Supplements for Alcoholics: Orthomolecular Method

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : November 17, 
| 4 Sources

Utilizing Vitamins For Alcoholics
Restoring Nutritional Balance

Repairing the physical damage caused by nutritional and vitamin deficiencies

Orthomolecular alcoholism treatment, a treatment that focuses on giving supplements for alcoholics, differs from other alcohol dependency treatments in so far as it focuses on the physical damage to the brain that is caused by alcohol dependence.

Only by restoring the molecular balance, can alcoholics comfortably remain abstinent.

It is in stark contrast to the traditional 12-step method, which attempts to correct the behavioral, spiritual and emotional causes of alcoholism, paying no attention to the physical damage alcohol may have caused. It stresses on the importance of accepting addiction as a disease that could be arrested but not eliminated.

However, the two approaches are not mutually exclusive. In fact Bill W., one of the founding fathers of Alcoholics Anonymous was of the belief that correcting damage at the molecular level, with nutritional and vitamin supplements, was an important factor in treating alcohol dependency. The alcoholic’s body requires the proper nutrients in adequate amounts to be able to return to normal metabolic functioning. However is advised by orthomolecular practitioners that once they have been 'fixed' at the molecular level, recovering alcoholics should attend 12-step meetings regularly.


Other Alcoholism Alternative Treatments:

Depression And Orthomolecular Alcoholism Treatment

Depression often co-occurs with alcoholism. Alcoholism and depression are frequently co-occur, highly prevalent and are linked with adverse outcomes when paired. Whether alcoholism causes depression or vice versa is open to debate, but what is certain is that orthomolecular medicine can alleviate depression also.

Depression, in the eyes of the orthomolecular physician, is also as a result of molecular imbalances which can be righted with supplements and vitamins.

So if your depression was a causal factor of your alcoholism or a result of it, orthomolecular alcoholism treatment will alleviate it and, by doing so will reduce the risk of you turning to drink in order to self-medicate.

Health Recovery Center

To paraphrase Dr. Abram Hoffer the Health Recovery Center is the first (and arguably only) orthomolecular alcoholism treatment center. Set up by Joan Mathews Larson in response to the suicide of her son, the HRC, as it is known, has many years of operation under its belt and many testimonials to it treatment regimen.

For more on this treatment center and how it works, read Health Recovery Center.

After Restoring Molecular Balance, What Next?

In the past, it would have been recommended by an orthomolecular physician that you attend 12-step meetings after undergoing alcoholism treatment with vitamins and supplements.

This advice is because orthomolecular alcoholism treatment may correct the physical damage to the brain, but it cannot correct the so-called spiritual and behavioral issues that co-occur with alcohol dependency. Alcoholics Anonymous is the tool for this. However, many people could not stick with AA and relapse and return to dependence on alcohol.

But that was then and this is now; there are now alternative support groups that have sprung up over the past 30 years or so. Take a look at the resources below to access support groups that do the same job as AA, or take a look at the AA program and see if it suits you.

Support groups that can help you stay away from alcohol:

"If you're unsure whether alcohol may be a problem, speak with one of our supportive counselors. With many having first-hand experience they understand the struggle. The free chat is confidential & they are available 24/7."

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


NCBI. 12-Step Interventions and Mutual Support Programs for Substance Use Disorders: An Overview. August 26, 2013.

NCBI. Treatment of the Depressed Alcoholic Patient. December 1, 2013.

Orthomolecular. Treatment Protocol for Alcoholism. July 1, 2005.

University of Rochester Medical Center. Alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Return from Orthomolecular Alcoholism Treatment to Alcohol Treatment Programs 

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