'In seeking to cure his own alcoholism, Ameisen has made a breakthrough in helping addicts. His book is both a personal memoir and a call for research into the muscle relaxant Baclofen, which both helped Ameisen and shows great promise in helping sufferers cope with all sorts of addictions' BOOKSELLER '[Olivier Ameisen] has done extraordinary things... I'm receiving hundreds of emails all the time from doctors and former addicts saying [Baclofen] has changed their life' Dr Jonathan Chick, Consultant psychiatrist for NHS Lothian Alcohol Problem Services and chief editor of ALCOHOL AND ALCOHOLISM, BIG ISSUE (Scotland), April 2009 'Dr Olivier Ameisen is a remarkable medical researcher who shares his journey from profound alcohol addiction to sobriety in this fascinating book. He writes in a well-educated informative style, describing his own personal experience whilst usefully incorporating relevant research and scientific papers' Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access, March 2009 'Ameisen's story if unsettling not simply because it shows how easy it is to slide into alcoholism, but also because it raises troubling questions about who controls the drugs patients can access' SCOTSMAN MAGAZINE, June 2009 'This engaging account does give interesting insights into the toll this disease can take and shows how ... It was possible to fight back' NEW SCIENTIST 'This book is the riveting story of a sensitive and talented doctor whose life lapses into alcoholism. It is also the story of the dazzling discovery of a cure that could soon be within reach of all. If you or someone close to you suffers from alcoholism or drug dependence, you must read this book' Dr David Servan-Schreiber, author of HEALING WITHOUT FREUD OR PROZAC and ANTICANCER 'Brave, insightful, and sure to be significant' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY 'Truly fascinating ... I was very moved... It's extraordinary' Diane Sawyer, GOOD MORNING AMERICA 'The riveting story ... of the dazzling discovery of a cure that could soon be within reach of all. If you or someone close to you suffers from alcoholism or drug dependence, you must read this book' David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, author of THE INSTINCT TO HEAL and ANTICANCER 'I have prescribed baclofen to more than 135 alcoholics who were at the end of their rope, and the results are quite frankly miraculous' Renaud de Beaurepaire, MD, Chief of Psychiatry and Director of the Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Paul Guiraud Hospital, Villejuif, France 'This is a wonderful book. Ameisen may be responsible for making a signal discovery - much like, but better than, that of George Cotzias in that so many more patients may be involved' Dr Jerome Posner, George C Cotzias Chair of Neuro-oncology, Dept of Neurology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 'A masterpiece' Eliot Gardner, Director of Neuropsychopharmacology, National Institute on Drug Abuse (National Institutes of Health, USA) 'You have discovered the treatment for addiction' ?Jean Dausset, M.D., winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Medicine 'This is not your usual memoir of addiction, degradation, and redemption' THE BOSTON GLOBE 'He is as deft with the medical basis for baclofen's efficacy as he is unsparing in his personal account of alcohol's terrors' MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE 'Moving story ... compelling book' SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 'In this remarkably candid memoir of crippling alcoholism, cardiologist Ameisen's passion for curing addiction is palpable, at times gritty, and, in the end, hopeful' BOOKLIST 'A French-American cardiologist then affiliated with New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical College descended into years of hellish alcohol addiction that essentially ended his medical practice in 1997. His move back to Paris and self-treatment with the unproven drug baclofen is the subject of this clinical, thoroughgoing memoir. Early on, Ameisen, the child of Holocaust survivors and an accomplished pianist, recognized that deep-seated anxiety was driving him to drink, yet doctors treated the drinking rather than the anxiety. He tried years of AA, rehab and medication, but in time he was binging again-blacking out and ending up in psych wards or the emergency room with broken bones. When he read about the muscle relaxant baclofen in a New York Times article, suggesting that it could repress the craving in addicts as well as control muscular spasm, he seized on the drug as his life line. He researched baclofen, prescribed it to himself (thanks to France's medical identity cards) and essentially used himself as a study over several months, increasing the dosage as necessary. The results were remarkable, and his dogged self-case study published by the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism in 2005 gathered slow but intensive interest. As a trained physician who is evidently well connected, Ameisen is not a typical patient, yet his work is brave, insightful and sure to be significant' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, November 24th
Dr Olivier Ameisen inaugurated the position of official physician to the prime minister of France. In 1983 he moved the the US to join the cardiology team at New York Hospital and Cornell University Medical Center. He currently divides his time between Paris and New York where he is a Visiting Professor of Medicine at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.