Rob Mathews Memorial Foundation

Who We Are
Implementing a Breakthrough in the
Treatment of Addictions

Our nation has had desperate need for new answers that permit lasting recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction.  The ROB MATHEWS MEMORIAL FOUNDATION is dedicated to providing such answers.  It has a poignant story behind it and a real mission ahead.


The History of the Foundation:
A Somber Beginning

In 1975, Joan Mathews-Larson’s seventeen-year old son, Rob,
committed suicide.  Following the sudden death of his father, Joanhad seen Rob go from bright, out going, and cheerful, to moody, unstable and depressed as he began to use alcohol heavily.  She finally brought him to a well-known treatment center that followed the typical psychological, twelve-step approach. Focusing on talk therapy, counselors reviewed Rob’s young life and convinced him that his drinking was a response to blaming himself for his father’s death— new idea for Rob. He left the program abstinent, but still unstable with severe mood swings and depression.  Shortly after returning home, he talked enthusiastically about his plans for school; the next morning his brother found him dead under the exhaust pipe of the car.  Treatment did its best but it wasn’t enough.  The tragedy launched his mother, Joan, on a search for answers: what might have made a difference to saving his young life; what was missing from the traditional treatment; why was one in every four deaths of alcoholics who went to treatment, a suicide?

This search has spanned over thirty years.  Lifesaving research gathered, developed, and tested at a unique clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota—Health Recovery Center.  The Rob Mathews Memorial Foundation continues in memory of Rob whose life could have been saved if only such a clinic had been available to him.

Research That Provides New Hope

The strength of Dr. Mathews-Larson’s orthomolecular treatment model may be reviewed in the study done as part of Joan Mathews Larson’s Ph.D. dissertation.  The results appeared in a peer-reviewed journal: The International Journal of Bio-Social and Medical Research The study’s conclusions support the findings of current researchers as to the physiologic basis and the biochemical effects of this disease, which, though appearing emotional, responds dramatically to treatment of the brain and central nervous system.

The study’s 100 clients share a combined tally of 98 previously failed treatments attempts, yet after completing a psycho-biologic treatment model, 74 of the 100 sustained abstinence and stability one to three years later.  By comparing the study’s long-term follow-up to average one-year follow-ups available from this field today, it becomes clear that this combination of biochemical repair, combined with therapy offers far greater chance for success: 3/4 abstinence instead of 1/4 abstinence.

The Rob Mathews Memorial Foundation teaches a new paradigm:
“Cause-Based” Treatment grounded in 21st Century science

Alcoholism is not a psychological disorder, emotional weakness, or sign of a flawed character that can be resolved with talk therapy. Alcoholism is a genetically determined, degenerative disease that manifests as a powerful physical addiction that gradually inflicts mortal damage to the chemistry of the body and central nervous system. To fully recover from alcoholism, physical repair must occur, and the brain must be stabilized.

Scientific research about alcoholism and how it is currently treated says:

  1. Treatment emphasizes behavioral and psychological rehabilitation based on the assumption that emotional and or sociological problems trigger out of control drinking.
  2. Psychologists and psychiatrists working in the treatment field describe alcoholism as mental disorder and treat it as such.
  3. Despite the variety of therapies available in treatment settings, recovery rates remain consistently poor—relapse is the norm.
  4. Present treatment methods fail to relieve depression and anxiety, end alcoholic cravings, or help alcoholics overcome unstable moods. These unstable moods result from the depletion of brain chemicals exacerbated by heavy alcohol use.
  5. Whether alcoholics recover on their own or with treatment, less than 20% sustain abstinence for a year.  Only seven percent are sober after four years (NIAAA report and New England Journal of Medicine Study). One in four deaths among treated alcoholics are due to suicide (Archives of General Psychiatry).
  6. The mortality rate among both treated and untreated alcoholics is about three times higher than among the general population.


In science, when a theory is tested and fails to deliver on its promise, it is deemed disproved, a null hypothesis.  At that point, researchers know they must discard the faulty hypothesis, and search for a new answer.  In scientific terminology, clinging to a disproved theory is an error of the first kind.  Data from studies of alcoholism treatment have demonstrated again and again that we are locked into this kind of major error in our concept of alcoholism as primarily a psychological disorder.  Present methods have been failing us.  Most alcoholics do not recover.  Ultimately, they die of this disease.  It is time to relinquish old beliefs and embrace proven new scientific answers.  Health Recovery Center in Minneapolis has pioneered and demonstrated a high level of successful recovery by incorporating Bio/Medical/Nutritional Repair.  This foundation’s purpose is to teach this new paradigm: THE MISSING PIECE OF TREATMENT.