and the moral inventory and everything? Why all these strategies that operate under the assumption that we are manipulating an automaton?" They don't put it that way, but that's what it is. You work to keep coming back. You work the steps, it works for you. If it doesn't, you're not being honest.

Chris Scott: So that means you're a automaton that needs to be manipulated, but I could see how that wouldn't come as a relief for someone who discovers that their spouse or their son or their daughter or whoever is not going to change unless they make that decision. There has to be an internal spark is the way that I put it, the way I had an internal spark.

Mark Scheeren: Yeah. I think, first of all, there's so many resources that The Freedom Model has that I can point to that are free, I mean, a massive amount. We have The Freedom Model international membership for $39 a month, which I literally teach the entire course, family course, everything in video tutorials, and people get that and they're blown away. They're like, "I can't believe you give the entire, well, you taught me the entire mile for 39 bucks."

Mark Scheeren: "Yeah, I did because I want the world to have it. I want to make it affordable."

Mark Scheeren: So sometimes we start with that or I give them the free book. So I'll tell all the listeners out there, you want my book for free, you can have it, and there's Freedom Model for the family, which is a 94 page. So you don't have to read 500 page. You just go to thefreedommodel.org and then you use coupon code at checkout freedom100 and you can download all the information. So just go to thefreedommodel.org and there's so much info and our YouTube channel.

Mark Scheeren: Let's get to how to change a preference because people ask that. They're like, "My son and daughter, they've been doing this forever. They can't just change a preference if that comes up."

Mark Scheeren: I say, "Yes, they can, but you need to challenge the benefits, the perceived benefits of their drug experience. They believe that the drug is magic. Have you ever talked to your daughter or son or husband and they say, 'My God, it's the most amazing thing. When I smoke crack, it's like the world comes alive'?"

Mark Scheeren: They go, "Yeah. Yeah, they say that."

Mark Scheeren: I say, "Well, crack can't do that. Can't do that. Now, you don't know that because you've been taught that too. You've been told it was a powerful, addictive drug. So you're part of that model as well. You don't know that crack can't do that. It's not that it doesn't do that or it does it sometimes. It can't do that. It's a molecule. It can give you a funny sensation in your body. I've done it. I've smoked cocaine. I know what it does, but it's not magic. It's not."

Mark Scheeren: Then they say, "Yeah, but they say it's magic and doesn't everybody get addicted?"

Mark Scheeren: If you start down that road, they say, "If you smoke crack or you do heroin, everybody, you're hooked."

Mark Scheeren: I say, "Well, they did a study. They took 150 people. They injected them with morphine. They had never had morphine before, a high dose of morphine. They nodded out. Became two. They gave them a couple hours and they said, 'How many of you out of the 150 want to be re-injected?' They met with each one individually."

Mark Scheeren: I ask the parents, I say, "How many do you think has to be re-injected since it hooks everybody?"

Mark Scheeren: "Oh, probably 90 to 100." Sometimes they'll say 150.

Mark Scheeren: "Three. Three asked to be re-injected. 147 said, "Eh, I don't like that so much." That's a preference. The three preferred that sensation, and they will build around that with all the stuff."

Mark Scheeren: So sometimes I do a little class with the parent like that. That's an example where there might be a belief. So I'll listen to the conversation. I'll listen to the myth. I'll deconstruct the myth for them and then they go, "Oh, my God. Oh, my God."

Mark Scheeren: I go, "Now, that's just the taste. We're going to do four weeks of that all day so that your son or daughter really knows the truth that they're really capable of moving on. Don't you want that?"

Mark Scheeren: They say-

Chris Scott: Right. Well, I think a nuance there is that at one point I would've argued to the death that alcohol was magic and it wasn't until I had my other experience I realized I had the illusion of a magical experience, but I was the one author in that consciously or subconsciously. It did feel like magic. I can recall moments in which I was intoxicated in my 20s that felt totally magical, but I'm not taking into account the fact that I played a role in creating that perception because our lives are a series of perceptions. We live our entire life in our own head and we have to take control of that.

Chris Scott: So again, I think we could talk for a very long time. I wanted to leave it open for anything else you feel that you might want to add along with where people can reach you and find you. I know you've mentioned a little bit. Obviously, it's The Freedom Model. It's the book. You can get it I guess from your website, probably on Amazon, et cetera, but feel free to let people know where they can find you too.

Mark Scheeren: Okay. Thank you. So yeah, go to Amazon if you have any questions about reviews, right? Go to Amazon. Read the reviews there. I think there's 117 of them. So those are unsolicited. That's why I always point to Amazon because I have no hand in that. None of our reviews for any of our products are made up. So go to Amazon or thefreedommodel.org. There's another website called online.thefreedommodel.org and that's for our online courses, and it gives all the options of every type of program that we run. We run many different versions to make it easy and affordable for people. You don't need insurance. We made it affordable for people, anybody.

Mark Scheeren: Then there's the soberforever.net, which is my oldest website. Goes way back to the beginning of the web, and that website is for the Saint Jude Retreat, which is where I work. I'm sitting in my office now. This is where I do my teaching with people. It's all one-on-one. We only have four beds for guests. They usually spend three to four weeks to go through the entire course with me or Michelle. Michelle has primarily the women. I do primarily the men, and that's the way that works out. So that's soberforever.net.

Mark Scheeren: Now, if you want to have a conversation, there's a fellow named Danny White that's worked for me for years and he takes all the calls. So when you call, you'll get Danny, but they can get a hold of me as well, and that's at 888-424-2626. Oh, and then there's The Addiction Solution Podcast, which is very popular now. We've had hundreds of thousands of downloads over the last year, and that's The Addiction Solution Podcast. Just do a search.

Chris Scott: Awesome, Mark, thank you so much for being on the show. I've really enjoyed this. We'd love to have you back at some point.

Mark Scheeren: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for having me, Chris. It was fun. It was fun.

Chris Scott: Hey, everyone. Chris Scott here. If you liked the information on today's episode regarding supplementation and empowerment strategies for addiction recovery, then please subscribe to the Elevation Recovery Podcast and leave us a rating and review on iTunes, and if you benefited directly from this information, I'm confident in saying that you'll love the information-packed online courses that Matt Finch and I have created. Matt Finch's Ultimate Opiate Detox 4.0 is a six-module, 30-activity course that contains video lessons, written lessons, PDF downloads, worksheets, audios, and much more, and it has everything you could possibly need to know to conquer opioid addiction in the easiest and most comfortable way possible.

Chris Scott: My own course, Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0 is the most cutting edge resource for anyone who wants to transcend alcohol and build their best lives. To get these courses to learn more and to read testimonials, simply go to opiateaddictionsupport.com/ultimate. Again, that's opiateaddictionsupport.com/ultimate for Matt's course or for my course, go to fit-recovery.com/course. Again, that's fit-recovery.com/course. You can also go to elevationrecovery.com to see the show notes for this episode.

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