What’s the Big Deal with Aminos?

Written by Linda Wilk, MA, QMHP

One of the most important things I’ve learned about addiction since coming to Bridging the Gaps is the importance of nourishing and healing the brain in early recovery, and keeping it up as recovery continues.

How do we do that?  We start from the first day you enter treatment by addressing nutritional and supplemental needs as central to recovery.  Throw the old ideas of feeding candy to an alcoholic or addict to help deal with the cravings out the window!  Here we are more likely to offer you amino acid supports.  What in the world are they, you ask?  They are the natural foods that support the healing of the neuro-receptors in the brain that have been damaged by excessive use of drugs and alcohol.  Here in treatment we provide the complementary education about how all that works right along with the nutrition and nutrients!

When Bill and Bob and their doctor friends were writing in the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous), they were largely theorizing about the medical science surrounding the disease concept of alcoholism.  It’s amazing to me that we now know so much about the neuroscience of the brain.  We understand, for instance, that there really are neurotransmitters in the brain that are impacted, DAMAGED, by our use of drugs and alcohol, and that once we are clean and sober, these neuro-receptors take quite a while to return to a healthy functioning state. We know now that amino acid and nutritional supplements can make a huge difference in whether a person relapses or not, supporting healthy brain function.  The difference can give you up to an 80% better chance of staying in recovery.

I consider myself very fortunate to have come to work here after years of recovery myself.  In my own path of sobriety, I feel that working with others in recovery is my purpose.  I’ve worked in all phases of recovery, from detox to outpatient.  I had never worked in inpatient treatment until coming to Bridging the Gaps.  It’s been an eye-opening experience because Bridging the Gaps is truly unique and one of the best!  I’ve learned to use amino acid supplements in my own recovery for health and every day well-being.  I think more of the whole self in recovery.  We add on to each level, not progress through them. Think building blocks, not stepping stones.  It’s like the Big Book says: “…we are building an arch through which we shall walk, a free [person] at last.”

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