1 Dream Body - Energy for Living by Theo Verwey and Dr Daan Steyn

"She is addicted to cocaine and dagga and becomes involved in sexual relationships. She must simply stop this. Why is all of this treatment necessary?" asks the discouraged father of a young woman who was brought for treatment. What do we say, why does she behave like this? What is going to be treated and why?

1 Dream Body - Energy for Living by Theo Verwey and Dr Daan Steyn

"She is addicted to cocaine and dagga and becomes involved in sexual relationships. She must simply stop this. Why is all of this treatment necessary?" asks the discouraged father of a young woman who was brought for treatment. What do we say, why does she behave like this? What is going to be treated and why?

Important biochemical foundations of human behaviour will be outlined in this chapter and then discussed in response to questions often asked by people. To make this discussion as relevant as possible, it is placed in the broadest possible context, including the history of addiction, and the development of Western and Biblical anthropology. Such a new and multidisciplinary topic can inevitably only be dealt with very briefly in the given space.

On the other side of the spectrum, people are now more aware of the spirit than they were ten, even twenty, years ago. How do we live as spirit? How are we transpersonally attached to one another? How is this related to addiction and toxic relations?

To answer such questions, an applicable understanding of the changing world in which we live is required. Perhaps the most important question people have is: what is happening to us? How does one understand all these new developments? Professionals, who completed their studies ten years ago, could not have learnt about many of the things that we want to share in this book. This book is, however, not just about facts, but rather about a way of understanding life. It is about a new paradigm we are living. Many new facts will inevitably become known in future too and it is better to know how to interpret and cope with them within the context of a whole paradigm, rather than to learn some new facts which don't really fit into one's present conception of life and human beings.

Even though the information in this book has, therefore, a necessity to be incomplete, it serves as a framework within which the basic processes of addiction may be understood.

Have there always been people who are addicted to alcohol or some other substance? Many people think addiction is something new and it is true that more people are addicted to more substances than ever before. Malcolm (1979, as quoted by Austin) says that of the approximately 4000 plants which affect consciousness, 60 always have been used by people somewhere in the world to change their state of consciousness or mood. The most popular is dagga (cannabis), opium, cocoa (as found in chocolates) alcohol, tobacco and (amazingly) tea and coffee. Weil (1972) says that the use of such substances is so common that it seems as if a basic human craving or need is involved. He says that the need to change one's state of consciousness is the same as being hungry and wanting sex. Very few communities (according to Blum (1969), 4 out of 247) have no history of the use of psychoactive substances such as drugs. Eskimo culture was one of these - there was nothing in their world from which they could produce alcohol or some similar substance (Weil, 1972).

An Outline of the History of Addiction.

This does not, however, mean that there ever was a time when there was no use or abuse of substances. For a brief outline of the history of addiction, Westermeyer's work: Cross-cultural Studies on Alcoholism (1989) is summarized briefly below.

The basis of the most common substance humans abuses, alcohol, is carbohydrates. Since the beginning of time rice, corn and other grains, milk, honey and cacti were used in different areas to make a basic kind of beer. This beer had an alcohol content of 3 - 6%. Later a more sophisticated process was used and wine was made from rice and grapes (with an alcohol level of 6 - 12%).

Initially a community produced a small amount of carbohydrates (rice, corn, honey, etc..) and only that which could be spared was used to make alcohol. Certainly no one could drink as much as he or she wanted to (or could afford). If someone used too much, everybody in the small group could die of starvation for alcohol was made from valuable food and was itself a form of preserved food or energy. This "strong liquor" was possibly used mainly in religious rituals. Everybody had to drink, no one could abstain and using too much was forbidden.

For many generations, for hundreds of years, alcohol has been part of the traditions and rituals of communities and cultures. Only in exceptional cases did problems appear (as with Noah). Problems develop, as in the case of the Eskimos, when alcohol is unknown, there are no traditional rules for its use and it is abundantly available.

A situation of abundance existed in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. England exported manufactured goods to North America and reloaded the empty ships with gin (which was abundantly available because of the surplus production of corn in America). At one stage, gin was cheaper than bread in England. Men, women and children, particularly those from the poorer working classes, really went overboard with this cheap form of energy. One can imagine the consequences, especially with the disappearance of the traditional clan system and the consequent lack of social control. It was also the first time in history that churches preached the message of abolition and total abstinence.

Improved farming methods made more carbohydrates available for alcohol. Many more substances that cause altered states of consciousness are also available. For the first time in history people, also teenagers, now have the money to buy these substances. Another "novelty" is that people can now be really dangerous when they are drunk for they now drive motorcars and large trucks and operate complicated machinery. Another important factor is that the world wide move to the cities results in the traditional ties, social controls, rituals and taboos falling away. The individual or a tiny nuclear family are left with the whole responsibility.

New and more complicated rules become necessary when traditional rules fall away. Examples are the message of total abstinence as part of religion and the condemnation of alcoholism as sinful; taxing alcohol and the setting up of age restrictions for the sale of alcohol, the restriction of sales hours and fines for trespassing under the influence.

Important aspects of all forms of addiction are the availability of the substance or partner, the ease with which the habit and/or the need may be satisfied and the burden consequently placed on the individual to control himself or herself. This also applies to all habits and addictions - self-discipline with dieting, drinking and smoking, buying goods, exercise, etc.. Such self-responsibility is simply not as important when a person is part of a group, especially a traditional group where people know and support one another and all needs may be relatively easily satisfied without resorting to drugs or other substances.

It is clear from this very brief history how the use of alcohol as a social and religious event has by its abuse become an act forbidden or restricted by some religions. Abuse may also be a social offence that becomes a legal offence. Regarding alcoholism as a legal offence again represents a tradition which differs from the view that it is a transgression of religious rules and sin. Lately, especially in the Netherlands, the concept is gaining ground that alcoholism and addiction are medical problems, rather than social and moral issues.
Has there been a development or change in the anthropology of the West that will help us understand the use of drugs? These changing points of view reflect changes in ourselves and our views of ourselves as human beings. Below we will be looking at the development of our perceptions of man up to the point where we see ourselves as biochemical beings in a chemical world and in chapters 45 and 46 the view of man as a chemical factory will be presented as part of a new paradigm.

In the first literature of Western civilization, the Iliad and the Odyssey, which was "published" some 3000 years ago, man is an integrated part of his environment. The people were conscious of living in a larger ecologically complete world. Greek and Trojan heroes spoke to the gods, who were in control of all the forces of nature. Such personal contact was to be expected, for these gods were often the mothers or fathers of those ancient heroes. They were just as comfortable in their bodies as in their spirits and these heroes lived a relatively relaxed life and kept fit through athletic competitions and seasonal battles. They refreshed and comforted themselves with feasts and wine containing poppy (opium) seeds. The anthropology contained in these books, is also complete. Every aspect of man which was to be discussed by the classical Greek philosophers and also found in the New Testament 1000 years later, was already described by Homer.

These are not fragile people - they were sure of their identity and of their function in life. They know the rules of the community and of their gods. They know the problems and solutions and deal with confidence with situations which arise and celebrate their triumphs joyfully. They can be successful with reasonable attempts (like Hercules). They are at ease and feel welcome and secure in their world and have no fear of death.

The unity between man and nature, life and death were so complete and genuine, that an outstanding young man was chosen every spring to be king for the year. He was killed at the end of that year and another man chosen in his place. This is the origin of the slogan: "the king is dead, long live the king!" This tradition recalled the death of the sun during winter and its reappearance in spring. This drama of life and resurrection in harmony with nature, was the beginning of drama as a form of art which was used to portray the joys and sorrows of man. In Greek drama, the choir always represents the spiritual dimension which was considered the primary source of all human experiences.

Greek philosophers, such as Socrates and Plato continued to view the connection between man, the spiritual world and nature as a large ecological unit or whole. This is also evident in letters written by Paul and other New Testament authors (who wrote in Greek). Paul writes that the body is the temple of the spirit and that he exercises it to make it useful. John writes that God and man may become one (1 John 4:16).

And the New Testament? The perception of man, in the anthropology of the New Testament, is highly developed. There are four forms of energy and power, three concepts of "life", two words which refer to the body or flesh, a soul and a spirit and a concept "mind" that is not found in Northern European thought. There is simply no word for the concept "mind" in Afrikaans, Dutch, German or the Scandinavian languages. There are also a number of words for intellectual activities such as thinking, understanding, learning through experience, developing insight, etc.. There are also words to express emotions, such as to be deeply moved, to be friendly, happy, angry, etc.. Is it not reasonable to say that the ancient Greeks (and Romans) and the New Testament had a perception of mankind that was at least as sophisticated and ecologically complete as our own, perhaps even more so?

This sophisticated anthropology is part of the generally superior level of development of the Greco-Roman civilization, even on technological level. For example: the harbour of Caesarea is free from sand even though no dredger is needed to remove the sand. The Romans designed it so that the sea currents keep it clean. No modern engineer knows how to design and build such a harbour. These days no government could afford to build the pyramids of Egypt, because the blocks used were too heavy to move, even if the biggest machines are used. Many examples of more advanced technology can be mentioned. Hancock (1997), for example, describes how highly developed the maths, astrology and natural sciences were. The point being made, is that the anthropology and perceptions of human behaviour of those ancient civilizations were equally sophisticated.

This makes it particularly interesting to note that neither the Egyptians nor the Greeks or Romans considered the brain important in behaviour. They regarded the heart and the solar plexus, (which is composed of a number of nerve centres consisting of the same "grey matter" or nerve cells as the brain) to be the seat of thinking and decision making. More will be said about this in the following chapter which deals with the functioning of the brain and its neurotransmitters.

What does the anthropology of the 1960's look like? There are many anthropologies in Western society but here we are referring particularly to the anthropology generally used in the religious and theological context and which is consequently the way most Westerners think about themselves and human beings. Most of the thinking of the West crystallized in the 1960's. Most people still think with the assumptions and concepts, and the anthropology, of that era although it has become largely inappropriate for us today, especially in our conception of normality, health and illness and also addictions. It is also useful to look back for, although this anthropology lives in our hearts, it has the advantage of seeming to be more distant and objective.

The anthropology of the West is much poorer and primitive than that of the New Testament as outlined above. Most people will simply say that man is a body, soul and spirit without really knowing what any of these three concepts mean. This is particularly sad and unscientific in view of the mass of information about human beings and human behaviour that has become available since the 1960's. The great need now is to integrate all the knowledge about ourselves as biological, intellectual, social and spiritual or transpersonal beings and to update the sciences that deal with human beings.

By and large, in the natural sciences as well as in the social sciences, emphasis has been placed on one aspect of man - the reason and intellect. Man's body was seen as a machine. One could use this machine just like a car - you only had to think right and do the correct things. This view of man is reinforced these days by the fact that we now have more "spare parts", such as kidneys and hearts, than before which can be transplanted. In important ways man has become a stranger to himself, a spectator of his own body and behaviour.

Even though we tend to see man as a machine, this is not true in other major aspects of our lives. Recognition is, for example, given in our diets and in sport to the fact that there are various types of tissue (Noakes, 1994) and therefore different bodies. However, sick people, and addicts, are treated as if there is only one body. Sportsmen receive individual treatment and exercise programmes, but addicts and other people are expected to react similarly to the same medication, vitamins, minerals and treatments. Professionals disagree vehemently in the name of science (as outlined in the Vitamin Paradigm Wars, Hoffer, 1996) when there are differences of opinion in this respect or when the people do not react uniformly like machines to treatment or diets.

This "one body thinking" makes it difficult to treat effectively and evaluate the treatment of behaviour, such as addiction, that can be influenced by the correction of small chemical imbalances and attention to individual differences.

This kind of "scientific" or "one body" thinking was typical of Western sciences, particularly in the 1960's. Another characteristic of this anthropology was that human beings were not thought of as part of, or influenced by, nature. Man boasted that he controlled and tamed nature.

The body was something separate from nature inhabited by a "soul" or “spirit" or "person" or "personality" and was (and still largely is) seen as a machine not influenced by seasons or atmospheric changes or climate or even his own nutritional status.

Man also lived separated from God and nature in this world he was creating - man could make his own food (margarine) and could go to the moon, control floods, create his own light at night and even his own air-conditioned climate. He was virtually a god, but in a very different way than the ancient Greek heroes. By the 1960's most people no longer went to church and the lonely individual seeks a place and role in life - the search for meaning in this paradise created by humans.

Do we have problems? Hardly thirty years later a global catastrophe is developing as a result of the efforts of the natural sciences which creates so much pollution, for example, the alienation of man and nature and the denial of the soul. The sciences and the machines, including the human "machine", the body, are out of control. The world around us is fragmented and people are becoming lost in biological and chemical processes that are little understood. That is: more people are becoming addicted to more substances than ever before. A new paradigm and a new anthropology are necessary to understand these processes.

These "lost" people are the fragile people (and it includes just about everybody these days). Our people are not at home in their body or in their spirit. To tell the truth, we don't actually know what the spirit is or how the body works. We wonder if there is a God and are tired of the theories and stories told by ministers and therapists. We want something concrete to hold onto and to do. We cannot become socially secure, because everything is constantly changing. We are shocked by all these changes and are looking for something "out there" to comfort us. We take things to help us relax but they do things to our bodies that we don't understand. Still, we want more, we need something. We swim in a sea of biochemical substances. There is an abundance of everything but we don't know what to do with it or how to control ourselves. There are so few traditional rules to guide us through this strange new world. No culture really knows how to cope with these new developments.

This generation is the generation of fragile people. They are also among the bravest people there have ever been. We are not fighting against visible enemies but against 'something' in ourselves. Our bodies and our spirit and mind are running away with us, enticed by things and situations "out there", or are they "in here"? We get hurt and stand up and try again. We believe that there has to be happiness somewhere. Fragile people are very tough, they are also very sensitive. Fragile people are dreamers who live in fraud and fantasy who must fight to get a grip on reality. Fragile people are you and I, our people.

How did this situation develop? What happened to the New Testament's image of man? Giving a complete answer is almost impossible, but one major factor is the process of secularisation which began when the Christian church became the official church of the state in 316 AD. and spirituality became less important than social image, social issues and politics.

Why do scientist fears the spirit? Another major factor was the near destruction of Western civilization by the Vikings. Lord Kenneth Clarke (1975) writes that Western civilisation survived by the skin of its teeth. That it did survive was due largely to the efforts of Irish monks who brought Christianity back to an almost pagan society. One result of this, however, was the increase of the secular and political power of the Roman Catholic Church. It tried further to strengthen its grip by suppressing scientific knowledge and abusing the spirit. Bainton (1978) writes that it is against this abuse of the spiritual needs of the people that Martin Luther rebelled.

It was as simple as this: if anyone dared to disagree or think differently from the church, the church could condemn that person's soul and spirit and banish the person to hell. The 'spirit' was used as a weapon against scientists, philosophers and political opponents in this way.

Concepts like "spirit", "soul" and "mind" consequently had negative associations for logical and scientific thinkers. The net result was that such concepts were banned from scientific thought until very recently.

When did the body become "bad"? The body, which fared no better, was regarded as a place where the devil could live. As such, the body was the source of all evil (a concept which has survived, albeit unconsciously, until today in slightly updated form in the minds of many health professionals and theologians). At any rate, in the Middle Ages any strange behaviour, such as Huntington's Chorea or Alzheimer's Disease, or the fact that a person could have one blue and one brown eye, was regarded as signs of the presence of the devil.

Today we know that these behaviours are largely due to genetic factors and chemical imbalances and may be treated more rationally than burning at the stake. Consequently, as the origins of more types of behaviour (such as compulsive swearing in Tourette Syndrome) become known, the definition of sin also changes.

The solution to problem behaviour in those days was often to make the body as uncomfortable as possible by bathing in snow, torture, and if nothing else worked, to burning at the stake. The idea was that the devil would feel so uncomfortable that it would leave and the person in the body would be free, saved.

In this anthropology and theology man was estranged from his own body and his own spirit. He was someone inside a shell (a concept refined by Descartes as we shall see).

As scientists and thinkers obtained more freedom from the church, they began to know more about man. They also dissected corpses, and one question was: "where is the place where the soul and spirit live?" or "what is a human being?" They could find no place in the body where the soul or the spirit live. Therefore: there is no such thing as a soul or a spirit. This wasn't only logical and scientific, but such a relief from the threat of having one's spirit sent to hell. This was a significant step in the liberation of scientific thinkers from the church.

What happened to the insights of Renè Descartes and William Harvey? A phenomenologist from the Netherlands, prof. Van den Berg told in lectures how William Harvey (1578 - 1657) discovered (about the same time as Jan van Riebeeck landed in the Cape and Peter Stuyvesant founded New York) that the heart was a kind of pump that circulated blood through veins, but nobody believed him. The Italians were the leading doctors of those times and they laughed at the mad man in London who said that he could hear a heart beat. Until then nobody ever heard a heart beat (strange as it may sound).

A French philosopher, Renè Descartes (1596 - 1650) believed Harvey. He wrote to Harvey, saying that he supported him, not because he thought that the heart actually beat, but because it supported his own theory that the body is a kind of machine.

The functions of all the organs of the body were by then known, except for the function of the gland in the middle of the head, the pineal gland. Descartes believed that he knew the reason for that gland - that was where the soul lived.

Then the question naturally arose: what is the relationship between the bodiless soul and the gland (and the rest of the body)? Descartes used his normal method of reducing everything into components to divide man into parts and distinguished between the bodiless soul and the mechanical body (Van den Berg, 1974). He gladly accepted Harvey's findings that the heart is a kind of pump and used it as proof for his theory that the body is a kind of machine inhabited by a little person (the soul living in the pineal gland) or homonculus.

Is this Biblical? This is not a Biblical differentiation. It does not occur in the Bible and it is not a bodiless soul which is resurrected during the resurrection, but a living body in a new world (van den Berg, 1974).

As indicated above, the New Testament anthropology is far more complex and complete. Paul explains to the Corinthians that there is a hand and a foot, but both are part of one body. Paul (and no other New Testament author) used terms such as "fleshly" and "spiritual" not to indicate "parts" of the person but as an indication of life styles based on different paradigms or belief systems. There is a battle in the body and Paul says that sin or the mistake (hamartia) is in the members of the body, but does not say that the body is sinful. Man's body is involved in the fight and the body is the temple of the spirit. The New testament is never negative about the body.

Paul makes a further distinction between a fleshly and a spiritual body, but he does not contrast the two, nor does he play the two off against one another. To the contrary, he says that the body is dead without the soul (James 2:26). There is definitely conflict within oneself as we all know but the purpose of religion is to grow to unity and wholeness, maturity and completeness as a person (Matt 5:48).

Since the days of Descartes, the idea that the body is a machine or instrument that is driven like a homonculus by another entity, has had scientific status. The clearest image of the homonculus is the portrayal of a little man who stays in the body (possibly in the head). He looks through the eyes, listens through the ears and pulls strings to let the arms and legs move. Modern equivalents are "the person" (who controls the instrument), "the personality", "self-concept". For some people, this Cartesiastic dualism creates identity conflicts, especially when it comes to the concept of unity with God and how "two people can live in one body".

Furthermore, Van den Berg (1974) says that since Descartes made the soul bodiless, nobody knows any longer what the "soul" actually is (we can add that the same applies for "spirit"). We are going to regard "soul", in the original New Testament meaning of "life", "vitality", as a synonym for "energy". As such, it is present in all forms of behaviour and it is a combining factor common in all behaviour on all levels of human existence, as discussed in the Ecological Perspective and in the discussion of Levels of Communication.


Harvey's theory suited Descartes, because the heart was no longer something romantic, but is a mechanical pump. The body was therefore a machine that existed out of spare parts, as Descartes wanted to believe. This then was Descartes' contribution - the Cartesiasts' method of breaking everything down into small parts so that the universe and the secrets of life can be broken up like a puzzle and be put together again. It may sound unbelievable, but that was the basis of the sciences until recently.

What is the effect of the Cartesiastic dualism today? The result of this is that the medical sciences work with a mechanical body even today. It makes things rather difficult for doctors, although they would like to address man as a whole, because of treating "the body" and "the patient" (just like theologists who work with "sin"). Understanding the influence of nutrition on behaviour is also difficult, because it does not fit in with the anthropology of "man as machine". This approach views man as being in full (ecological) interaction with his environment - cultural eating habits, nutrition in the earth, air pollution, biorhythms, biochemical reactions of the body manifested in behaviour and many more.

Theologies have little understanding of the influence the body has on behaviour and faith and it hangs in the air without any basis in reality of human existence. "Spirit" has long been off limits in the mainstream culture. One now finds that biologists such as Sheldrake (1981) and Watson (1996) and psychiatrists like Grof (1990) are busy with meaningful research on the "mind" and "spirit" and the transpersonality dimension. Scientists such as Capra (1996) are trying to synthesize all of these things.

Our psychology wants to respect the "soul " and "Spirit" as a territory of the theology. We do not want to pass comments on these aspects or get involved in transpersonal psychology. Psychology is indeed involved with the body, but more in the laboratories than in the consulting room.

The holistic and ecological approaches that are busy developing in these fields, should possibly lead to significant changes in future.


Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727) completed the mechanistic view of man and the world by defining the laws according to which everything works. With the acceptance of Galileo's discovery that the universe does not evolve around man and the earth, but around the sun, the foundation was laid for a universe and man that works like a clock with gears - being one large machine without a soul or spirit. This was part of the triumph of the reasonable intellect of rational man.

It was Descartes who said: "cogito ergo sum," meaning: "I think, therefore I am". We are freed from the spirit, there are only an intellect and a machine as a body. This was the philosophical foundation for "everything is in your thoughts." One merely has to think correctly, use your will, and your machine (your body) will then work correctly. Even today, this is the foundation for most of the methods of treatment for addicts. The social sciences, including the psychology and theology followed this anthropology of the Cartesiasts' natural sciences.


We inherited the following: being freed from the spirit and were freed from being blackmailed by the church; the belief that everything could be fixed by correct thoughts and by talking correctly; the idea that the body was a machine and the thought that nature was a mechanical thing that could be used and be mastered by man. According to this Catesiastic model, "man" was only "something in the head".

Surely, one can clearly understand why it is going to be difficult for this primitive anthropology to continue its existence amidst all the scientific discoveries, psychological discoveries, the rediscovery of the soul, etc. A renewed paradigm was necessary and continues to be necessary according to the development of new insights.

What about the development of scientific knowledge? Natural sciences made an immense amount of progress by analysing and dissecting everything into small parts. Psychologists also tried to do this. In the first Psychology laboratory in Leipszig, Germany, established by Wilhelm Wundt in 1869, they tried to determine the elements of behaviour. These "elements" were attention, concentration, memory, etc.. It was then discovered that behaviour did not exist out of elements, but that behaviour is functional and purposeful. Likewise, the behaviour of an addict is not "mischievous", but purposeful. The question of "What is the purpose?" will be dealt with repeatedly in this book.

Gestalt-psychologists realized that nothing could be studied on its own or in many parts, and "that the whole is more than the sum total of the different parts". This was the basic idea that crystallised out into the holism and ecology. As for addiction: this means that the behaviour of the addict cannot be understood or treated separately from his environment, his family and his total way of life - addiction is (just like health) a whole ecological process.

A French philosopher, Henri Bergson, added an important concept in the second half of the nineteenth century (approximately 100 years ago), even before the Gestalt-psychologists could formulate their ideas. He said that man, the world and the universe, does not have spare parts and gears like a clock or machine. Everything has another element: a vital, lively power which he called èlan vitale. This was the comeback of "Spirit" to the sciences. This was very important, together with this it is understood that nothing could be understood as a collection of facts or pieces - there is always a dynamic process taking place. The idea of "processes" will be discussed further in the later chapter when the "theory of chaos" and "complexity theory" and addiction is discussed.

It is important to note that "èlan vital" is the same as "energy". This energy is the driving force that gives pattern, form, unity and direction. Energy enables this unity to interact with even greater, more purposeful patterns and networks. For example: it takes energy to be an individual, but also to form part of a working group and be part of a family.

The previous scientific approach was primarily interested in the discovery of "parts", where as the new approach pays more attention to the dynamic processes and system in which everything, as well as man, participates. This will be explained in various sections in this book.

The old ideal of discovering the truth about life and the universe by discovering the basic building blocks of it, was given up. There is no such thing as things existing out of basic building blocks or out of parts of a puzzle. Initially the search was on for basic elements, then for atoms, then for subatomic parts. It is now said, for example by Gideon Joubert (1997) that there are only patterns of oscillation energy. More will be said about this, but it is important to note that man's behaviour must be understood in context of patterns and habits, instead of in terms of "fragments of behaviour" or "symptoms".

New Insights: There has always been an interest in the function of the body in consciousness and behaviour, as well as in the study of the brain and behaviour or physiological psychology throughout all of these developments. As the name indicates, the emphasis was mainly, but not exclusively, on the function of the brain in behaviour (used in psychoneurology). Physiological psychology is described in the Psychology Dictionary (Plug, Meyer, et al, 1988) as that section of the psychology that studies the relation between bodily processes on the one hand and psychological and behavioural processes on the other hand.

One of Bergland's (1985) major contributions was to prove it more clearly that the brain was a kind of master gland and that hormones from other glands in the body also played an important role in human consciousness, thoughts and behaviour. The whole body is now involved even more in the study of behaviour.

While there, was also an interest in the "nonphysical" or "spiritual" aspects of man. This was not normally part of the main stream culture, especially for the sciences, it was a side issue, like research on parapsychology, for example.

With the development and growth of the phenomenology, or the more natural and holistic investigations in psychology and philosophy, scientists such as the biologists Sheldrake and Watson, began looking at the world (and at man) with new eyes. They realised that man and nature did not consist of pieces of a puzzle. They also realised that man consisted out of more than one body and this resulted in scientists studying "spiritual" things (more is told about this elsewhere). New names were also created by them, such as "morphological fields" for these invisible "spiritual" aspects. In a more "deeper ecological approach" the spirituality, as a realization of man's connection with the cosmic, is also emphasised as being a part of the developing paradigm.

Therefore: the body has become increasingly popular for an understanding of the visual, social aspects of behaviour, but also of the nonphysical, or rather the invisible aspects of behaviour.

What is energy? One concept which is common to all paradigms, is energy - it does not matter what is being studied, it is a form of energy and it transforms energy. Energy can't be used up like petrol in a car - energy is never lost, it is merely transformed or changed into another form. The energy found in food is merely transformed into energy to read and write. With death there is also a change of energy into another shape.

"Energy" or "life" is also an important concept in the New Testament used as the word "psuche" ("psycho" is derived from this) and it can be translated as "soul". "Psuche" is the life or energy which is found in everything, according to the Greek-English dictionary. It can also mean a "person", as in "every living soul".

Over the past centuries, especially the past decades, there was a growing knowledge of man as a visible (body) and invisible (spirit) being that uses and transforms energy and man was also perceived as a social being (the psychology and social sciences).

It has now become necessary to integrate all this knowledge in such a way that every angle from which man is studied, conscious levels and behaviour, can receive applied recognition in the everyday life.

If we go back to the perception of man, the world and addiction as upheld in the 1960's and we compare them with the new perceptions, dramatic changes have developed during the course of half a lifetime of man. All that we are going to mention here, because it is discussed in the ecological perspective and in the explanatory notes, is the fact that man is experienced as part of an ecological whole. That is:

1. man is part of the universe and of the processes thereof;

2.man now lives in a chemical instead of a mechanical word and that

3. energy has become an important issue.

What is man's position in the universe, in nature? One of the first things of these changes is that man is no longer the sole ruler in the universe. The sciences as well as reason or intellect can no longer be regarded as the answer to everything. Man is now taken up in the processes of life which are more complex than was expected. For example: it is estimated that there are approximately 75 - 1000 000 human genes on the long DNA strand (the double helix) which have 3 000 000 chemical places where the genes are situated.

A second major difference is that these processes are not primarily a mechanical process, but a chemical process. As we will discover when we discuss the messengers of the brain in the next chapter. This important development necessitates that we concentrate on it for a while.

When did chemistry become important in the behaviour of man? It was reported in an article "Pills for the mind", published in Time 7 March, 1955, that the treatment of psychiatric illness were undergoing a revolution. Two Canadian doctors, Lehman and Hanrahan, coincidently used a chemical substance (chlorpromazine) for the first time to treat schizophrenia. Chemical answers for disturbances in behaviour were found in artificially produced substances, these are the psychotropical substances, tranquillisers and stimulants, as explained in the ecological perspective in chapter 35.

Even before this, Roger Williams wrote a book in 1951, titled Nutrition and Alcoholism. During this time, chemical substances known as vitamins (which were discovered in 1906) were used scientifically to treat illnesses. This is an interesting area where much could still be said, especially when it deals with the treatment of psychiatric syndromes with vitamins, as Hoffer (1996) wrote in The Vitamin Paradigm Wars. Another important discovery in the 1950's was that of chemical substances in the brain, for example dopamine, more is written about this in the following chapter

Earlier people abused natural substances like alcohol, tobacco, dagga, poppy-seed, etc.. Now suddenly, there was a wide range of artificial substances available in abundance and in potent dosages. Now there were vitamins and psychiatric medicines available that were not previously available. People started experimenting with and became addicted to chemical substances like LSD (Gavin tells of this in his story), sleeping-tablets (Norman tells about this), laxatives, etc..

At that time, nobody actually new how these substances worked in the body and what effect they had. It was also very difficult to develop effective treatment programmes. The only thing they could fall back on was the old mechanical "man-being-a-model" of "control yourself and use your willpower and faith". The body was not used as a friend, but rather treated as an enemy, mainly because the potential of the biochemical cooperation within man was unknown. Is it not quite logical, that if we want to understand and effectively treat addiction, then it is important to know something of this new chemical world in which we live? Should we not know about the effect it has on the body and consciousness, especially because all addictions, all forms of behaviour, also has a biochemical ground?

New wine in old winebags? Today, more is known about the chemical, actually the biochemical and physiological basis of behaviour than in the 1960's. Things have developed so fast, that even experts who were at university five to ten years ago, are not aware of many of these developments. Many of us are confronted with the problem of reconciling old concepts and methods of treatments with new insights and we all have a shortage of time. More importantly: the aim of this book is to make a contribution to this process, which actually comes down to the reevaluation and upgrading of paradigms.

A new perspective, a new view of man is constantly necessary to try to understand behaviour in a larger context of life. Capra (1996) says that a renewal in the paradigm actually is a renewal of the perception and perspective. To develop a new point of view, it is necessary to have new facts regarding metabolic humanity, some of these facts are given. At the same time it must be repeated that the world has suddenly become aware of spirituality, a fourth dimension of reality. While we look at the new approach intellectually, it might be necessary to keep the balance of spiritual processes in mind, even if it is in terms of "energy" that works in everything.

Energy is basically the capacity to do something. Everything needs energy - for example, to read this page, to eat, play, digest food, to pray and to sleep. Nothing can be done without energy. When we are "too tired", that is not having enough energy, we can't even sleep. This applies for everything in the universe. Everything is a process of using energy and transforming energy: a chemical reaction, the rising of the sun, the tides in the sea, a plant growing, the sound of a voice over the TV.


We are all aware of our bodies to some degree or other. Some of us, like athletes, sportsmen and models are even more aware of them. We have quickly forgotten the biology and health studies we were taught at school and what it told about what the body consists of and what makes it tick.

Professor Chris Barnard (1981), illustrates that the human body exists out of billions of cells and that every cell is controlled by sets of identical chromosomes. Some of these cells group together and form certain types of tissue (such as muscular tissues). Tissues are grouped again into organs, such as the heart and lungs, which again form part of systems, for example, the digestive- and nervous system. Man, an organism, consists of various systems. Every day millions of cells die in the body and with some exception, are replaced immediately by similar new cells. In this way the body is renewed in cycles that can last for seconds or months.

The cells form the basis of each form of biological life and can be regarded as a factory producing energy and life. In every cell (gender cells differ slightly) we find various pieces or structures with specific functions and a cell-nucleus with identical chromosomes which consists of genes. The membrane of every cell controls that only certain substances are allowed in or out, depending on the primary function of the cell.

Proteins can be regarded as the chemical basis of life and are then transformed to substances like hormones and enzymes which are important for the functioning of every cell, tissue, organ, system and for being human.

Each of these billions of cells needs energy to be able to function. Only plant cells have the ability to store the heat of sunrays as energy in potential chemical compounds like adenosintrifosphate (ATP) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). All mammals take in plants, or parts of plants, as a form of food. All omnivores (man is a super omnivore, Watson, 1987), use both plant- and animal tissue as food sources. This potential chemical energy contained in food, is then absorbed by the digestive system. In this way it is available together with the basic nutrients, like fat, proteins, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, that are absorbed and assimilated by the body. These chemical building blocks are now part of the body's cells and they are, among others, used as energy sources together with oxygen which is inhaled.

This metabolism can only occurs if enough energy is available to fuel the process. Metabolism is all the chemical reactions which occurs in living cells and for which certain nutrients and other chemical particles are necessary. Refer to chapter 38 for more information on nutrition.

What role does energy fulfil with behavioural genetic disorders such as addictions? Each person is undoubtably the product of his ancestors and this cannot be denied, regardless of the uniqueness of each individual. What we inherit from our ancestors are not their perceivable characteristics (such as length), but the ability to bring forth these perceivable characteristics (Levine, as quoted by Jordaan, 1975). Barnard (1981) states it frankly that if an individual is unable to live harmoniously with his environment, that individual and his genetic material will become extinct because reproduction is unable to take place.

A genetic disorder, that can include certain behavioural genetic disorders, possibly including addictions, can manifest at any stage in a person's life. This means that the genetic disorder was present all along in the person's genetic messages. The disorder will be dormant until the right stressor come along that activates the genetic disorder and allows it to develop.

The relevant stressor (such as ageing, pregnancy, addictions) puts pressure on the person's system and can cause the body's levels of energy and/or ability to produce energy to be lowered. The imbalance caused by the stressor, offers the stimulus and opportunity for the genetic disorder to manifest itself.

People often turn to substances like alcohol, drugs, nicotine, certain prescription medication, excessive use of coffee and tea and certain food as a quick source of energy in order to correct this imbalance. Most of these substances suppress the body's natural warning systems (such as pain, fatigue, discomfort) and energy is increased for short periods resulting in a high price: side-effects. The amount in which these substances are used, must be increased to maintain their effect.

Three of the most important role players in the natural production of the body's energy are I-carnitine, magnesium and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). These role players are especially important in the manufacturing of energy in the body's cells and deficiencies of it can mainly be diagnosed through expensive and time consuming measuring techniques (metabolic testing).

Why is energy important in the treatment of addiction? Certain substances are abused or used excessively to obtain a quick source of energy, as explained above. In this way alcohol supplies much energy, but it has no nutritional value (Ende, 1987). Furthermore, it cannot be produced in the body and the person has to maintain his alcohol levels by repeatedly consuming it. It will be explained later, that the body's natural energy (NAD for example) becomes exhausted in the process to metabolise certain chemical substances out of the body.

During the process, a deficiency of energy develops which can lead to an increased intake of the substance being abused and a further decrease in the body's natural production of energy.

By isolating the addict from his abused substance (and with regular eating habits), the body is given a chance to increase the natural levels of energy. This is only an increase and not the recuperating or maintenance of a healthy level of energy. When the person resumes his normal responsibilities and associated energy needs, the improvement disappears gradually (in proportion with the decrease in energy levels), causing him to look for alternative energy sources. In other words: it is normally not very long before the person starts abusing substances again.

NAD supplies the badly needed energy for the addict to stabilise on a physical level quickly. It detoxifies and energises the body and offers the possibility to make meaningful decisions regarding effective treatment. It prepares the person to become involved in continued treatment on a psychological and spiritual level.

What is NAD? Due to the nature of this book, being mainly a multi-professional discussion volume, we are not going to try and give an in-depth biochemical explanation of the functioning of the different enzymes, co-enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino-acids. Complete references are supplied in the bibliography and the reader wanting more information is referred to that section.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD/NADH) is a co-enzyme which is produced naturally in the body from certain food particles by means of various biochemical actions which take place in the liver (Hoffer and Walker, 1994, White, 1982). This co-enzyme continuously alters between the NAD or NADH compound in the body (Hoffer, 1995). It is mainly produced in the liver, under control of hormones secreted by the adrenal gland. According to Mohs and Watson (1989) NAD has more than one hundred functions in the metabolism of man. The functioning of the Krebs-cycle (a very important process) becomes restricted due to the deficiency of NAD and NADP.

According to Clearly (1986), NAD was isolated from the liver in 1937 by Elvehjem. It plays an important function in many enzyme reactions which are involved in the energy production of all cells (Kent, 1996). Low levels of energy in cells can lead to various diseases. There are various causes for low levels of energy in cells, such as low levels of NAD and the presence of toxic substances.

Cleary (1986) is of the opinion that many illnesses, especially in their initial stages, can he treated by increasing the person's NAD-levels. NAD-deficiency syndromes (such as chemical substance addiction, anorexia nervosa, early diabetes, certain heart problems, hypertension and even certain behaviour problems, including violent disorders) originate, among others, from man's changes in nutrition and the inclusion of less meat in the diet. About 10 percent of people have a serious deficiency of NAD. An active man needs approximately 5000 calories from meat to obtain 125mg of niacin, one of the precursors of NAD.

The control centre for NAD is situated in the primitive part of the brain and is activated if the NAD-level becomes too low. This is purely a chemical process that takes place and causes discomfort. Man has quickly discovered that the resulting discomfort could be alleviated by alcohol and the tetrahidroisoquinone metabolises from it. Excessive exercise and the accompanying secretion of endorphins also alleviate the discomfort caused by NAD deficiency.

Hoffer and Watson (1994) suggest that, as a person becomes older, he should take in more niacin, a precursor of NAD. A person of 20 years, needs 100mg, while a person older than 50, should take in 1000mg daily. They also discuss the differences between a nutrient deficiency and a nutrient dependency. The person who absorbs less than the daily average, is deficient of the nutrient. The person requiring more than the daily average is dependent on the nutrient.

A nutrient dependency can be either genetic or acquired. Nutrient dependency manifests because of one or more of the following:

1. destruction of vitamins or of bindings of vitamins with certain foods, bacteria or parasites;

2. insufficient absorption by the digestive system due to the abuse of laxatives, chronic illnesses and damaged intestines through operations, etc.;

3. certain vitamins must first be transformed to co-enzymes, if there are too little precursors, this transformation can't take place (NAD is also formed like this out of a niacin);

4. vitamins are oxidated or broken down too quickly by bacteria and

5. high stress levels destroy vitamins.

Why does NAD work in the treatment of addiction? Since 1974 NAD-supplements have been administered intravenously in the treatment of alcoholics in South Africa. It was already used successfully since 1939 by Mainzer and Krause (quoted by Cleary, 1986) in the treatment of alcoholism. The pioneer in the treatment of addicts, using NAD-supplements is O'Halleren (1961). He used it successfully in treating people addicted to heroin, cocaine, morphine, meperidine, codeine, amphetamines, barbiturates and sedatives. According to Cleary (1986), O'Halleren wrongfully reasoned that the initial and short-term treatment with NAD would alleviate a chronic deficiency of NAD.

In the metabolism of alcohol, and possibly also other substances being abused, NAD or it’s derivatives, plays a primary role. Approximately 90 percent of alcohol is absorbed almost immediately by the body and the other 10 percent is excreted in the urine. One alcoholic suggested that he should urinate 10 times, when he became aware of this fact.

According to Light (1986); Plambeck (1996), as well as Bisson, Butzke and Ebeler (1995), NAD supplies the energy to metabolise ethanol into acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is 10 to 30 times more poisonous than ethanol for the body (Eskelson, 1989). NAD supplies the energy to metabolise acetaldehyde into acetates. Acetates, are metabolised into acetyl-CoA, by the energy released by adenosintrifosphate (ATP). Every three ATP's are formed by the energy released by one NAD composition (Kent, 1996). Acetyl-CoA is metabolised further into other metabolites, with the help of the energy released by three NAD-molecules, which is eventually transformed into water and carbon dioxide which are then excreted.

The average serving of alcohol contains approximately 293 mmol alcohol and needs 586 mmol NAD to transform it into acetate. It is estimated that man has approximately 25 mmol NAD. Metabolising alcohol places much biological stress on the body (Eskelson, 1989).

According to South (1997), acetaldehyde is also formed from cigarette smoke, exhaust gasses of cars, and by the fermentation of sugars, through Candida Albicans. The latter's functioning is especially increased by the constant exposure to increased stress, which leads to the increased secretion of cortisone. This acetaldehyde must, just like that of alcohol, be metabolised with the help of NAD.

The above-mentioned metabolism of alcohol, and possibly other chemical substances being abused and taken simultaneously, increases the deficiency of NAD in the system. According to Korsten and Lieber (1991), this deficiency in NAD can results that there is not enough NAD to form the male hormone, testosterone and the female luteinizing hormone. This can possibly explains the feminisation syndrome in men (loss of beard, enlargement of breasts and low sex drive) and the masculinization syndrome in women (menstrual problems, increased beard and rough voice).

Is NAD only used in the treatment of addiction?
The initial use of NAD or its precursors, was especially in diseases such as pellagra and diabetes. While addicts were being treated with NAD-supplements at Alkogen, various addicts came back and reported improvement of other conditions. Especially people suffering from depression and chronic fatigue, experienced substantial improvement. For the sake of completeness, we will now be looking at other uses of treatment for NAD in the literature.

Hoffer (1995) also used it in the treatment of schizophrenia. His patient functioned well, as long as the patient used his supplements. Three weeks after the patient stopped the treatment he relapsed again.

According to Swendseid and Jacobs (1994), NAD improves the blood levels of cholesterol.

Birkmayer (1997) has already treated more than 2000 patients with Parkinson's Disease. The majority of them showed an improvement in their motor and cognitive abilities. People with Alzheimer's Disease who were treated, showed a dramatic improvement in their memory, mental alertness and cognitive functions.

The following information on NAD was found on the webpage of Reascent Systems (as upgraded on 11 April 1998) and which is mainly based on the work of Sauberlich (1987), Vrecko Birkmayer and Krainz (1993), Birkmayer and Birkmayer (1989a), Birkmayer and Birkmayer (1989b), Birkmayer, Birkmayer, Vrecko and Paletta (1990), Birkmayer, Birkmayer, Vrecko, Paletta, Reschenhofer and Ott (1990), Birkmayer and Birkmayer (1991) and Birkmayer, Vrecko, Volc and Birkmayer (1993). The following findings were discussed in the above-mentioned webpage:

1. NADH rebuilds certain neurotransmitters in the brain, especially the neurotransmitter dopamine and in a lesser degree also noradrenaline. (Dopamine is linked to cognitive functions such as thoughts, memory and decision making and other functions like the sex drive, mood, driving force, coordination, movability. High levels of dopamine decreases appetite and it especially decreases binging);

2. NADH improves the body's immunity;

3. NADH is used in the restoration of damaged cells as well as their damaged genetic codes;

4. NADH is one of the body's most important antioxidants to remove free radicals from the cells;

5. NADH is currently being tested in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Preliminary results indicate that patients experienced an increase in both psychological and physical levels of energy. It is mainly because most sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome experience problems to absorb the B-vitamins.

6. Clinical tests using NADH have shown that there is a noticeable improvement in the condition of 205 patients who suffered from physiological depression.

Is it safe to use NAD? Since 1989, NAD-supplements were given intravenously to more than 12000 patients at Alkogen who varied in age from as young as nine years to older than ninety years. No side-effects were noted across racial, gender or age differences. Similar safety in the use of it was also illustrated in the treatments of more than 3000 patients with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease by Birkmayer (1997). His toxicological tests show that it is safe up to levels of 500mg per kilogram of body weight.

Is NAD-supplementation all that is necessary in the treatment of addiction? The answer to a quick solution is just the same as the fact that the person has gotten used to the quick energy found in the abuse of his substance. NAD-supplementation is the most visible part of the method of treatment at Alkogen, but it is only a small part thereof. It must be determined per person according to the results of his medical, psychological, dietary and nursing evaluations. It is only effective as part of a comprehensive treatment program per person which includes other supplements, prescribed medication, psychotherapy, pastoral counselling and dietary treatment.

Which other supplements are then also under discussion? Various biochemical deficiencies have been found in the results of blood tests done on patients at Alkogen. The tests are expensive pathological tests and the results can often take weeks before they are available. Consequently it was decided to rather use it as the exception to the rule. Dr Davis explained in his interview that a multivitamin and mineral combination, which included NAD, had been compiled. These capsules have been used for some time by many patients and the feedback has been very positive. The multivitamin and mineral combination also replaces the various expensive supplements which were previously prescribed.

The oral use of NAD in smaller dosages is being well established in the treatment of other illnesses like Alzheimer, Parkinson's Diseases and chronic fatigue. This administration also ensures that NAD is regularly available and can be controlled by the user.

Diseases, which are related to poor nutrition and which rather belongs in old textbooks, are also found amongst alcoholics, according to Ende (1987).

Werbach (1995) gives a well researched explanation of nutritional deficiencies and alcoholism in his comprehensive work on nutrition and disorders. He states that alcoholism can lead to nutritional deficiencies and that nutritional deficiencies can also be associated with alcoholism. Nutrition and a balanced diet help decrease the toxic effect of alcohol. It also decreases the craving for alcohol and it can also decrease the intensity and severity of the withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol as an example of addiction and deficiencies. According to Sherlick (as quoted by Werbach, 1995) a deficiency of especially thiamine, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, zinc and certain amino-acids are found in alcoholics.

Werbach also refers to various other researcher's findings regarding deficiencies found in alcoholics. These are briefly summarized and are discussed in the Explanatory Notes and Dietary Perspective.

1.Vitamin A deficiency was found by Hillers (1985), Chapman, Pabhudesai and Erdman (1993), Ward (1989), Majumdar (1983) and Lieber (1983). Lieber is also of opinion that vitamin A can be given to alleviate night-blindness, poor liver functions and sexual impotency;

2. Deficiency in Folic acid was found in research done by Blocker (1987), McMartin (1986), Carney, Chary and Laundy (1990), Majumdar (1982), Thornton (1977) and Merry (1982);

3. Riboflavin deficiencies were illustrated by Majumdar (1982), Majumdar (1981) and Bained (1978);

4.Thiamine deficiencies are discussed in the work of Darnto-Hill and Truswell (1990), Majumdar (1982), Poupon, Gervaise and Riant (1990), Victor and Adams (1961) and Baines (1987);

5. Vitamin B6 deficiencies are pointed out in the research of Hines and Cowan (1970), Majumdar (1982), Majumdar (1981) and Hines and Love (1969);

6. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are found by Caney, Chary and Laundy (1990), Kanzawa and Herbert (1985), Majumdar (1982), Goldman (1979) and Baker (1987);

7. Vitamin D deficiencies are discussed by Bjomeboe (1988) and Mezey (1985);

8. Magnesium deficiencies due to poor intake, poor absorption, excessive excretion in the urine and lowered intake in the cell was identified by Pitts and Thiel (1986), Karkkaien (1988), Abbott (1994), Flink (1986), Bohmer and Mathiesen (1982) Pall (1987), Jermain, Crimson and Nisbet (1992), Stendig-Lindberg and Rudy (1980), Kramp (1979) and Gullestad, Dolva and Soyland (1992).

9. Zinc deficiencies are discussed by McClain and Su (1982), Milne, Johnson and Gallagher (1991), Das, Burch and Han (1984), Menzano and Carlen (1994) and Glushchenko (1992);

10.Arginine deficiencies are clearly indicated in the studies of Robert and Fenaranda (1954), Sunaga, Mamura and Koide (1970) and Shaw and Lieber (1983);

11. Glycine supplementation reduces alcohol intoxication according to Blum, Wallace and Friedman (1974) and decreases chronic poisoning due to alcohol, according to Robert and Fenaranda (1970);

12. Biotin deficiencies were found by Bonjour (1977);

13. Carnitine deficiencies were found by McCarty (1994), Sachan, Rhew and Ruark (1984) and Tempesta (1990);

14. Omega 6 fatty acid deficiencies were pointed out in articles by Gle, MacDonell and Mackenzi (1984); Karpe (1983); MacDonell, Skinner and Glen (1989) and Skinner, MacDonell and Glen (1988).

What effect does alcohol have on nutrition? According to Meduski (quoted in Gotick, et al, 1984) alcohol causes a basic nutritional catastrophe. Alcohol impedes, among others the intake of nutrients (like vitamin C). According to these authors, one cigarette can cause 25 milligrams of vitamin C to be withdrawn from the body.

Alcohol can even cause the small intestines to secrete fluids that will rinse food out of the body even before it could be absorbed. Zinc is also flushed out of the body and this contributes to cirrhosis of the liver.

All of the above indicates it quite clearly that addiction has a negative effect on the body by disturbing the biochemical balances.

Vitamins and minerals can protect the body on the other hand. In this way (Gotlich, 1984) a combination of vitamin C, thiamine (B1) and cystine can offer very good protection against the effect of alcohol.  These nutrients are found in nuts, eggs and soybeans. What then, will the effectiveness of it be, if the body does not have enough energy to use these nutrients?

Are supplements in combinations important? Because people and their situations differ, it will hardly happen that only one vitamin or mineral or combination alone will be able to help everyone. Research will also never find such a "wonder cure".NAD, for example is involved in more than 100 functions and magnesium in more than 70 enzyme reactions. It can therefor happen that a supplement of only the one is not as effective because the other deficiency is still present. Included are the deficiencies of zinc and vitamin C which can also occur.  There is no recipe - each person’s deficiencies must be evaluated individually.

SUMMARY: From the outline of the Western perception of man, it is clear that a meaningful change is currently in process.  This change which is called the "in depth ecological paradigm," views man once again as he was viewed in the New Testamentical times, as an integral part of heaven and earth.

To treat people, also addicts, it means that the dynamic interaction among all factors - genetics, nutrition, medical, social, psychological and religious - are important.
This means that one is not involved in disputed questions like - do vitamins help? There is more than one type of body, therefor, there is more than one type of answer to this question.  The ideal answer lies with the skill of the professional person to know all of these possibilities and to recognise a person with problems and to work with this person in an appropriate manner.