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.

John Gillen is a Leading Addiction Treatment Expert

John is a former student of John Ogilvie High and left the School in 1971 to pursue a career in horse racing after he was offered the position of apprentice jokey by Lambourn trainer Peter Nelson.

In his career as a racehorse jockey and trainer Gillen achieve notable successes in the sport such as becoming head lad in 1979 under trainer John Wilson and later setting up to be his own trainer after receiving his licence from the Jockey board, he achieved his first win as a trainer on 23 September 1987 in Perth with a horse named Saizano which was also Ger Lyons first win as a jockey.

Despite these successes, Gillen’s career in horse racing was marred by struggles with alcoholism which ultimately resulted in him parting ways from the sport, at the height of his career Gillen oversaw the training of 25 horses in his stable.

“A point in my life came where the gift of desperation claimed so much that I was literally on the streets. One minute, I’m at Royal Ascot with cigarettes and champagne. The next, I was on the streets of Glasgow asking people for money for a drink.” Said John Gillen when reflecting on his career in horseracing in an interview with The 42.

Back in 2002, his dependency on alcohol sent his life spiralling out of control and it was at this point that he had reached what he would say is the lowest part of his life. It was at this moment that he decided that he had a problem and something needed to be done.

This was when he decided to check into his local NHS hospital for treatment where he was put onto a psychiatric ward with other individuals suffering from addictions to drugs and alcohol.

John’s stint receiving treatment lasted three weeks where he received great care and was able to be successfully treated but when he left the question still remained about how did he get to that point?

He believed that there was something else inside him that caused him to turn to the drink and he was hoping to find the answer to this during his treatment but this never happened.

He started visiting his local library and gathering as much information as possible about his addiction to alcohol in order to get to the bottom of why he truly felt the way he did and what caused him to drink obsessively without any control.

It was after he gained this basic understanding that he decided to start visiting The Mitchell Library in Glasgow which is one of the largest libraries in Europe. He spent every day looking for as much new information he could find.

He started to read more about psychology and spirituality which fully opened his eyes about addiction as it explained 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 he wanted to tell the world about it and it was around this time that he met up with a guy called John McLean who was going through a similar experience and immediately struck a bond that was found between a goal and belief that they both shared.

They decided to launch a small treatment provider in Scotland called the Abbey Care Foundation which is still running today and as his understanding of addiction improved from an academic point of view he was able to research more ideas that would better the treatment provided to his clients.

As part of my ongoing mission to find the best solution to effectively healing addiction John 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.

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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 John introduced it to his clients making him one of the first pioneers of the treatment in Europe.

It was with the ever-increasing knowledge that made him want to join Step 1 Recovery who had a vision of opening centres throughout the UK and wanted to implement his research and experience in treating addictions to a wider range of individuals.

This has led John to become director of leading drug rehab and alcohol rehab centres throughout the country including Ocean Recovery Centre in which he continues to pass on his knowledge and new findings.

If you would like to get in touch with John, you can either give him a call on 0330 0414 748 or send an email to john@rehabclinicsgroup.com and he will aim to get back to you within 48 hours.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: May 13, 2024

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.