overcoming addiction

From People Who Have Been There

“Several years ago I found myself in terrible shape emotionally.   My mother had recently passed away, my father shut down emotionally and was not communicating with me.  I also absolutely hated my job.  I started drinking very heavily and smoking Marijuana on a daily basis.  Things went from bad to worse until one night I drank through the night until at 8am the next morning I was so wrecked I didn’t want to go on.   I had the sense somehow to call Dr. Kipper’s office and ask for help.  Without missing a beat he sent a nurse to my home to evaluate my situation.  It was decided that I should indeed be in a rehab program.  Dr. Kipper prescribed a 30 day program outside of California.  He checked on me on a daily basis and upon the end of my rehab program hooked me up with an alcohol and drug counselor.  I can honestly say that without Dr. Kipper’s patience, understanding and compassion for the human condition, I would not be alive today to talk about it.

David Kipper saved my life. Through his wisdom, insight and extraordinary empathy, he attended to me daily until I was able to work through myriad emotional challenges. His dedication is unwavering, his knowledge across the spectrum of addiction immeasurable. I have known Dr. Kipper for 17 years, 13 of which I’ve been sober. He is my guardian angel. I am forever indebted to him.

Thank goodness I met with Dr. Kipper regarding my struggle with overeating and being obese almost all of my life.  I am now an active and much healthier 75 year old woman with a new lease on life.  It was because of Dr. Kipper that I realized I had a food addiction…I just thought I loved to eat and didn’t exercise enough.  When I recognized that I did have an addiction it was only then that I learned to deal with it through my meetings with Dr. Kipper, a food therapist Dr. Kipper introduced me to and a structured food program.  I was 74 years old, 5 ft. 1 in. and 240 pounds.  I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure and I finally realized that at the rate I was going, I would not be celebrating too many more birthdays.  I followed a sensible eating program without medication and began walking more…now after a year and 4 months I have lost 99 pounds heading toward that 100 pound mark.  The greatest joy I have these days is being able to sit on the floor and play with my 5 year old grandson.  Thank you Dr. Kipper…”
Myrna Saltzberg

“A very grateful recovering food addict Since 2003 I’ve worked as a registered nurse for Dr. David Kipper. I have assisted him with hundreds of drug and alcohol detoxification cases, serving as the coordinator of nursing care. When we help an maddicted patient detox, we always inform them that our goal is to minimize their discomfort. This is done with medication specifically designed to treat the varied side effects of withdrawal. I have witnessed many patients being surprised that their experience of the detox process was relatively comfortable. Depending on the addictive substance involved, Dr. Kipper determines which underlying medical condition requires treatment. This correction process specifically works by balancing or replacing brain chemicals to ensure the patient’s experience of health and wellness. The indicated medication to effect this correction is prescribed whether the diagnosis is depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, etc. It is my experience in getting to know these patients that with their imbalanced brain chemistry, they are provoked to self-treat in order to feel well. Many of these self-treating substances are addictive and not taken under the direction of a professional. These patients self- medicate, striving to feel, think, and act normally. The basis of addiction is an untreated underlying medical condition.

After the patient has completed the detox phase of treatment, Dr. Kipper refers them to other long-term treatment modalities, including psychotherapy, 12-step programs, cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, family counseling, addiction counseling, among many other options that are tailored to the needs of the patient. Dr. Kipper remains in constant touch with these patients because addiction is a long term chronic disease which necessitates a team approach. All professionals on the team keep in regular contact to ensure the patient’s ongoing success with their addiction treatment. The medical treatment for the underlying condition is continuously monitored. In my experience, the patient who is detoxed, treated for the basis of their medical condition, and continues treatment with other modalities has the greatest rate of success. I have previously worked in a 30-day residential treatment facility that did not seek to correct a medical basis nor did it follow up with other treatment modalities and the rate of recividism was very high.

The point my work in the helping profession of nursing is to help heal and maintain health.  I have worked closely with many patients in Dr. Kipper’s practice treated in this manner and am proud to be a part of this team of professionals. It is most gratifying to keep in touch with a former addict whose life has been positively changed forever.

Working with Dr. Kipper has opened my eyes to a true understanding of what addiction really is.  Dr. Kipper’s attention to each patient and their relation to substance abuse has helped many families following his treatment.

Readable, understandable, and a guiding light for those seeking a path out of the darkness of addiction.”
Harland S. Winter, M.D.,
Chief of Pediatric Medicine, Mass General/Harvard

“I can’t think of many people who have more integrity and care more about their patients than Dr. Kipper does.  David is bright, caring, and a damn good doctor…one of the best, And I’ve known many.”
Shari Belafonte, actress

“David Kipper is the doctor you remember from Frank Capra movies but rarely encounter in real life.  Endlessly patient, versed in all areas of the healing arts, keenly aware of all the new developments in medicine, and most importantly, a deeply caring and personal presence in his patients lives.   He is a living, walking around testament to the Hippocratic oath and I’m honored to know him.”
Alan Arkin, actor

“From birth, I believe we all deserve the opportunity to be whole and healthy.  My physician and friend Dr. David Kipper treats people with an addiction and in his book shares a liberating message that can allow those with an addiction to be the best that they can be.”
Rafer Johnson
Olympian and Director of the Special Olympics

“I have known Dr. Kipper since 1987.  As a psychiatrist, what I appreciate most about Dr. Kipper is his awareness of a broad range of psychological issues affecting his patients.  For an internist, his level of psychological sophistication and insight into patient issues is truly remarkable.  Also of note is his earnestness and integrity:  in pursuit of diagnoses, consultations, treatment, family support and interventions, and vigilance with respect to medical issues on behalf of his patients. Nowhere do these skills and awareness show up more than in his attention to patients suffering from addiction.  “The Addiction Solution” will bring to everyone this knowledge, experience and caring gained from years of study and experience.”
Alan S. Blaustein, JD, MD
Los Angeles, CA
Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

“My name is Patrick. I was asked to make this anonymous as to not be embarrassed sharing my experience with my recovery from alcoholism. I would like to start by saying; part of my recovery is not only recognizing but admitting to myself that I have a serious and in far too many cases, deadly disease. This is why I am using my real name.

Approximately 4 months ago, during a very far too frequent black out from drinking, I made a phone call to a radio station in which Dr. Kipper is the host. I spoke with Dr. Kipper and relayed to him that I was an alcoholic and had no alternatives but to linger on and die a disgraceful drunk, hurting the people that matter the most to me, my daughter, my son, and my 2 year old grandson. In my drunken best thinking, I thought that the true man’s way to handle this was to take my own life. After years of trying to stop drinking through methods such as cold turkey, switching substances, and AA, I had resigned myself to the fact that this disease was something that was a part of me and the only way to stop the disease was to stop me. Please understand that when I say this, it comes from a place deep in my soul after years and years of wondering why I was so unable to just stop. I was relatively good looking, intelligent, successful and I was married to a very intelligent, loving and attractive woman for more than 20 years who had given me two children that I absolutely adore and love. Of course like any husband and father, I wanted to make my family proud, comfortable, and happy. But with this disease, I found that to be impossible to do. It was out of my control.

It WAS my belief that at the age of 50, I truly was at the end of my rope.  My disease had started very early in my life. At the age of 14, I found that alcohol was the answer to all of my fears, anxiety and insecurities. I can remember as if it was just a week ago, the first time I had a drink. Even though it made me sick, there was something magical that happened that I couldn’t understand at the time. All I knew was that this was the antidote that would make me as smart and happy as everyone else seemed to be. Not to forget, good looking. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I found a way to obtain alcohol or in my mind, my magical drug that made the world right. This wasn’t hard to do in my case because drug and alcohol use was very familiar in my home. It was within reach all the time. I found that dinking was the only way to cope with the world that I felt alienated from.

I attended AA in hopes to cure my inability to control this disease. While in a DUI class, I had heard that there was a drug that would not only make you violently sick if you drink any alcohol what so ever, but also make you wish you were dead. Well, I was already both of these, so I figured, what could it hurt? So I purchased a 30 day supply of Antabuse from my reluctant family doctor and then paid my son $500 a week to give me the prescribed daily dose. I thought I was able to kill 2 birds with one stone and show my son that I found a way to beat this once and for all. After 4 days of taking this drug, I came to the realization or in my case rationalization that living without alcohol was something that was not possible for me. Waiting for my son to leave on the fourth day, I counted the minutes until I could drive to the liquor store and buy a case of beer. All the while mindful that I had just taken Antabuse. I was sure nothing could be worse than the way I was already feeling. I couldn’t wait to be comfortable in my own skin again. My last memory of that evening was walking into my bathroom and seeing myself in the mirror and wondering why my face and torso was multiple colors, such as blue, yellow, and red. I looked around the room wondering if something was wrong with my eyes. The room looked normal, but when I looked back into the mirror I still looked the same. I think a normal person might have been frightened or at very least concerned, but not me. I looked into my face, laughed and said out loud, “you’ve finally done it.” I went and retrieved was left of my case of beer and then went to my room locking the door behind me. I was sure that I would not wake up to see the next day and was worried that my son who would be coming over in the morning to give me another dose would find me. Although I failed to conquer the disease, I was relieved by the thought that it would finally be over. Needless to say, I didn’t conquer the disease, nor was the disease finished with me yet. It wasn’t but just a few months later that I came up with an elaborate story that I was buying hand guns for self protection. All the while, knowing inside that one of these would be my way of conquering what had taken every bit of my soul away. I don’t want to use this time as a place to dwell on how physically and mentally ill I had become. I am sure anyone reading this, addicted or not, has experienced the insanity of an addicted loved one.

Now that I have explained how I had gotten to the point of praying to finally be done with my disease one way or the other, I would like to share my experience with the treatment that Dr. Kipper introduced to me.  Dr. Kipper explained to me that my disease was manageable through a revolutionary process of medication that addresses my particular chemical imbalance which includes serotonin levels. I was willing to do anything to be around long enough to see my grandson grow up, even though I had already given up hope. It wasn’t long after starting my treatment that I started to feel a difference in my overall well being. I was calmer, less anxious, I was comfortable in my own skin and more importantly, I was sober. My treatment included the prescription of Lexapro which to my knowledge is a medication that helps my anxiety and depression. Dr. Kipper explained to me that taking this medication was not necessary because I was weak, but because I was chemically imbalanced. He also reminded me that I had been self medicating all my life; I was just using the wrong medicine. I would like to thank Dr. Kipper along with all those responsible for developing Lexapro. Dr. Kipper is not only a brilliant physician but he has the understanding and the empathy required for treating someone with my disease. I feel now, quite literally that I have a whole new lease on life. If you were to ask me if there was anything that I would change, my answer would be that I wish I would have met Dr. Kipper years ago before my disease had stolen so much of what life had to offer to me. I hope that in writing this, it may help another person come to the realization that there is help available. Please don’t give up.”

“We are told not to quit trying before the miracle happens. Nine years and twenty-nine days later, I stand as a sober testament to the miracle of Dr. David Kipper – who believed in me long before I could believe in myself.”

Why can’t I wake up and show up like everyone else? Why does it always feel like I am pulling a thousand-pound weight? Where does all this emptiness come from?

I have been asking myself the above—and similar—questions for as long as I can remember. Early on in middle school, I would look around at other kids. They were engaged in what was happening, either with sports or other activity groups. I knew I could be a part of, I had no feelings of worthlessness… I just felt like I wasn’t the same. I felt like I needed some relief of some sort. I knew about the Hippie scene my parent’s were around for and got into the music of that era. I wanted nothing more than to have been born 30 (or-so) yrs earlier.

Around this same time (5th, maybe 6th grade) some police officers came into the school as part of the D.A.R.E. program. They brought with them a clear display case exhibiting all illict drugs. This was amazing. They had us do worksheets that would show how high you could get from one drug and how reality would slip away. They made sure we knew this was terrible, and a smoking a joint was a one-way ticket to a skid-row apartment and needle marks and possibly even HIV. This didn’t seem right. My interest was peaked and I found others like myself.

The drug part of the story is like anyone else’s. Pot turned into hallucinogenic turned into pills turned into oxycontin turned into my dad throwing lots of money into lots of failed treatment options. I couldn’t stop using opiates. My first experience was at age 11… I had a terrible headaches that wouldn’t go away so my mom gave me my first Vicodin. I was IN LOVE! – I wanted to write poetry and make art. I felt High, yes… But there was more to it. I felt OK. I had never experienced this.

In my early twenties I used Opiates and Cocaine (more to keep me awake after all the opiates) successfully at work. They did the driving and I just showed up. Showing up was impossible on the days my dealer was on vacation or was dry. But this was a short lived success. I needed more and more and more.. I stole, lied, etc… I hit bottom when I lost my job.

I have spent the past few years working with Doctor Kipper and getting my life back. I am being treated with therapy and a combination of non-addictive meds that we have fine-tuned (and continue to fine-tune). This man has become like a second father to me, and I have been able to get the answers to the questions I opened with. When I sat down with him, it became so simple. I am treating my disease on a daily basis with a combination of 12-step meetings, therapy and medicine that has been fine-tuned to treat what it is that triggers my drug-use.

I was acting as my own doctor for years. I don’t think medicine is my thing. I finally feel like I am living in the solution rather than hiding out feeling hopeless, and helpless. I recommend this method to anyone who has struggled like I have. At the end of my using I was a “hope-to-die addict” this is something that now seems so foreign. Please do yourself a favor, check this out. It truly is the only real fix I’ve found.”
Very best,
An extremely grateful patient and friend

“Not only is Dr. David Kipper’s Addiction Solution compassionate, cutting-edge and backed by science, it works. Brain chemistry, genetics, and stress can combine to create a perfect storm. As a registered nurse, I have witnessed how this “storm” leads to destructive and addictive behaviors that plague entire families. Similar to treating other chronic medical conditions like diabetes, the remedy for addiction requires a comprehensive, long-term, medically based cure.  While working with Kipper’s team of clinicians, counselors and caregivers, I have seen first hand how this approach allows patients to successfully manage their disease and live happy, healthy lives.”
Andrea Lankford, RN

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