Case Studies: Orthomolecular Approach to Drug Addiction


We have developed a non-toxic, detoxification procedure where we can take the addicts off heroin or methadone with no withdrawal symptoms. The addicts have no desire to return to the drug and if they do take a 'fix', it is like injecting plain water, the detoxification is so complete and rapid...Methadone is far worse on the body, from a metabolic point of view, than is heroin...It is unconscionable to me to put a person on methadone maintenance with no way to get them off." --Dr. Archie Kalokerinos A.M.M., M.B.B.S., Ph.D., F.A.P.M.

The-Hypoascorbemia-Kwashiorkor Approach to Drug Addiction Therapy: A
Pilot Study

Dr. Alfred F. Libby and Dr. Irwin Stone

Drug addictions, like cancer, are terrifying conditions to the victims because of the
feelings of hopelessness and abandonment generated by the rigors of and general failure of
the orthodox “treatments.”

End Your Addiction Now: The Proven Nutritional Supplement Program That Can Set You Free. Using this groundbreaking, comprehensive recovery program, readers can reduce or eliminate their addictions by taking over-the-counter nutritional supplements that restore the proper balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Readers can learn how to reduce or eliminate drug and alcohol cravings, detoxify, and correct secondary nutritional imbalances to ensure long-term results.

About the Author
Charles Gant, M.D., Ph.D., is a member of the American Academy of Psychiatrists in Addiction and Alcoholism and lives in Syracuse, New York.

Although crude opium addiction has a very long history, the large-scale addictive use
of morphine salts, in this country, is generally dated from their use on wounded Civil War
soldiers. Following 1864, morphine addiction was realized to be an emerging socially
significant problem in this country; therefore searches were instituted to find less
addicting drugs. The year 1890 saw the introduction of heroin. For about five more
decades, to the year 1912, nothing was done to stop the rising tide of morphine and heroin
users in this country. The realization of that fact prompted in that year the organizing
of legal opiate clinics, not however to treat the addict, only to support the user’s
habit in an attempt to stem the rising crime rate and sales of black market drugs. These
legal opiate clinics remained open until 1924 when they were closed down as dismal
failures. It took until the mid-1950’s, another fallow period of about 30 years,
before another major attempt started, the Methadone Program, which has continued up to the
present. This program embraces the concept of orally giving a legally addicting drug
(methadone) in place of an illegal addicting drug (heroin).

The lack of success in handling drug addiction, until now, is due to placing the
emphasis on the legal aspects of the problem, mainly that of the crime and punishment
concept, and ignoring the mental and physical condition of the addicts and neglecting to
treat the health and metabolic problems of the victims. Drug addicts suffer from severe
metabolic dysfunctions and are very sick people. Any attempted solution to the drug
addiction problem which fails to bring total health back to the addict is doomed to

Drug Addiction and the Genetic Disease, Hypoascorbemia

Drug addicts, like other humans, are born carrying a defective gene for the synthesis
of the liver-enzyme protein, L-gulonolactone oxidase (GLO). This birth defect (Stone,
1966) causes a potentially fatal, but now readily correctable (Stone, 1967) genetic
liver-enzyme disease, Hypoascorbemia (Stone, 1966a). This “inborn error of
carbohydrate metabolism” has destroyed the capability of the human liver to
synthesize ascorbate from blood glucose, and thus deprives mankind of this important
mammalian mechanism for combatting stresses. The normal mammalian response to stress is to
increase liver-synthesis of ascorbate as an antistressor and detoxicant to maintain
biochemical homeostasis within the body (Stone, 1972).

Most mammals carry the intact gene for GLO and normally produce, under conditions of
little stress, about 10 to 20 g of ascorbate per day per 70 kg body weight to take care of
their daily physiological needs. A biochemical feedback mechanism evolved in the early
mammals (Stone, 1972a) which increased daily ascorbate production possibly three to
fivefold under a variety of chemical and physical stresses. Humans, among the very few
mammals deprived of this homeostatic protective mechanism, suffer more physiological
damage from equivalent stresses unless exogenous ascorbate is supplied. Thus a daily
intake of 10 to 20 g of ascorbate by a relatively unstressed adult human is not
excessively high, but well within the normal mammalian range. Under stress humans require
about 30 to 100 g or more a day to maintain health. The therapeutic use of mega levels of
ascorbate has met with great success in the treatment of the viral diseases (Klenner,
1974; Cathcart, 1976), cancer (Stone, 1976), and many other pathologies. The
sub-subsistence, “homeopathic” daily intakes of ascorbate, recommended for the
past 40 years by the nutritionists as “vitamin C” for humans, would barely
suffice to keep the other mammals alive and certainly not in good health. The wide
acceptance of this erroneous nutritional hypothesis by modern Medicine has only led to the
continued persistence of chronic subclinical scurvy (CSS Syndrome) (Stone, 1972b; Stone,
1977) as our most widespread and insidious human disease at present.

Physiological Effects of Drug Addiction

The usual history of addiction follows this sort of pattern: The future addicts are
born with the genetic defect for CLO, and already at birth, are suffering from the CSS
Syndrome. The CSS Syndrome usually continues throughout childhood, adolescence, and
adulthood without much of an attempt at any significant correction. It has been our
experience that all of the addicts we have dealt with began their introduction into the
drug culture at an early age, first beginning with marijuana, alcohol, barbiturates, PCP,
LSD, and then on to heroin. They usually begin as a weekend “high,” escalating
into a daily habit from which they can’t escape. Each of these stresses further
depletes the already dangerously low body stores of ascorbate leading to the severe
exacerbation of the CSS Syndrome already present. Adequate repletion of the body stores of
ascorbate is nonexistent.

On drugs, the addicts lose their appetite for food. Food deprivation or restriction
leads to severe protein and vitamin malnutrition. All the chronic addicts tested suffer
from hypoaminoaciduria. This has led us to regard a confirmed addict as suffering from a
Hypoascorbemia-Kwashiorkor type of syndrome, and our treatment procedure was designed as
an intensive holistic approach for the full correction of these genetic and
multimalnutritional dysfunctions. The procedure is completely orthomolecular, and no
foreign substance or toxic narcotic or drug is used.

Briefly, by fully correcting this Hypoascorbemia-Kwashiorkor Syndrome, we are able to
take the addicts off heroin or methadone, without the appearance of withdrawal symptoms.
If during the period of full correction they take a “fix,” it is immediately
detoxified or otherwise handled by the body so that no “high” occurs. It is like
injecting pure water provided the dosage of ascorbate is high enough. After a few days on
the regimen, appetite returns and they start eating voraciously. They also have restful
sleep. Restless sleep or no sleep at all are characteristic of heroin and methadone

“Full correction” in the addicts treated comprised giving them 25 to 85 g
sodium ascorbate a day in spaced doses along with high intakes of the other vitamins,
essential minerals, and high levels of predigested proteins. This is continued for four to
six days, and then the dosages are gradually reduced to lower holding dose levels that
varied from about 10 to 30 g per day. Both the therapeutic and the holding dose levels may
vary widely according to the clinical response of the particular addict being treated. The
therapeutic dosage is usually slightly beyond the bowel tolerance level, held for 12 to 24
hours. Selection of proper dosage is based on clinical experience and observation and
responses of the patient. Bowel tolerance is a concept introduced by Robert Cathcart
(1976) for judging the toxicity of the pathology and the required dosage of ascorbate
needed for treatment. Cathcart found the bowel tolerance increases with increased stresses
on the organism. The general improvement in the well-being of the addicts within 12 to 24
hours after beginning sodium ascorbate detoxification is striking. It is demonstrated by
improved mental alertness and visual acuity; appetite is returning, and the addict is
amazed that treatment is working without the use of another narcotic.

Some Recent Work on Ascorbate

We do not claim to be the first to suggest or use ascorbate in the addiction problem,
but we do claim to be the first to use sodium ascorbate properly to get these desired
results. Ascorbate injected into rats at the rate of 100 mg per kg body weight attenuated
and abolished the narcotic effects of morphine (Ghione, 1958). Ascorbate’s
detoxification of a wide variety of inorganic and organic poisons was reviewed (Stone,
1972) and included Klenner’s work on the successful megascorbic treatment of
barbiturate poisoning, snakebite, and Black Widow spider bites. It was also suggested in
this review that megadoses of ascorbate be used in drug addiction (Stone, pp. 157-158,
1972). Two interesting papers appeared in 1976, one from Thailand which showed that the
sleeping time induced in rabbits by 15 mg of pentobarbital could be progressively reduced
by increasing amounts of ascorbate injected five minutes prior to the pentobarbital. The
sleeping times in minutes for ascorbate dosages of 0, 250 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg were 50, 29,
27, 23 and at 1,000 mg ascorbate the rabbits did not fall asleep at all (Bejrablaya and
Laumjansook, 1976). The other paper (Scher et al., 1976) was originally presented in 1974
to the North American Congress on Alcohol and Drug Problems, by these authors from the
National Council on Drug Abuse and the Methadone Maintenance Institute, and was entitled,
“Massive Vitamin C as an Adjunct in Methadone Maintenance and Detoxification.”
These authors realized that scurvy played a large part in the drug abuse problem, but they
only saw ascorbate as a means to reduce some of the side effects of methadone
administration like constipation, loss of libido, and restless sleep. For this they used
about 5 g of ascorbic acid a day. It apparently never occurred to them that by switching
to sodium ascorbate and increasing their dosage by a factor of 10, they could completely
eliminate the ill-conceived Methadone Program with all its problems and at the same time
have a simple, nontoxic, and elegant solution to the drug abuse problem.

The Orthomolecular Procedure for Correcting the H-K Syndrome

Originally in our early testing, when the addict came in we took a sample of urine for
the simple C-STIX test for urinary spillover of ascorbate and a 24-hour specimen for a
complete quantitative individual amino acid and related constituent column fractionation
and assay. The results were so consistently low on the amino acids, and with no spillover
of ascorbate, that we no longer go to the expense or bother of these tests.

The narcotic intake is stopped, and the addict is given the first dose of sodium
ascorbate, high levels of multivitamins and minerals and nine tablespoons per day of PHH
Pro, in divided doses, a predigested protein preparation. Since the addicts have a rather
abnormal digestive system, it is an aid to direct absorption of the amino acids into the
vascular system if the liquid amino acid dosage is held in the mouth as long as
comfortable before swallowing. The total amount of ascorbate given a day will vary with
the extent of the drug addiction. It is never less than 25 g a day in spaced doses and can
go to 85 g or more per day. As a rough rule-of-thumb means of judging dosage: a $50/day
habit needs 25 to 40 g sodium ascorbate, $150 to $200/day about 60 to 75 grams. Judging
dosage comes with experience, and any errors should be on the high-dosage side because of
ascorbate’s extremely low toxicity and lack of side effects. The megadoses are
continued for four to six days. During this time no withdrawal symptoms should be
encountered (if any appear, increase the sodium ascorbate intake). Generally, in two or
three days appetite returns and most patients begin to eat well and have restful sleep for
the first time since the chronic addiction began. One of the first observations to be made
of the patient on this orthomolecular therapy is the rapid change in well-being; they feel
good. The megadoses are then gradually reduced to holding dose levels of about 10 g per
day of sodium ascorbate and lower levels of the vitamins and minerals. The predigested
protein is discontinued if the patients are eating well.

Typical Case Histories.

Case 1. T.M., male, age 23. Using drugs for 10 years. At 15, used
heroin for a “weekend high.” At the time our treatment was started, he was
supporting a $100-a-day habit. He had tried, on several occasions, the hospital
detoxification programs of methadone and liquid Darvon. Each time this program of
substituting another narcotic for the heroin failed to give him satisfactory relief. The
first thing he did when he came out of the hospital was to inject heroin because of the
insatiable craving and being sick from the methadone or liquid Darvon. On coming in, his
urine was tested for urinary spillover of ascorbate and amino acids. There was no urinary
spillover, confirming the presence of hypoascorbemia and hypoaminoaciduria. He was given
25 g of sodium ascorbate in 4 g doses along with the vitamins, minerals, and the protein
supplements. After three days on the regimen, he began eating and feeling so much better
and thinking more clearly, stating that “I don’t want to go stealing no more,”
and he began to have restful sleep. The ascorbate was reduced to 10 g per day on the sixth
day. He has now been on this holding dose for about three months and is completely
drug-free and has lost his “desire” for the drug. He has graduated from the
Manpower program and is now gainfully employed for the first time in his adult life.

Case 2. A.C., male, age 24. Began using heroin at age 15 and now had a
habit costing between $150 and $200 a day. Had tried at least seven different hospitals
for detoxification and was on methadone maintenance for three years. He still “fixed” with heroin in order to take the methadone, as it upset his stomach and made him ill. “Methadone kills your insides,” to quote the patient. He was such a skeptic of
the value of our orthomolecular program that on a Sunday he first took 45 g of sodium
ascorbate and then in the space of five hours he “shot-up” $300-$400 worth of
heroin, and he felt no effect from this large amount of heroin. He continued on the
ascorbate, 45 g per day for 10 days, along with the vitamins, minerals, and protein
supplement. Then the dosage was reduced to 10 g sodium ascorbate and continued for another
30 days. The patient has moved out of the area, but when last seen, he was drug-free and
had an extreme sense of well-being and a good attitude.

Case 3. F.F., male, age 35. He had been on drugs for 23 years, the
last seven on the methadone maintenance program. He suffered the typical symptoms of
methadone; severe constipation, loss of sleep, loss of libido. He would take laxatives and
enemas, and still was unable to move his bowels. When he did have a bowel movement, the
stool was so hard and impacted that he would “faint or blackout from the pain.”
He was given the sodium ascorbate at the rate of 25 g per day for four days; then
increased to 45 g, then after one day reduced to 10 g of the 50-50 mixture of NaAA and AA.
He is still on this dosage level one month later and was seen at this time. He was doing
so well that his mental attitude was excellent, appetite had returned, he has normal bowel
movements without laxatives, and his sex drive is slowly returning. He was advised to
remain on the holding doses and return in one month for another checkup. Methadone
maintenance is much more difficult to deal with than heroin addiction due to the adverse
metabolic effect methadone has on the body.

At the time this paper was written 30 out of 30 patients were successfully treated in
this pilot study under the supervision of AFL.

This reported 100 percent rate of success is the same as that noted by Dr. Cathcart in
his megascorbic therapy of the viral diseases, “it works every time,” provided
enough ascorbate is used.

Orthomolecular Treatment of Drug Overdosage

Drug overdosage is a common occurrence because the wide variability in the potency of
the illicit “street” drugs and the tendency among addicts to mix different drugs
This causes many deaths among addicts. A nonspecific orthomolecular treatment of OD’s,
which acts as an antidote and rapidly relieves the stricken addict, is as follows: If the
victim is unconscious, immediately but slowly inject 30 or more g of sodium ascorbate
intravenously; if conscious and can swallow and retain liquids, give about 50 g of sodium
ascorbate dissolved in a glass of milk.

Case History

A mother brought in her 16-year-old son who was totally “spaced out” on
“Angel Dust” (PCP). This boy was incoherent and totally out of tune with
reality. He was given 30 g of sodium ascorbate mixed in a glass of milk, and within 45
minutes he could hold a normal conversation. If he had been given 50 g, it is likely he
would have become rational sooner. With intravenous ascorbate, this recovery time could be
cut down to minutes.


This joint pilot study was started in January, 1977, after a series of coincidences
between the authors. Both authors had been working independently on the drug abuse
problem, for many years, AFL conducting occasional clinical tests. on addicts since 1974
and getting exceedingly promising results, and IS working on the theoretical, genetic, and
biochemical background. We heard of each other’s work in December, 1976, and pooled
our knowledge and experience. Stone had been trying unsuccessfully to get some clinical
research started for over a decade. His latest and most discouraging attempt came in
November, 1976, when a megascorbic clinical research protocol was turned down by one of
the “top men” in the field with, “there is no evidence for usefulness of
massive doses of vitamin C in any disorder (except scurvy) — least of all in
conditions associated with heroin addiction” “Massive doses of vitamin C are
potentially toxic.” “There is no known scientific basis for thinking that
vitamin C would be beneficial in methadone maintenance or detoxification.”

If we had not regarded this authoritarian certitude as utter nonsense, this promising
new therapy of drug addiction could have been again delayed for years. This prevailing
attitude toward megascorbics, however, convinced us that the orthodox drug abuse agencies
were not the proper means for starting or conducting exploratory clinical tests on
megascorbics in drug abuse. We also realized that getting any support for clinical work
involving megascorbics, the black sheep of orthodox funding agencies, would be next to
impossible to obtain, and certainly impossible to obtain quickly. Libby’s preliminary
tests were so impressive and this work had been delayed for so long, that in view of the
poor record of achievement by orthodox medicine we felt immediate action was demanded. We
eliminated all the time-consuming funding red tape by simply operating on our own personal
funds and time.

The clinical results have been so successful in 100 percent of the 30 drug addicts
treated to date of this writing, that we regarded the prompt presentation and publication
of our data to be an absolute necessity.

As a consequence of the lack of funds, we have not been able to dot all the “i’s”
and cross all the “t’s,” and chase down all our speculations. We have,
however, gone to a point where we can offer a reliable, nontoxic, simple, and practical
procedure that has many advantages over the present orthodox means of handling drug

Even though this therapy utilizes sodium ascorbate, vitamins, minerals, and predigested
protein, we believe that the main antinarcotic effect is due to the sodium ascorbate, and
the other materials are necessary adjuncts. High levels of sodium ascorbate have analgesic
properties as shown by the observations of Cameron and Baird (1973) and Saccoman (1976) in
terminal cancer and by Klenner (1974) in the relief of pain of severe burns and snakebite.

In terminal cancer, the ascorbate analgesia was so good that the patients’ heavy
toxic morphine schedules were discontinued. Thus high levels of sodium ascorbate mimic
morphine and probably fit into the opiate receptor sites. The fact that these terminal
cancer patients abruptly removed from their morphine showed no withdrawal symptoms was one
piece of evidence that indicated our megascorbic treatment of drug addiction would be

As previously noted, ascorbate is a general detoxicant for many different poisons, but
its mode of action is mostly unknown. Klenner (1974) points out, “Ascorbic acid can
be lifesaving in shock. Twelve grams of the sodium salt, given with a 50 cc syringe will
reverse shock in minutes. In barbiturate poisoning and monoxide poisoning, the results are
so dramatic that it borders on malpractice to deny this therapy.” The detoxicating
effect of sodium ascorbate on narcotics appears to be so rapid that this very rapidity
seems to preclude a mechanism involving direct chemical attack on the narcotic molecule,
to convert it into some inactive derivative. Also it works on so many different types of
narcotic molecules. A more compatible hypothesis would be to view the action as a
competition for opiate receptor sites of the brain, wherein high levels of sodium
ascorbate in the brain prevent the attachment and displace narcotic molecules already
attached to these sites.

Brain Receptor Sites

The research of S.H. Snyder and coworkers on the binding of morphine-like substances to
brain opiate receptor sites was recently reviewed (Snyder, 1977). They have shown that the
largest amount of binding occurs in cells from the very primitive limbic system deep
within the brain. They also showed that the very primitive hagfishes and sharks have as
much opiate receptor binding sites as the most advanced of the mammals, monkeys, and man.
They found that the properties of these receptor sites in these early and most recent
vertebrates were similar, indicating that few changes have been made during the course of
about 400 million years of evolution. It is stated that, “This suggested that the
opiate receptor is normally concerned with receiving some molecule that has remained the
same throughout evolution... possibly a neurotransmitter which acts at these sites.”
Also the presence of high levels of sodium helps dislodge the narcotic from the receptor

We speculate that these binding sites were evolved in the early vertebrate to
concentrate and localize from the very low concentrations existing in these animals, the
electronically labile ascorbate molecules which aid in neurotransmission. The fact that
these sites bind narcotics is purely happenstance because of a possible similarity in
molecular shape. There does not seem to be any obvious physiological evolutionary reason
for concentrating narcotics in the nerve endings of this newly developing control system,
whereas there may have been a great need to concentrate and obtain high levels of
ascorbate at synapses to aid in efficient, nerve impulse transmission. Ascorbate is a
molecule that appears to have changed little in the last 400 million years and was present
on the evolutionary scene long before the fishes appeared (Stone, 1972a). If this
hypothesis is valid, then the receptor sites should be renamed “ascorbate receptors”
instead of “opiate receptors.” It should not be difficult to experimentally test
the validity of these theoretical considerations.

The rapid quenching of the narcotic effect by mega levels of ascorbate led us to
speculate on the possibility of utilizing this phenomenon for other purposes than drug
addiction namely:


  1. In surgery it might be possible to eliminate the patient spending hours in the recovery
    room “coming out” of the anesthetic which also requires nursing attendance. If
    the patient at the termination of the operative procedure was given a massive intravenous
    injection of sodium ascorbate, possibly in the neighborhood of 30 to 50 g, it might be
    possible for the patient to be awake before leaving the operating room. Giving the patient
    large doses of ascorbate immediately before an operation should be generally avoided,
    because it would increase the amount of anesthetic required to give an equivalent
    anesthetic effect. Giving the patient this postoperative dose of ascorbate would also have
    other salutary healing and anti-shock effects.
  2. In the megavitamin treatment of schizophrenia, large doses of ascorbate and niacin are
    routinely used. In schizophrenia, the brain receptor sites may be saturated with
    endogenously-produced hallucinogens or schizomimetic metabolites. The action of ascorbate
    may be to replace these hallucinogens on the receptor sites. In individuals where the
    therapeutic response to megavitamins is incomplete, it may be that the few grams of sodium
    ascorbate routinely administered may not be “mega” enough for this purpose, and
    they require daily ascorbate in the same range required in drug addiction, at least in the
    beginning of the therapy.

Materials and Sources

All the materials used in this study are orthomolecular and are commonly available. No
toxic chemicals or narcotics are employed.

The ascorbate may be obtained in several different types and forms, and it is best to
have a sufficient supply of all to meet individual requirements. One should become
familiar with the properties of ascorbate in its different forms. Sodium ascorbate can be
obtained both as the pure crystalline powder and as 1 g tablets. The crystalline powder is
very soluble in water, milk, and foods, is essentially tasteless, and a level teaspoon
weighs about 3 g. A solution has a pH of slightly over 7. Ascorbic acid, while also quite
soluble in water has a very sour taste and is limited in the number of foods to which it
may be added because of this sour taste. It has a pH of about 3 and will curdle milk if
added thereto. Sodium ascorbate is the preferred substance for the megadosages.

The high-potency vitamin and mineral preparations were commercial multivitamin and
mineral preparations in tablet form. Six tablets supplied the dosages listed in Table 1.


Daily Dosages of Multivitamins and Minerals



Vitamin A

10,000 IU


900 mg

Vitamin D

400 IU


700 mg

Vitamin E

400 IU


20 mg

Vitamin B1

50 mg


0.15 mg

Vitamin B2

50 mg


500 mg

Vitamin B6

100 mg


90 mg


100 mg


5 mg

Ca Pantothenate

200 mg


50 mg

Vitamin B12

10 mcg


1 mg

Folic Acid

0.1 mg

Sterile injectable sodium ascorbate is supplied in 30 or 50 ml vials containing a 25
percent solution. Use only the “preservative-free” product which may be obtained
from Bronson or Preventix listed below. The intravenous route of administration of sodium
ascorbate is more rapid and efficient than the oral route, since it bypasses the digestive
tract. In drug overdoses and in occasional other cases it may have to be used, but in
general we have tried to avoid the routine treatment use of the “needle and syringe”

because of the psychological implications for the addict.

In an effort to reduce the number of separate products used in this procedure we have
been experimenting with a single combined product comprising sodium ascorbate with the
vitamins and minerals to be available soon both as a crystalline powder and tablets.

For the protein supplementation, we used a product called “P.H.H.-PRO”
comprising a liquid predigested collagen solution containing mostly easily assimilable
amino acids. This is available in plastic bottles up to 1 gallon size.

These products may be obtained from the following:

Bronson Pharmaceuticals, 4526 Rinetti Lane, La Canada, CA 91011. [NB - Bronson has
since moved to St. Louis, Missouri, USA]

Preventix Pharmacal Co., 503 South Raymond Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92631.

C STIX, the 10-second dip-stick test for ascorbate in urine, is available in bottles
containing 50 plastic test strips from the Specialty Systems Department, Ames Company,
Elkhart, Indiana 46514. The current price is $6 per bottle of 50 strips.


Chronic drug addiction produces in the victims severe subclinical scurvy, along with
multivitamin and mineral dysfunction and protein deficiencies. The widely used Methadone
Program for “treating” these sick people merely substitutes a legal narcotic for
an illicit one, which only continues the severe biochemical stresses contributing to their
illness. This pilot study regarded the addicts as suffering from a serious
Hypoascorbemia-Kwashiorkor type of syndrome. Our procedure was designed to fully correct
both the genetic defect causing the Hypoascorbemia and also the multimalnutritional
disturbances and protein deficiencies involved in the Kwashiorkor. The treatment is
entirely orthomolecular and inexpensive, is nontoxic, and uses no drugs or narcotics. It
is rapidly effective in bringing good health to the addicts. In the initial phases of the
procedure, sodium ascorbate is administered at 25 to 85 g per day or more, along with high
doses of multivitamins, essential minerals, and protein hydrolysate. Under this treatment,
the heroin or methadone is stopped and no withdrawal symptoms are encountered. Should a
“fix” be taken, it is immediately detoxified and no “high” is
produced. It is like injecting plain water. There is a great improvement in well-being and
mental alertness. In a few days appetite returns and they eat well, they have restful
sleep, and the “methadone-constipation” is relieved. After about four to six
days the dosages are reduced to holding dose levels. In the 30 addicts tested in this
pilot study, the results were excellent in all cases, and it would appear that this simple
nontoxic procedure should serve as the basis for large-scale testing to develop a new
program for freeing drug addicts of their addiction. In drug overdosage, sodium ascorbate
can be a lifesaving measure. Unconscious overdosed addicts are given the sodium ascorbate
intravenously, 30 to 50 g while those able to swallow can be given the same quantity
dissolved in a glass of milk. This antidote is nonspecific and works on all drugs, so no
time need be wasted in identifying the drug. We speculate on ascorbate’s action as
due to the high levels of sodium ascorbate in the brain as competing for and displacing
the narcotic from the opiate receptor sites. If this be the case, then it might be
possible to use this phenomenon postoperatively on surgical patients to quickly bring them
out of anesthesia.


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    Pentobarbital. J. Med. Assoc. Thailand 59: (4): 188-189, 1976.
  • CAMERON, E. and BAIRD, G.M.: Ascorbic Acid and Dependence on Opiates in Patients with
    Advanced Disseminated Cancer. J. Internat. Res. Communic. 1: (6): 33, 1973.
  • CATHCART, R.F. Vitamin C and Viral Disease. Talk presented at the Annual Meeting of the
    California Orthomolecular Medical Society. February 19, 1976. San Francisco.
  • GHIONE, R. Morphine Spasm and C-Hypervitaminosis. Vitaminologia (Turin) 16:131-136,
  • KLENNER, F.R.: Significance of High Daily Intake of Ascorbic Acid in Preventive
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  • SACCOMAN, W.J.: Personal Communication. 1976.
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From Orthomolecular Psychiatry, 1977, Volume 6, Number 4, pp. 300-308

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