Exploring drug addiction through story and Science | Adam Sud

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Please note that this episode covers disordered eating and suicide. If these topics are potential triggers for you, please listen with discretion or tune in to the next episode. You can find more episodes about mental health that focus less on personal experience here.

Every day for more than 20 years, Adam Sud woke up to a life that didn’t feel like a safe, secure, or hopeful place to be. Struggling with mental health from an early age and relying on addiction as the only dependable “solution”, he spent years facing each day as the most painful one he’d ever had. More than a decade on from the turning point in his journey towards recovery, Adam shares his story and some defining realisations that helped shaped the life he is now excited to experience.

“The things that we choose to believe have real consequences. But they’re not just on us; they’re on the people that we care about.”

Adam is an expert in insulin resistance, weight loss, addiction, and behavioural health. He has worked with respected health and wellness programs and companies, including Mastering Diabetes and Whole Foods Market’s Global Wellness Center. He is an international speaker for the health and wellness movement and addiction recovery movement, having presented at major events including the Whole Foods Market Tribal Gathering, The Food Revolution Summit, and more. Adam has worked in mental health recovery centres, where he has utilised nutrition to strengthen recovery and prevent relapse. He is also the founder of Plant-Based for Positive Change, a non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing research on the connection between diet, mental health, and addiction. Plant-Based for Positive Change led the first research study that investigated the effects of a nutrient-dense dietary intervention on early addiction recovery outcomes.

“What is so important is to make sense of why what you do seems valuable to you. A lot of people look at mental illness and addiction as an act that doesn’t make sense… if you actually sat down with that person and you listened to their story, I guarantee you their use would make a lot of sense.”

In this episode, we undertake a powerful deep dive into the importance of emotional health and self-love in our pursuit of happiness and longevity. Adam shares his journey with addiction, mental health, and surviving suicide, offering his key learnings on building a life that feels safe, secure, and hopeful. He highlights the importance of relationships, how to communicate that you care, and how to give your life value.

You’ll learn about substance use disorder, and why many people fall into addiction. Adam places focus on active recovery, offering advice on how to orient your life around purpose and the pillars of meaningful connection. We also reframe common mindsets around learning and failure; why willpower and grit aren’t the solutions to addiction; and why your body is an ally, not an adversary.

All in all, this is a transformative exchange on behaviour and mindset that is relevant to everyone.

Specifically, we discuss:

  • Intro (00:00)
  • Adam Sud on recovery (04:15)
  • Why expressing love can be difficult (08:55)
  • Substance use disorder (Drug addiction) (14:37)
  • Adam’s story (16:46)
  • Nurturing a child with ADHD (24:42)
  • Becoming hooked on Adderall (32:41)
  • Understanding our choices for pleasure (36:09)
  • Addiction and the fear of judgment (41:00)
  • Adam’s suicide attempt & his treatment and recovery (46:00)
  • Plant-based diet and the pleasure trap (1:02:21)
  • Psychological factors behind unhealthy choices (1:09:25)
  • Remarkable recovery through nutrition (1:18:29)
  • Self-worth, loneliness, and recovery (1:25:40)
  • A call for a safer and compassionate approach to drug use (1:31:56)
  • The INFINITE study (1:41:03)
  • Adam on hitting rock bottom (1:46:24)
  • Outro (1:53:46)

Everyone has something to learn from Adam’s story. Regardless of whether you have personally struggled with addiction and mental health, Adam’s profound understanding of behaviour and mindset will resonate with you, and potentially even shift the way you look at your life. I hope this conversation inspires you to better understand and support those around you and build a life that you wake up excited to experience.

To connect with Adam Sud, you can find him on InstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to visit his website, https://www.adamsud.com/, to learn more about Adam and read about The Infinite Study. Listen to Adam’s past appearances on The Proof in Episode #66 and Episode #144.

The best way to support the show is to use the products and services offered by our sponsors. To check them out and enjoy great savings, visit theproof.com/friends.

Enjoy, friends.


More about Adam Sud

In 2012, Adam’s life was completely out of control. Once weighing nearly 350lbs and struggling with multiple addictions, serious chronic diseases, and mental health disorders. His life nearly came to an end when he attempted suicide by drug overdose. He checked into rehab and with the help of his parents and a plant-based diet, he began a journey that led to a remarkable recovery, getting off of all of his medications, reversing all of his chronic disease conditions, and losing 175lbs.

Adam is now an Insulin Resistance, Weight Loss, Addiction and Behavioral Health expert. He has worked with some of the most respected programs and companies in the health and wellness world. He served as a lead insulin resistance and food addiction coach for Mastering Diabetes, a program that focuses on reversing insulin resistance to master type 1, type 1.5, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes using plant-based nutrition and as a clinical health coach for Whole Foods Market’s Global Wellness Center at the company headquarters.

Adam is an international speaker for the health and wellness movement and addiction recovery movement and has presented at some of the biggest health and wellness events: Whole Foods Market Tribal Gathering, The Food Revolution Summit, Plant-Stock, Nexus Summit, R360, and many more.

Adam has been featured in various books, documentaries, and magazines and some of the biggest podcasts in the world.

  • Men’s Health Magazine
  • Forbes
  • Psychology Today
  • Forks Over Knives
  • Plant Based News
  • The Whole Foods Diet Book by John Mackey
  • Diet Fiction Documentary – Featured Expert
  • Disease Reversal Hope Documentary – Featured Story
  • The Darin Olien Show

Adam has worked in mental health recovery centres using nutrition as a tool for strengthening recovery and relapse prevention. He is also the founder of the non-profit, Plant-Based for Positive Change that is dedicated to advancing the research of diet and mental health/addiction and completed the very first research study to investigate the effects of a nutrient-dense dietary intervention on early addiction recovery outcomes.

If you are struggling with mental health, you don’t have to do it alone.

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