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“The Forgotten Chapter in Bill W.’s Struggle with Addiction” is the title of this article. “William Griffith Wilson, or Bill W., is considered the father of addiction treatment because of his leading role in the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. While Bill W. pioneered a movement that helped millions of people achieve sobriety, in the last years of his life he explored how alternative treatments such as niacin (a precursor to NAD therapy) could improve the recovery process.”
In 1958, Aldous Huxley, British author and AA supporter, introduced Bill W. to Dr. Abram Hoffer during a medical conference in New York. Hoffer, a leading expert in the field of orthomolecular therapy, presented Bill with the idea that treatment with niacin megavitamins, using supplements of the vitamin to correct depleted levels, could eliminate the lasting effects Bill was experiencing. As a result, Bill acted on Hoffer’s advice and took 1000 mg of niacin after each of his three meals a day. As a result of the mega-vitamin therapy, Bill’s long-lasting ailments were quickly overcome.
In 1965, Bill conducted a study of 30 sober AA members who, despite their current sobriety, were still suffering from the long-term effects of alcoholism. The study showed that by taking 1000 mg of niacin after each meal, 10 of them recovered in the first month and 10 more in the second month. The remaining 10 showed no further improvement in the third month. Overall, Wilson said, the patients showed “prompt and usually spectacular recovery from sometimes long-lasting depression, exhaustion, severe tension, and even troublesome paranoid behavior.”
Based on these findings, Bill wrote a booklet in 1965, The Vitamin B3 Therapy, on the benefits of niacin treatment. In 1966, Bill W. and Hoffer attended the Congress of International Physicians of Alcoholics Anonymous in Indianapolis. At the conference, Bill and Hoffer gave a speech on the benefits of supplements in higher doses, such as niacin, but the psychiatric establishment present rejected the idea before it could be fully explored.
The Forgotten Chapter in Bill W.’s Struggle with Addiction
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