Depression Free, Naturally
It's Not All In Your Mind
Recognizing Biochemical Glitches
How Diet Affects Emotions
Shopping For Relief, Naturally
Soothing The Anxious Brain
Dissolving Biochemical Depression
Extremes of Histamine Imbalances
Controlling Anger, Sudden Violence
What's Keeping You Fatigued
Emotional Balance for Life
Product Information and Ordering
Treatment That Works
Physical Restoration for Alcoholics/Drug Addicts
Video-Dr. Larson On Depression

Drug & Alcohol Treatment That Works

"In the 21st century, treatment of alcoholism and drug addictions, and all their accompanying symptoms: depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings..., will focus primarily on physical repair by restoring biochemical balance."



Our alcohol treatment program is based on 21st Century hard science including Orthomolecular Medicine. If you have any questions or comments while visiting our website, please e-mail us at

Alcoholism Information Treatment

There are those who think out-of-control drinking is strictly psychological, i.e. weak will or poor character, thus believing the best form of treatment is psychological therapy to talk away bad behavior. Unfortunately, after one year at an alcohol treatment center focusing only on psychological symptoms, there is only 20% who haven't relapsed according to the Government Rand Reports… and after 4 years, only 4% are still sober.

Alcoholics Anonymous provides a way for alcoholics to network with those who can offer them psychological support. Their rate of success is unknown, and their membership represents less then 4% of the total number of alcoholics in the United States . It must also be noted that speaking with sponsors and attending support meetings has no effect on physical cravings and other biochemical disruption, and so leaves even “recovered” alcoholics with a host of both physical and emotional health problems still seeking an effective cure for the anxiety and depression.

Health Recovery Center has spent over 25 years developing a new and effective treatment combining therapy and extensive biochemical restoration. We are proud to say that our three-year study, published in a peer-review journal, recorded a success rate of 74%. It also found that physical symptoms including depression, anxiety, cravings, fatigue and insomnia were greatly reduced or eliminated entirely!

The most devastating effect of ongoing alcoholism is disruption of the brain. Alcoholism is a physical disease, as defined by the AMA and the WHO. A Federal Verdict in 1982 ruled, “Alcoholism is a physical disease and not a mental disorder … this court is unaware of any disease that so directly and persistently results in death.” Willpower alone is not enough to overcome physically altered brain chemistry.  

We offer our program for those of over age17 whose drug or alcohol use is causing physiological or psychological problems. We offer a free initial assessment to determine your overall needs. Our program includes positive and caring counseling, extensive individual work, and unique family support. Most importantly, it is TREATMENT THAT WORKS !


Imagine... an end to cravings, depression, and emotional instability while restoring optimal health.

At Health Recovery Center, this concept is both achievable and predictable; we back it up with:

  • A New Understanding
  • A New Approach
  • Proven Results

Our Mission

Alcoholism is a physical disease. Alcohol and drugs are powerful chemicals. They disrupt and alter brain chemistry and body systems. (This is affirmed by hundreds of research papers.) This damage requires specific biochemical repair, as well as therapy.

Not All are Vulnerable. Problems with alcohol and drugs occur in people with unique chemistry inherited through genetics. Problems do "run in families." (There are at least 3 "types" specifically at risk for alcoholism.)

"Loss of Control" is Real. In alcoholics, ongoing use alters brain chemistry, causing addiction for which willpower is no match. Willpower can't lift depression or stop cravings caused by chemical disruption. Anxiety, irritability, mental confusion, and irrational thinking are often caused by physical disruption of the brain and central nervous system. "Talk cannot reverse these conditions... biochemical repair must occur."

The AMA and World Health Organization define alcoholism as a physical disease. A Federal Verdict in 1982 ruled, "Alcoholism is a physical disease and not a mental disorder ...This court is unaware of any disease that so directly and persistently results in death." (3rd leading cause of death in the US).  

Who We Serve

Our programs serve persons 16 years and older whose dependency on alcohol and/or drugs causes physiological or psychological distress. A no cost, initial assessment is offered by appointment.

Our Program

A new approach focuses on major Biochemical Renewal. HRC has pioneered a powerful addition of biochemical repair and restoration. Brain/body health and stability are restored and control is regained. In conjunction with our physician, HRC assesses and restores physical health via medical appointments, laboratory tests, and nutritional counseling.

Positive and Caring Counseling: The Rational Emotive Therapy used at HRC leads individuals to self-awareness and personal understanding. They learn effective tools to take control of responsible decision making, while rebuilding a sense of self worth. HRC conducts all group sessions in a supportive, non-confrontive style.

Extensive Individual Work: Each person is unique biochemically as well as psychologically. Individual weekly counseling sessions allow client/counselor to determine needs in order to set, monitor, and achieve individual goals.

Unique Family Support: Weekly lectures and group meetings are built around family involvement. In non-confrontive ways, families discover new understandings as well as traits "common" to members with shared genetics. Much relief comes from learning specific and reversible reasons for the many behaviors they have struggled with.

Treatment that Works! With this new understanding and the added element of biochemical repair, success is predictable and certain for most.

Our Results

Since the program's inception in 1981: One year follow-ups have consistently yielded "abstinent and stable" outcomes for most of our graduates. Our long term follow-up study, (published in the International Journal of Bio-social and Medical Research) yielded "abstinent and stable results" at 1 to 3 1/2 years for 74% of the graduates...far above the success results attained by conventional treatment.

What Research has Shown: Conventional "talk therapy" treatment alone yields far less effective results than treatment including biochemical repair. The consistent findings of hundreds of studies published over the last two decades yield abstinence-at-follow-up results no better than 20 - 25%.

Total Health Restoration: By using specific bio-chemical repair, more than abstinence is achieved. A wide rage of symptoms (cravings, depression anxiety, mental confusion, fatigue, and more) are eliminated. Other health changes also occur (i.e., blood pressure normalizes, allergies clear, medications may become unnecessary, stamina and energy improve).

Gerald and G. Saenger, "The Abstinent
Alcoholic", Archives of General Psychiatry 6
(1962): pp 83- 95.

C. D. Emrich, "A Review of Psychologically
Oriented Treatments of Alcoholism, I"
Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol 35,
No. 2 (1974): pp 523- 549.

C. D. Emrich, "A Review of Psychologically
Oriented Treatments of Alcoholism, II"
Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol 36,
(1975): pp 88- 107.

V. Polick, D. Aarmor and H. Bracker, "The
Course of Alcoholism, Four Years after
Treatment", Santa Monica: Rand Corp.,
(1980): pp 169- 70.

George Vaillant, "The Natural History of
Alcoholism", Cambridge Harvard Press
(1983): pp 285.

K. Powell, E. Penick, M. Read & A. Ludwig,
"Comparison of three outpatient treatment
Interventions: A 12 month follow-up of male
alcoholics", Journal of Studies on Alcohol,
Vol. 46, No. 4 (1985): (KC VA Study).

J. Mathews-Larson and B. Parker,
"Alcoholism Treatment with biomedical/biochemical
Restoration as a Major Component",
International Journal of Biosocial and Medical
Research 9
, No. 1 (1987) : pp 92- 100.

J. D. Beasley, et al "Follow-up of a Cohort
of Alcoholic Patients thru 12 months of
Comprehensive Bio-behavioral Treatment",
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment,
Vol. 8, No. 2. May, (1991).D.

Our Staff

Joan Mathews-Larson, Ph.D., CCDP, LADC.
The Executive Director and founder of Health Recovery Center. Published author of the books:

  • Alcoholism, the Biochemical Connection. Villard/Random House, ©1991;
    Seven Weeks to Sobriety
    , Ballantine Publishing Group, ©1992, updated copyright ©1997.
  • Seven Weeks to Emotional Healing, Ballantine Publishing Group, ©1999; Depression Free, Naturally, Ballantine Publishing Group, ©1999, updated copyright ©2001.

All Health Recovery Center Counselors are certified as Chemical Dependency Counselors or Practitioners. All have specialized training in the HRC method of biochemical restoration.

Medical Personal:
Health Recovery Center has an on-staff physician who supervises each client throughout primary care. HRC also contracts with a psychiatrist who serves as a consultant to the program. Registered nurses and lab technicians assist our medical personnel.

If you would like additional information about our program, please complete our confidential inquiry request form.

Additional information about the cost of the program, qualifying insurance, and other questions concerning the structure of HRC's program can be answered by the HRC business office. Their toll-free telephone number is 1-800-554-9155 or you may e-mail them at

Information on this web page is reproduced and reprinted from brochures and promotional materials of Health Recovery Center, Inc. Copyright ©2001. All rights reserved. This information may not be reproduced without permission from Health Recovery Inc. & Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D.

Anyone wishing may link their site to the information found on this site. For a reciprocal link call 612-827-7800.

3255 Hennepin Av S
Minneapolis, MN 55408

toll-free: 1-800-554-9155
local: (612) 827-7800
fax: (612) 827-1948

Hours: 9:00 AM - 8:30 PM (CST)
Monday thru Friday

Program Hours & Costs | Physical Restoration for Alcoholics & Drug Addicts:
Video 2:
Depression Interview with Joan Mathews-Larson
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