067 - John Giordano
Updated: Aug 26
“95% of dopamine and serotonin are developed in the gut.” John Giordano joins us to talk about his 37 years in recovery and the work they are doing at South Beach Detox. He is a 10th degree black belt in the Karate hall of fame. He talks about how many treatment providers are based on 70 year old, outdated technology. He talks about some of the current research in the addiction industry, various modalities including Reward Deficiency Syndrome, and is a lot of fun to listen to. Enjoy.
The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates (illuminatebilling.com). They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.
Transcript (no grammar):
95 of dopamine and serotonin are developed in the gut john giordano joins us to talk about his 37 years in recovery and the work they are doing at south beach detox he's a 10th degree black belt in the karate hall of fame he talks about how many treatment providers are based on 70 year old outdated technology he talks about some of the current research in the addiction industry various modalities including reward deficiency syndrome and is a lot of fun to listen to enjoy welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is kurt knighter i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid a conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i'm shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps the illuminate recovery podcast is brought to you by illuminate billing advocates make billing in collection simple with leader in substance abuse and mental health billing services verification and analysis of benefits pre-authorizations utilization management accurate claim submission and management denial and appeal management and industry leading reporting improve your practice's cash flow and your ability to help your clients with eliminate billing advocates john giordano is with kurt and i today we are super excited i'll tell you right now that uh if you don't know john you're going to know john well and you're going to want to know john because this guy's got more information than i know what to do with and i'm pretty excited that we get to share with him john has been in the addiction recovery world for a long time has a story of his own um and john i just want to say thanks for taking some time to be with us today thank you for having me super excited um it might be good you know it might be fun to i want to bounce all over the place but it might be good to just start at the beginning and kind of talk about your journey and how you ended up doing what you're doing okay um let me see where do you want to start from i'm a little confused how you want me to start yeah start with the treatment yes start with um uh start with um maybe your own recovery story and and and how that ended up changing your direction and what you're doing today okay making it a short story because it's a long story we don't have that much time i want to get to the stuff that's going to help people um first of all i didn't start using drugs and alcohol till i was 20. uh i'm a karate teacher black belt hall of fame uh 10th degree black belt all that stuff and um i was very disciplined and very focused when i was younger so i didn't do any of that when i dre if i drank when i was a kid i would throw up so i course i didn't want to drink smoking pot i didn't like uh i didn't like any of the drug stuff and um what happened was when i was teaching uh miami beach uh my students used to come in stoned so i used to look at them and they say oh okay and then i used to work them out make him throw up i figured that'll stop him well that didn't stop him they came back the next day did it again and they would tell me sensei said sami's teacher by the way sensei why don't you did you ever do drugs i said no what do i need to do that for he said well you should try it and i'm saying to myself why am i going to try this okay well there's something wrong with these people they keep coming back i keep torturing them and they keep doing the same thing over and over again i said okay so to make it really short i was uh living in an apartment in south beach in miami beach and uh one of my friends came over and he had a little bottle of clear liquid and um i said what's that he said oh that's acid okay lsd i said let me see it so i took him and drank the whole thing and he flipped out and i don't blame him because it was five hits that means enough for five people okay so i went on this journey for about three or four days day and night no sleeping um everything looked like cardboard colors were flying all over the place my mind was going a thousand miles an hour um and that was the first drug i did and then i started that journey okay and i started smoking pot and i started doing pills and i started doing all kinds of things over the years a different marriages different things i'm just going to cut right to the chase and i was destroying my life it was terrible and you know me while i was still teaching the police departments i was i was doing all kinds of different things i let two lives of course less most addicts we live two lives you know what you see is not what you get um so anyway as time went on i was getting out of hand and my family uh oh by the way my uh my family is a mafia family my father was a heroin dealer my uncles were hit men uh matter of fact my uncle threw my wedding when i was 20 the caterer insulted my uncle in front of the family and he killed him so and i had to go run back to florida with my bride because the police were coming to my grandmother's house i wrote a book about all this stuff by the way so um it's called a kid from the south bronx who never gave up it's my life story so uh there's a lot of stories like that in there i became a uh i used to do collection work for the smugglers i used to teach one of the cartels bodyguards karate uh isis sell drugs and then all the things drug addicts do and uh anyway my family did an intervention on me and i started laughing i'm wondering who's doing an intervention on them and uh my mother said i'll never talk to you again and she started crying and i think you know what my mother doesn't usually say that you know these all italian mothers you know so i said all right i'll go to treatment get everybody off my back take a break maybe i was getting a little out of hand which was like getting a lot out of hand but of course we don't know that we're in denial we feel i think everything is normal carrying guns putting it in people's mouths selling uh drugs you know all kinds of crazy stuff anyway i went to treatment and while i was in treatment uh i came up to never forget i came up the elevator and i was wearing dark sunglasses and the reason why i was doing that was i don't want anybody to know who i was which was a joke that's how messed up i was uh because i taught most of the nurses and doctors kids so i don't want to know the karate teacher is a drug addict you know so anyway the first day that one of the kids came up from the uh the administration office the business office it was one of my students so that facade was overworked i took the class and threw them away then i was in group and they were telling me to share and group i said like sure i have to kill you i said i won't even get high with people like you you know i don't even know what i'm doing here i was very nasty very stupid really i was really scared ashamed angry um felt guilt i started to feel again you know when when addicts do drugs and i go they don't really they're not we're not in touch with our reality and so what happened was it was uh i remember it was christmas time it was december 4th when i went into treatment and um it was uh christmas eve i wanted to go home and i wanted to spend it with my children i told them which was a lie i wanted to go home because my friends used to come over and give me christmas cards with coke in it so that's why i really wanted to go home but you know that didn't happen uh so they told me i couldn't go and i got really angry and see i didn't just get angry i got graceful so i went into my room i punched the door uh i started to cry and i never i never unpacked my luggage because i was always leaving by the way and i also pulled my shirts out all wrinkled medicare you know and um i remember the therapist telling me john do you ever get down on your knees to pray they said look i'm a recovering catholic are you crazy that's all we did was get on our knees i got callouses on my knees so he said no no for humility right i said all right god don't listen to me if i'm how about if i'm in the closet you think he hears me you know um but then i was in a lot of pain and a lot of anger a lot of rage actually and i decided to get down on my knees and i got down on my first knee but i couldn't get down on my first needle so it wouldn't go down i know that may sound a little strange but it wouldn't go down so i had to push my knee down okay then i had to push my other knee down and for the first time in my life i prayed for god whatever that was okay to take this away from me and it vanished like it never was there and i'll never ever forget that and as sick as i was i try to get the anger back then come back so that was the beginning of me changing and that's what i call a spiritual awakening so when you say it was gone are you saying the pride and the anger was gone or are you saying the addiction entirely the anger and the rage was gone and that i don't know about you or anybody else that never happened to me you know it would take me a day sometimes hours you know i didn't even try to get it back it didn't happen and it was really i had to tell you it was really freaky you know really weird um and that was kind of like my journey and other things happened um i remember we had a thing called exiting that was like the end of the third week close to the fourth week and then and exiting was where the nurses and the doctor and everybody would take you into a room and they would say how you were doing and see if you needed more treatment or whatever so me i was acting like really you know really cool i was talking in group so the doctor says oh john's doing really well and the nurses said yeah he's doing good and the head doctor said well she looked at me she says he's full of [ __ ] just like excuse me just like that i blew up i said you fat that oh i just wish i said you know what i can kill all of you they'll never get out of this room alive if i wanted to and one of the doctors just said to me no john all we want to do is help you and i was hysterical crying i felt like i was inside my shoes and my shoes were walking out of the room to be honest with you and that's when things really changed and then i came out of treatment so i can go on and on and on but you know i think that just about shows you when i and i only have one white chip by the way uh never went back to treatment coming up on 37 years i didn't think i would get 37 minutes but here i am that's pretty incredible and i i imagine i mean i don't know exactly what it's like living in you know growing up in a mafia family but but you've described it a bit and i imagine that there was a lot of anger and a lot of hostility that you witnessed a lot so giving up your anger and losing that would have been that's not a simple thing oh well my family is very you know they're very warm and friendly you see most people don't realize they think you know it wasn't like a real mafum it was like a market i put it that way but you know um the family is very important my father was very strict if i came home a minute late i would get the belt uh my mother used to protect me you know italian mothers that's what they do um you know my father was trying to make money trying to make a living and that's what he decided to do he used to have a fruit stand we used to have a restaurant but he used to sell drugs too and i said i would never be like him and i became just like him and isn't that the way it works so talk about john talk a little bit you've been in in the treatment world your own and then in the recovery world for a really long time talk about some of the things that you've learned and discovered about about getting well well here's the deal first of all it's not a cakewalk for anybody okay it's very difficult uh but it's a lot easier than living the life of drugs and alcohol and associated behaviors you see we dr blum he's the geneticist i work with we coined the phrase he coined the phrase rds reward deficiency syndrome you see because we keep on separating this is drugs this is alcohol this is sex addiction this is gambling edition this is shopping addiction and on and on and on really it's a deficiency of dopamine serotonin that we're hunting for and since everyone has a different footprint we gravitate towards different things and most people are cross-addicted anyway i never met an addict i only had one addiction you know so and and what it does is the addiction hides you know let's say um you're an alcoholic all right and you're drinking scotch so you decide to go to beer now you stop drinking beer you start smoking pot then you stop smoking pot then you start taking xanax then you stop taking xanax you go back to alcohol so you know it's just hopscotch and that's the way a lot of people go through and especially with me my wife when i first came out of treatment because my wife doesn't do drugs too she hands me a violet coke and says well just take one hit and i says i don't think that's going to work very well and why in the world would you do that you know of course now i know because she's an addict of course he did it misery always needs company you know and i was told in the beginning not to make any major decisions for the first year and for some reason i listened okay and i went to therapy and went to therapy with her she kept using i wasn't then it was back and forth back and forth and then eventually i had to get the pause and i ended up being homeless because she had the car she got the house and she got the kids and i got uh my friend had a hotel and gave me a room that i was in and um i had a bike that somebody loaned me you know and i went through all the things that we go through not knowing what the heck is going on and said this is recovery this is hell you know i don't know i was in a stranger in a strange land i put it i couldn't go with all my friends not that i didn't try you know i'm not gonna say hello i was a perfect little addict now okay uh what i did was my friend owned the nightclub so i went to the nightclub to see the guys you know and hang out not a good idea they're drinking and they felt uncomfortable around me i know because i felt the cops around them then all of a sudden they would disappear and come back with white powder all over their nose and i said what am i doing here so i left then i used to sit in the room and cry and get depressed and my kids used to come and cry with me and say daddy what are you doing here you know so i went through all of that stuff but you know it made me stronger now at the time you would have told me that i probably would have hit you over the head okay but it didn't make me stronger and god doesn't put anything in your life you can't handle you know i used to hear that all the time but they want to hear it but it's TRUE at least for me it was and uh i i after 14 months i was in this it was an alf adult living facility for older people and my friend owned the place i told him to turn it into a three-quarter way house and i told him what that was where people come and live that it's a structural environment they have to get a job i have to go to meetings they have to drop the orange and stuff like that and that's what he did and he moved people out and then we had a three-quarter way house was very successful called a tudor hotel in miami beach and then i um i got tired of that and i got another right there and uh i came up when i made i did open up a treatment center now what do i know about treatment centers other than i was in one okay and i only went to the ninth grade i quit school when i was in ninth grade and uh i told my friend listen i had this famous doctor that wants to open up a treatment center i lied i didn't talk to him it was my doctor but i never talked to him about that he said john how much do you need how do i know how much i need oh a quarter of a million dollars i said to him he said if you got him i'll give you the money i said okay so i went into the doctor's office and i told him i said hey i got a quarter of a million dollars how would you like to open up a transit center so he laughed at me so you know i was just thinking about that he was you know he's always a big joke you know joker you know so we opened up my first treatment center and i i went you really want my whole story because it's okay we opened up my uh first treatments and it was a hospital-based program it was 30-bed detox and residential 12-bit psychiatric and then we opened that up and we made it like a holistic because i was always into the eastern medicine and you know we had the food we changed we had the beds we took out the hospital beds we made them regular beds we put motivational pictures on the wall the colors of the place we made them nice and earth colors uh we did meditation we did exercise with them and all these kind of things in the beginning and uh it was great i thought i died and went to heaven i remember i stood there on the wing of a hospital here i am in a hospital i have a wing of the hospital 14 months clean all right and i'm standing around and i'm looking and i'm going this is impossible how did this happen you know and i always wanted to become a therapist well meanwhile in the beginning i was the administrator i was the guy that helped with marketing i learned every different place well what happened was you know i i didn't have an education so i had to go back to school and i got my ged which was another journey because i didn't go to school for 25 years and you know i try to sabotage myself i didn't i didn't read the book that you have to read before you go take the test you know the pre-test and all that stuff because you know us having what we do we have to have a way out so you know if i failed they would say well i never read the book you know so uh i never forget that i went there and this woman had her back towards me and i was saying no excuse me i'm here to take the test you saw i said excuse me she's oh you must be here to take the test so she's everybody's nervous it's okay right so i smiled i broke the ice i walked into the room and i'm watching people going up to the proctor they don't even know how to put their name on the paper i said i'm in the right place i could do this you know and anyway three weeks later i got the mail and i could not believe it i passed how i don't know i never had algebra i've never had any of that stuff um i passed so then i went to the dixon training institute uh you have to have 300 hours of addiction training and six thousand hours of supervised you know on the job training and uh i took the test and i was the only one that passed in my little group and it was really funny because everybody was laughing at me because i was always into alternative medicine so i'm wearing these goggles with lights and i have a headset on and i had all the questions since recorder that was playing in my head with this mind it's called a mind map of mine machine i don't remember what it was right and um everybody's laughing if i'm walking around the room one guy was a phd one guy's an lcsw and they wanted to get a cap a cap certified addiction professional we took the test i passed they failed but they want the machine out you know so it was kind of funny anyway and the way you take the test you had to go and they sit you in a little chair and a little chair and they're up here and you're down here and they have a little tape recorder that they go to tape and you have to give a case presentation right so i'm going to give my case presentation and their stone face you know they're not supposed to even say or do anything so all of a sudden you hear a voice from the room it's going hey man anybody want coffee and he didn't go away he kept saying it and they said i busted out laughing i couldn't take it anymore and they had a laugh so that broke the ice which was really good and it wound up being i passed the whole test then uh also i was uh they named me their uh a valedictorian of the school and they put me in the magazine and all this other kind of stuff and it was a little different for me because i owned the treatment center and all the students wanted jobs at a treatment center and the but the problem was the teachers wanted a job with me but it was like upside down and um long story short it was really horrible what happened i uh i had my therapist i wanted him to work in the treatment center with me and the other therapists that i knew from mount sinai hospital i didn't know it was a right to steal people i just took them because i thought they were really good and i wanted to give back so my uh counselor who helped me save my life all right he used to make 29 000 of your program direct i gave him 50 000 and everybody else i gave a raise at least 10 or 20 thousand dollars so they all came i was like the pied piper you know with the money so as things were going wrong all of a sudden one day and i was very naive being a street kid i don't know what to tell you but you know nobody messaged me on the street because then they don't want to get you know punched in the face but when you're in recovery you're not supposed to do that stuff right now i don't look at people like that you know they're in recovery they're going to be good you know well that's not really true okay people still carry along their old behaviors with them um anyway uh we couldn't make payroll and so what do you mean you don't make payroll where we're packed the treatment center was packed so my the guy who put the money up said they're stealing i said never in a million years are they stealing they're in recovery they look like like a [ __ ] okay but anyway it's no and then they started telling me that he was stealing i said how can he be stealing you don't even have the checkbook you know anyway i go into the doctor's office and i say are you stealing he put his head down and he said he had a sex addiction so he was buying hookers and buying apartments for them and he was taking the money and doing all that and my therapist didn't like working for his client so he was really jealous and long story short he got rid of me i didn't have a contract i didn't have a lawyer i didn't think i needed one you know how could you not be grateful for me helping you like that you know i was just grateful for being there well anyway um they they offered me the outpatient programwhich had three clients and um i said well you know what about my friend's money and you know he said look if you don't sign this paper with this open up another corporation you're out so where am i going to get 6 000 hours and how am i gonna not protect my friend so they gave him the accounts receivables they gave me the outpatient the three clients they figure i'd burn out and i leave but that didn't happen i came up with an idea i don't have continuity of care so going from the inpatient to the intensive outpatient to outpatient to aftercare so they wanted to make it millions of dollars and then i was making the salary you know this was in 1985 you know so it wasn't so bad i was making 60 000 a year i was working 20 hours a week and i was in heaven because i love what i did but uh the therapist kept on trying to get rid of me but i was protected by the executive secretary who was the old girlfriend of the doctor and she was protecting me so he'd never be able to get rid of me and then he sends this other um uh uh therapist in their doctor and uh to check him he says look the clients don't like him he's not doing a good job his charts are terrible uh ghosts go in there you'll see and no one have to get rid of him so the guy comes in and he was a boxer i'm a karate guy you know so he sat in my groups for two weeks and looked at my charts and he said okay what's going on he says to me i said what do you mean he says your charts are perfect the clients who love you they don't even want to leave your group he says you're an asset to them why is he saying that you're not i said well then i told him the story so anyway a long time he went back and i wish i was a flyer on the wall and he told him that what are you nuts this guy's an asset to you so as time went on and i got my 6 000 hours uh this gentleman became my sponsor um for those who don't know what a sponsor is that somebody who takes you through the steps you know in the self-help program and things like that anyway i had enough and you see my uncle who i told you killed a caterpillar okay i had to go to get a substance abuse problem and we put him in the treatment center and what happened with that was uh they came running in my office they go john john i said oh i thought he tried to hurt somebody you know he says yeah uncle's telling everybody how many people he killed i said i told you what he did that's that's good but if they thought i was waking it up my stuff is there's no sense of mind stuff making it up because it's already over the top okay so anyway he knew who my uncle was all right and i went into his office i thought look i'm gonna rearrange your face all right uh a plastic surgeon will never be able to fix this okay and then i'm calling my uncle he's gonna shoot your knees out if i don't have the contract that you promised me six years ago so within an hour i had the contract now i stayed there about two or three months before and then um i quit and i went to the next place and the next place is uh that's why i wrote the book never give up and i sat there for six i sat there for six years you know i swallowed my pride swallowed my ego and i just cared about helping people i didn't give a hell about they robbed me they didn't want to get into who cares all right they did what they did but anyway so i now i don't have a job i got 80 000 on my contract it was like a joke they made millions i made 80 000. that was better nothing uh so my friend said to me john this kind wants to open up a treatment center i says oh okay he says look put a business plan together so i never put a business plan together but you know i went online and i looked and i asked my friends and you know different things and i put a business plan together um so i took the business plan and i went up there and i was asking for 250 000 again okay so any number that stuck into my head and so i went there and just before i get there i forgot the business plan now i can't go back i got to go forward i go for i said look i apologize i forgot my business place i don't need it i know who you are here here's a napkin tell me what you want to do so i wrote it down so we opened that up for about a year my i met this guy who was very well known in west palm beach because that's where the program was i didn't know anybody who was palm beach i was from buckman and we did really well i i made him my sponsor he was great um i gave him fifty thousand a year just like the other guy he was only he was working at a hospital making 29 000. and anyway i didn't know the guy was a corporate raider and that's what happened okay a year later he took the program out from under me again i didn't have a lawyer i again uh wasn't there for my fault i didn't do what i needed to do for me you know and uh he fired me i said you can't fire me i'm your partner he says well go read the contract only fired me my friend who was my sponsor said i can't leave because i just bought a house so i walked out with my little box sat on the trunk of my car and cried here i am again i took a whole year and i built this program i got jayco accreditation and all this other stuff anyway now i went to the better way which is an integer place which i think will off here we were talking about was an otc that's a therapeutic community where they put you in the middle of the room they beat you up and they try to put you back together again i never understood that because i didn't need any help eating you know beating myself up i did a better job than they would so uh eventually i quit there the girl i was going out with said why don't you open up a treatment centers and i'm not opening up a treatment center forget it right so she says no dude i said look i only got 300 left because i had a spending addiction and you know that's my other addiction i had so anyway my friend had a little building with 750 square feet i decided to uh i went over to him and he said john i said how much you want to rent that place for you says how much you got is i got 300 sell take it he says uh give me that money in a couple of months get going and then you can pay me i said okay and i got my friend from work this guy jerry and i gave him 50 of the company because i was 50 at nothing he says where's the books you know i said i don't have any books he says well how do you get the money well they give me the money and put it in my pocket looks like you know as long as i get enough money to pay my bills that's all i cared about so anyway he said no and then he handled the books and then he got his son and his son was a genius on the internet and um long story short we turned the company i still can't believe it in 2012 we sold the company for 45 million dollars we had seven buildings 147 employees and we were known all over the country for the type of treatment that we did that nobody was doing now the outcome studies that we did was with third party we had dr blum okay and we had dr shawn tala from stanislaus university they did our outcome studies and we did it in a way that nobody else was doing it we had the people that most of the people stayed in town and we hired a three-quarter way house that's where people go and you know like i said earlier uh structured environment they drop urines on them and things like that and we told them we want reports on their behavior we wanted to know about if they dropped urines on them and if they were participating uh then they would come to our aftercare program and we'd drop urines on them again and do the whole number all over again and that's how we that's how we did our outcome studies for people that were in town people that were out of town uh doctor blunt people from mit and uh usually when they do outcome studies they call the addict up and they say well how are you doing and the ada goes oh yeah i'm doing good man i'm not doing anything you know it's like a joke all right but what we did we had mit had a a beta program that they were developing that measures the uh the influctions in the voice for tonalities in the voice and they could tell if you're lying or not so we we put that into our mix and then we also called up the family members our significant others to make a cross check and see how they were really doing be honest with you we had a 70 outcome study okay that people stay clean for a year i know it sounds absurd okay i get embarrassed every time i have to say it but it was a real number it wasn't baloney um you know uh post-acute withdrawal syndrome for those who don't know they call it pause that's when people get rid of the drugs and they have all this other stuff going on and i ask doctors what do you do with it nobody knows they know what they say time that's cause they don't know but we knew we put them in a hyperbaric chamber oxygen under pressure heals the brain also heals it also heals tbi cases traumatic brain injury cases there's a ton of science on this uh israel just came out with a report i don't know if you guys know what um uh telomeres are you know what telomeres are okay telomeres are the ends of chromosomes okay now we have a biological clock and a chronological clock biological cut as you know is internal telomeres are the little strings that on the ends of chromosomes and as we get older those strings get those strings get shorter but israel found that if you do hyperbarics for five days a week an atmosphere of two 90 minutes one hour under atmosphere 15 minutes up 15 minutes down okay for three months they proved that increases telomeres 20 this is unheard of your biological clock just got turned back okay that's how powerful and i work with a dr paul hartch also who was a pioneer in hyperbaric medicine out of louisiana and he's the one that went to the senate with dr williamson and got to improve wound healing for diabetics in the va because he heals wounds also it's an amazing technology that's just coming now out i did it almost 20 years ago for addiction now who in the world is going to say drugs don't damage and alcohol damage to brain nobody's going to say that right so do we have time to get into now it really works i want to ask you how you saw that affect people with ptsd very interesting and definitely helps them because ptsd is multifaceted just like everything else now i'm a i'm a trauma expert i uh i do emdr you play me with emdr right i won't desensitization processing i redeveloped it what i did was i'm also an and i'll have a masters in nlp normal linguistic programming and i'm a hypnotherapist also and with karate we do holotropic breathing i combined all those modalities together with the emdr and it improved the mdr i would say about 20 like it's incredible now what people don't understand about emdr okay is it's real simple it's used for trauma okay it was founded by dr shapiro uh who stumbled upon it all right she was depressed and there was a toll i don't know if you heard the story with the tall grass flowing in the air and her eyes got fixated on also the depression left ryan she couldn't figure it out of being a researcher she looked at everything that she did there was a team out of berkeley that was doing rem studies rapid eye movement studies and she went put the pieces together and formulated this move with moving your hands in front of someone's eyes in different patterns okay which actually it's interesting how it works it actually breaks that pattern in the brain see in my understanding of how the brain works we have software which talk therapy deals with but we also have the hardware okay and guess what that's like a computer if you erase off your computer guess where it still is on your part right okay the the technique that i do and emdr does it actually erases it off the hard drive and that's why i see it's a locked unit when you do when you're doing trauma and it keeps recircling itself and it forms neural pathways in the brain and it's triggered by it can be triggered by spells by sounds uh my images my situations and you know you have to get all of those components together if you're going to tie that little not into getting rid of the trauma so that's another thing that i do that i love but there's yeah what uh so so you got the hyperbaric chambers you've got the emdr that you're using what other modalities have you found being very did uh effective most people don't realize aromatherapy really works you know uh you have acupuncture auricular therapy the mata protocol it's called okay uh you have neurofeedback biophage feedback we also did light and sound therapy which was good for ptsd and depression we did amino acid therapy okay now amino acids that we did we did research in that we did about 15 papers on that we did with fmris and uh and cat scans um and we would give them uh it was a double blind study was the gold standard and it's very interesting what i learned with all these scientists and doctors see vitamins everybody says well they're not regulated it's true but it's not TRUE if you have a gmp lab they're the third party that's looking at what's going on but if you're doing research there's another level to it okay where you have to you have to have if you're doing a compound and you got different nutrients in your compound you have to make sure it comes from the same place because nutrients come from different ways different places there's like calcium calcium carbonate calcium citrate and all these different things so you have to know the molecular structure of each nutrient that's in your vitamin or your compound and this way when you give it to different universities they have to come up with that's how they come up with the same results so we did that and we found out that what we did it up regulates dopamine which is unheard of for natural stuff okay amino acids most people may not know the precursors for neural transmission simple what else did we do we looked at um heavy metals most people don't know about that mercury led antinomy uh arsenic hugo where do you get awesome from uh rice oh look it up don't believe me i always tell people look my stuff up don't believe the word i tell you all right um now what does it mimic it mimics attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity disorder and possibly also bipolar disorder they always confuse the two sometimes in early diagnosis with intensive right but attention deficits or they think it's bipolars vice versa right they're very similar so does the body affect mental health i think it does okay and you know most people always do the psychological approach well if that's the case just take the head send it to treatment leave the body home because if the body doesn't matter but you know descend ahead there um what we learned is also allergies certain allergies cause depression people don't know this i know it sounds crazy well give a guy that's allergic to peanuts peanuts let me know how he does it's only food right so that's what epi pens are for by the way okay um so what else did we do we did so much stuff we did sound therapy we did sound therapy is really interesting we presented in the new york academy of science we did a poster presentation and new york academy of science is one of the oldest organizations in new york city that people do their presentations and then we did a sound presentation that we did in different decibels affects the brains in different ways and you see they had kids they had scientists there talking about autism uh all kinds of different things dementia uh sound affects us our whole environment affects us we're not thinking now addiction let's look at addiction addicts use most of the time because they're depressed or to have anxiety besides being bored and all the other stuff right well why don't they have depression and anxiety oh mommy left you with three daddy beats you into a four uh you're traumatized yeah all that stuff is true but if you have a low thyroid do you think you have depression and anxiety absolutely how about if you have leaky gut syndrome or h pylori it's a gut problem do you think you have depression anxiety absolutely we found that most men that came with the treatment had low testosterone wow depression and anxiety close head injuries behavioral problems depression anxiety and suicidal radiation hypoglycemia alcoholics are famous for that depression and anxiety so look at all these co-contributing factors when someone does an intake in other words when people come in to talk to see what they're doing see what they're drinking see what they're eating i mean it's wild that we're not doing any of this stuff we're not looking at other co-contributing factors i'm not saying that's the only thing okay but when you put all this together it's a perfect start pretty impressive a lot of things i like to rub out that's pretty impressive what's um i know we're getting short on time but tell me what's in the future for you and because i know you're working on a lot of projects right now well what in the future right now i'm working on south beach detox that's in lots miami beach i don't know why they make this out you know anyway uh i'm helping them to bring it up to the 21st century and uh what i want to do is mind mapping but not just mapping the mind okay so you find out the deficiencies it's okay wow you got deficiencies so now what does he do you know there's a lot of stuff you can do all right uh the neural feedback the only thing about neurofeedback you have to keep them in for 30 days most of the time you don't have 30 days okay treatment is deficient like we said back in the earlier it's 70 years behind the times first of all okay that model a 28-day model was founded by two students okay so the story goes they didn't have any imperial knowledge nothing they came over with it they sold it the hang hazel said hazel sold it to insurance companies and it was really based on an alcoholic model now we all know drugs are much more you know damaging than alcohol even though alcohol is serious [Music] so guy goes to treatment right it comes out of treatment now they call it detox uh it's the wrong term uh for those who are listening to this go look up what detox means it means to detoxify not put other drugs on top of other drugs okay so what we're really doing is stabilizing people we're not detoxing them once they're stable their blood pressure is good okay the psychological is okay they can leave a lot of times they leave before that but anyway all right so the bottom line is is that that model is all wrong because now they come out of that detox maybe they'll go to treatment maybe okay now we're asking him 42 questions we're doing what is known as a psychosocial and a history and all this their brain is still foggy they're out to lunch they don't they just want to they'll get you to death about anything okay we had a little comedy act once in my treatment center i said tell you what after two weeks i want you to do a psychosocial on the same guy he did it it was like he was a different person so it's like almost like stupid okay so the bottom line is and then you have to put people on meds in treatment i don't know if you guys know that yep you know why because the insurance company says if they not have medications they don't need to be there now let's look at medication okay you can look this stuff up guys medication ssris mayo inhibitors they were all meant for short-term intervention they were not meant for long-term they don't have any research on long-term what happens if they do it's minimal and cross-pollination of medications it's an educated guess oh you're not feeling too good oh take a little bit more of this oh no take a little lesson no let's give you the set of medication to counteract that medication and then if that doesn't work we'll take another medication to counteract the other two by the time you're done okay you're overweight all right you're still depressed and you're walking around like a zombie i mean that's a good outcome i guess huh well for some maybe but not for me not for me either sounds like the way it sounds like the way you started my son almost died from this disease and you know i always wanted a son and i was in recovery and i was watching them put charcoal down his throat and you know to absorb the medications that he took and he was obedient and he almost died and i swore to myself that every chance i get i'm going to tell people to look at other things other than what the medical community is saying okay because what they're saying isn't necessarily always correct now i'm not against medication okay but i think it has its place but not for everybody and all the time so that's just my bias you know and some people may have to be on medication all the time but very small just like suboxone does everybody know about suboxone okay yeah it's buprenorphine and uh and naloxone together the reason why they put it together is so addicts can't shoot it up okay what people don't know it's an opioid it's a synthetic opiate now i'm going to tell you the comical act with all this all right so we're giving people an opioid so they don't kill themselves right and they don't take opiates which is like heroin and morphine and all this so let me tell you a little story in the early 1900s we had a morphine epidemic coming from china all right guess what we did to make that go away heroin go look it up we were giving addicts heroin okay so to get off the morphine oh [ __ ] here we are again i guess we don't learn from history um it's tough it's tough it's an interesting um you know recovery is is definitely an interesting industry one very different from any other business or industry i've been in for sure and and we have a long ways we've come a long ways and i think we still have a long ways to go to figure out what works best for people but i love the way that you've talked about alternative approaches and coupling those togetheryou know with treatment um it's pretty incredible and i love your story john i really appreciate you coming on to tell your story and talk about your activity and your passion for recovery and and how that's affected you in your life it's pretty impressive um you know people are going to want to talk with you they're going to want to get a hold of you what's the best way for them to do that they can call me you want to give out my phone number that's pretty cool 786-271-5732 and if you call me for baloney i will talk to you if you call me because you need help i will that sounds fair that sounds perfectly fair john so bro that's why i wrote the books i wrote my one book is how to beat your addiction to live a quality life and the way i wrote it was i interviewed 200 addicts and alcoholics and people that had eating disorders and all kinds of relative addictions and i asked them what they did and you know how they stayed in recovery and i meant real recovery not just quitting drugs and alcohol behaviors i mean living a life of recovery it's a big difference okay then i interviewed 115 about 150 people that chronically relapsed on different addictions i want to know what they did and what they didn't do and i put that into the book and then i put my own experiences in and then i put some of the research papers in here and then i would put in some of the diets and vitamins you can take and all kinds of things and i made it with big letters because addicts don't like to read all right so i made a little paragraphs a little little blurps so they don't have to get overwhelmed by reading you know i know how we are you know and i made it real simple so it's in a lot of hospitals a lot of different programs i give the book away it's not about making money and my life story the kid from the south bronx who never gave up there's a lot of stuff and i was sexually abused when i was a kid i had an eating disorder early on uh all those things are in the book and a lot more stuff it's pretty well booked it sounds like i've got it on my must read list because i definitely want to hear your story and and the journey that you are on so i love that you share those books with with the listeners we're gonna have to have you on again john so that we can uh so we can learn more from you oh listen i i love to share information anything you have that you know uh that's new please let me know fantastic for me i learned in life you have to be a good student if you want to be a good teacher that's true i'm a student yep yep i love that um john thanks for being on with us today i hope i didn't bend your ear too much but you know yeah i loved it thanks john you're welcome hey