Neuroscientist, Addiction Expert Reveal Science Behind Twelve-Step Recovery Programs’ success

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Louis Teresi, MD, pens new book, "Hijacking the Brain"

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‘Hijacking the Brain’ connects the dots between a medical condition and a spiritual solution for the very first time.

More than 23 million Americans age 12 and older need some sort of treatment for drug or alcohol addictions annually, reports the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Although the American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a chronic organic brain disease, one treatment option often turned to is spiritual-based, such as a Twelve-Step recovery program.

The question, then, is how spirituality can be successful in treating a medical condition.

Louis Teresi, MD, medical director of SimonMed Imaging in Southern California and Harry Haroutunian, MD, physician director of the Betty Ford Center, knows firsthand the impact of spirituality on the recovery process both as doctors and recovering addicts. They provide the first-ever scientific explanation for why Twelve-Step recovery programs are successful in treating addiction in their new book, “Hijacking the Brain (published by AuthorHouse).”

“Experts recognize that addiction is an organic brain disease, yet most also promote the use of spiritual solutions like Twelve-Step programs for addiction recovery,” says Dr. Teresi. “But no one really knows why a spiritual solution works. ‘Hijacking the Brain’ connects the dots between a medical condition and a spiritual solution for the very first time.”

Although their explanation is validated through examining new data in the fields of neuroscience, neuroimaging, psychology, sociology and interpersonal neurobiology, “Hijacking the Brain” uses conversational language and abundant illustrations that the everyday reader can easily understand.

‘New York Times’ best-selling author Michael Levin praises ‘Hijacking the Brain’: “As a recovering alcoholic, 20 years sober, and a New York Times best-selling author, I know a life-changing book when I see one. Dr. Teresi has done the astonishing – bridging the gap between the scientific and the spiritual to provide a comprehensive, medically sound and compulsively readable guide for those who need to understand alcoholism, including professionals in the field, loved ones and the alcoholics and addicts themselves. More importantly, it will bring many people to recovery.”

A percentage of proceeds from “Hijacking the Brain” will help fund scholarships for those in need through the Betty Ford Foundation. For more information, visit

“Hijacking the Brain”
By Louis Teresi, MD, in collaboration with Harry Haroutunian, MD
Paperback, retail price $14.95 | ISBN: 978-1-46344-484-6
Hardcover, retail price: $21.95 | ISBN: 978-1-46344-483-9
Available through and

About the authors
Louis Teresi, MD received his B.A. in Biology from Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with highest honors in biology and elected to Harvard's exclusive Alpha Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, where he completed an honors concentration in neuroscience. Trained in diagnostic radiology and neuroradiology at the UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Teresi is the former chief of neuroradiology, MRI director and fellowship instructor at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in California, and is currently the medical director of SimonMed, Imaging in Southern California. In over 24 years of practice, he has authored numerous peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, review articles and a popular textbook in the field of neuroradiology, winning 14 national and international awards for his research. Dr. Teresi was rated one of America's top radiologists in 2002, 2003 and 2007 and was elected to the coveted position of senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology. Dr. Teresi is also a grateful recovering alcoholic and member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He is of service to his home group in Irvine, Calif. and surrounding communities. He graduated middle of the class from the Betty Ford Center, is a member of the California Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Society of Addiction Medicine and is treasurer-elect of International Doctors of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Harry Haroutunian, MD is the physician director of the residential treatment program at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. and is an internationally recognized addiction treatment specialist and lecturer.
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EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:
Publicist: Hannah Shaner
hshaner(at)bohlsenpr(dot)com | 317.602.7137
(When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)

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