Hi, my name is John Gillen, Visiting Professor at Belgrade University, the inspiration behind the bestselling book ‘The Secret Disease of Addiction’ and director of Ocean Recovery Centre.
Back in 2002, my dependency on alcohol sent my life spiralling out of control and it was at this point that I had reached what I would say is the lowest part of my life. It was at this moment that I decided that I had a problem and something needed to be done.
This was when I decided to check into my local NHS hospital for treatment where I was put onto a psychiatric ward with other individuals suffering from addictions to drugs and alcohol.
My stint receiving treatment lasted three weeks where I received great care and was able to be successfully treated but when I left the question still remained about how did I get to that point?
I believed that there was something else inside me that caused me to turn to the drink and I was hoping to find the answer to this during my treatment but this never happened.
This is when I started to visit my local library and started to gather as much information as possible about my addiction to alcohol in order to get to the bottom of why I truly felt the way I did and what caused me to drink obsessively without any control.
It was after I gained this basic understanding that I decided to start visiting The Mitchell Library in Glasgow which is one of the largest libraries in Europe where I spent every day looking for as much new information I could find.
This was when I started to read more about psychology and spirituality which fully opened my eyes about addiction as it explained to me how it is developed and how one can go about treating it in a way that is more targeted towards addiction rather than the umbrella of psychology.
After acquiring this new found knowledge I wanted to tell the world about it and it was around this time that I met up with a guy called John McLean who was going through a similar experience to myself and immediately we struck a bond that was found between a goal and belief that we both shared.
This was when we decided to launch a small treatment provider in Scotland called the Abbey Care Foundation which is still running today and as my understanding of addiction improved from an academic point of view I was able to research more ideas that would better the treatment I was providing to my clients.
As part of my ongoing mission to find the best solution to effectively healing addiction I stumbled across a revolutionary intravenous therapy involving nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+).
NAD is a coenzyme found in all living cells, it’s main function in the body is to convert food energy into cellular energy which can be used to restore balance in the brain and return it to a state of homeostasis.
When abusing harmful substances such as drugs or alcohol the brain will start to become dependant on them meaning that if you stop taking the substances the brain will start to become unbalanced and the only way it sees to restore that balance is by taking more of these substances.
NAD acts as a replacement for these substances and helps to provide the body with an alternative source of energy that can be used to restore balance.
Upon discovering the treatment I decided to introduce it to my clients making me one of the first pioneers of the treatment in Europe.
It was with the ever-increasing knowledge that made me want to join Step 1 Recovery who had a vision of opening centres throughout the UK and wanted me to implement my research and experience in treating addictions to a wider range of individuals.
An interesting fact about me is that I am a former Racehorse Trainer and Jockey.