The End of My Addiction

Olivier Ameisen, MD; Foreword by Jeffrey S. Borer, MD

Sarah Crichton Books

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"After years of battling uncontrollable addiction, I have achieved the supposedly impossible: complete freedom from craving."
 
Dr. Olivier Ameisen was a brilliant cardiologist on the staff at one of America’s top teaching hospitals and running his own successful practice when he developed a profound addiction to alcohol. He broke bones with no memory of falling; he nearly lost his kidneys; he almost died from massive seizures during acute withdrawal. He gave up his flourishing practice and, fearing for his life, immersed himself in Alcoholics Anonymous, rehab, therapy, and a variety of medications. Nothing worked.
 
So he did the only thing he could: he took his treatment into his own hands. Searching for a cure for his deadly disease, he happened upon baclofen, a muscle relaxant that had been used safely for years as a treatment for various types of muscle spasticity, but had more recently shown promising results in studies with laboratory animals addicted to a wide variety of substances. Dr. Ameisen prescribed himself the drug and experimented with increasingly higher dosages until he finally reached a level high enough to leave him free of any craving for alcohol. That was more than five years ago.
 
Alcoholism claims three hundred lives per day in the United States alone; one in four U.S. deaths is attributable to alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. Baclofen, as prescribed under a doctor’s care, could possibly free many addicts from tragic and debilitating illness. But as long as the medical and research establishments continue to ignore a cure for one of the most deadly diseases in the world, we won’t be able to understand baclofen’s full addiction-treatment potential.
 
The End of My Addiction is both a memoir of Dr. Ameisen’s own struggle and a groundbreaking call to action—an urgent plea for research that can rescue millions from the scourge of addiction and spare their loved ones the collateral damage of the disease.

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Book Excerpts

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THE END OF MY ADDICTION (1. Moment of Truth)

I CAME TO MY SENSES and took stock of where I was: in a cab, with blood streaming down my face and spattering my trench coat. I looked out the window and in the glow of the streetlights saw the cab was on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, waiting for the light to change at 76th Street. The church on the corner reminded me it was Sunday, and I looked at my watch. It was almost midnight. The few people on the street were buttoned up against the late winter chill, but it was warm in the cab.

My apartment was not too far away, on East 63rd Street between

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Reviews

Praise for The End of My Addiction

“You have discovered the treatment for addiction.” Jean Dausset, M.D., winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Medicine
 

“This is not your usual memoir of addiction, degradation, and redemption.”— The Boston Globe

 

“He is as deft with the medical basis for baclofen’s efficacy as he is unsparing in his personal account of alcohol’s terrors.” — Joel Turnipseed, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

“Moving story . . . compelling book” —Steve Heilig, The San Francisco Chronicle

 

“Brave, insightful and sure to be significant.”

—Publishers Weekly
 
“In this remarkably candid memoir of crippling alcoholism, cardiologist Ameisen’s passion for curing addiction is palpable, at times gritty, and, in the end, hopeful.”—Booklist
 
“WOW! . . . This is a wonderful book . . . Ameisen may be responsible for making a signal discovery much like, but better than, that of George Cotzias, [the first to show that L-dopa could alleviate Parkinson’s disease,] in that so many more patients may be involved.” —Jerome B. Posner, M.D., George C. Cotzias Chair of Neuro-oncology, Department of Neurology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
 
“This book is . . . the story of the dazzling discovery of a cure that could soon be within reach of all. If you or someone close to you suffers from alcoholism or drug dependence, you must read this book.” —David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D., author of The Instinct to Heal and Anticancer

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About the Author

Olivier Ameisen, MD; Foreword by Jeffrey S. Borer, MD

Olivier Ameisen, MD, inaugurated the position of official physician to the prime minister of France. He came to the United States in 1983 to join the prestigious cardiology team at New York Hospital and Cornell University Medical Center, where he became an associate professor of clinical medicine and an associate attending physician. He is currently Visiting Professor of Medicine at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.

Olivier Ameisen, M.D.

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Available Formats and Book Details

The End of My Addiction
Olivier Ameisen, MD; Foreword by Jeffrey S. Borer, MD

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sarah Crichton Books
December 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429949736
ISBN10: 1429949732
352 pages, Includes an Appendix, Notes, and an Index
$7.99
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