Reel Recovery

By: Leonard Buschel

Follow the musings of REEL Recovery Film Festival Producer and Writers in Treatment Founder Leonard Buschel.

$800 a Hit? No Problem!

Apr 21, 2011
I never thought I would say this: Robert De Niro ruined a movie. Or was it the casting director who thought Bobby De Niro (aka Johnny Boy Civello, Travis Bickle, Rupert Pupkin, Vito Corleone, et al) could play a Fortune 500 Wall Street tycoon. If it had been Edward Herrmann as Carl Van Loon instead, “Limitless” would be this year’s “Social Network.”

Except what Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had was God-given, strengthened byresentments and greed. Bradley Cooper (as character Eddie Morra) gets his help with “NZT.” This film is a drug addict’s wet dream…even if a potential side effect of this 21st century, sexy-looking pharmaceutical is premature death.

The film opens with a mediocre writer trying to become an author. He doesn’t so much have writer’s block, as talent block. Luckily he runs into his ex-brother-in-law, who has some samples of a dolt’s dream come true. NZT raises your IQ so much you could beat Bobby Fischer at chess, proofread Einstein’s “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” and banter with Oscar Levant all at the same time.

Once Eddie has his first dose, he’s hooked. The first dose was free (isn’t it always?), and when he was told the next hit would be $800, his response was the same as most of us—“No problem.”

It’s all about brain chemistry, isn’t it? And too many treatment programs don’t emphasize the importance of nutrition. Because if they did, why haven’t I been told about it before? Dr. Charles Gant has the response:
There are many reasons why this information has not been widely disseminated. Most people believe that people abuse drugs for psychological, not biochemical reasons. Most professionals do not know about the tens of thousands of studies that have been done in nutritional science. It is human nature to be threatened by new ideas, especially if the older view could be questioned.

Bill Wilson the founder of AA, discovered that vitamin B3 (niacin) could help relieve depression for himself and other recovering people. He spent much of the last decade of his life trying to help recovering people understand that alcoholism is not only a disease of the mind and spirit, but also of the body. The discovery that niacin is a cofactor in the conversion of the amino acid tyrosine to the natural “feel good” neurotransmitters, catecholamines, did not happen for many years after he died. All Bill knew was that it worked and it was a factor in the physical aspect of recovery.

And I think he knows what he’s talking about. I’ve been taking Dr. Gant’s SynaptaGenX, a neuroadaptagen amino acid therapy ($119 for 120 tablets), for three weeks and I swear I keep remembering facts from my past, just like the character in “Limitless.”

The other day at the sushi bar, I had a passing thought about
Shogun (which I read 30 years ago), and the main character’s name, John Blackthorne, popped into my head. I hadn’t thought about the book or that character in years. Even though nothing has changed in my life externally, I have some extra enthusiasm, an improved outlook about the future and flashbacks of interesting minutiae. (I’m actually used to having what I call “flaskbacks”.) All this with none of those pesky death-like side effects!

So when your sponsor says, “All you have to change is everything,” I hope everyone includes his or her diet.



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