Though the medical profession labels alcoholism and addiction - America's No. 1 health problems - as incurable diseases that are manageable at best, one man is determined to prove that there is a complete cure for those twin demons.
According to Chris Prentiss, co-founder of the world-famous Passages Rehab Center in Malibu, Calif., and author of the new book, "The Alcoholism & Addiction Cure, A Holistic Approach To Total Recovery," the current treatment methods are obsolete. Prentiss says that alcohol and drugs are not the problem.
"It will be clear to anyone who thinks about it," he says, "that we are using drugs and alcohol to try and cope with lives that are not working. We use them to change the way we feel, to blur the images that haunt us, to deal with failure, broken hearts, growing up, stress, depression, trauma and all the other events that regularly befall all of us. Once the real reasons we are drinking and using addictive drugs are discovered and cured, our dependency disappears along with our cravings."
Although that's a strong claim, Prentiss relies on statistics to prove his point. In an era when the national relapse rate is between 80 percent and 90 percent, Passages reports that 84.6 percent of their graduates have remained sober.
Prentiss' book describes the Passages holistic three-step program in detail, and it lists what he claims are the four causes of dependency and how to cure them. He says that each person's reasons for using substances are unique, and therefore each person's treatment, if it is to succeed, must also be unique.
Prentiss became involved in the field to save his son's life from 10 years of addiction to heroin, cocaine and alcohol.