Addictions (general remedies for)
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND

Addictions are all around us, but they are often difficult for people to acknowledge or talk about. An addiction is a dependency that creates a compulsive or habitual need to repeat an experience. The addiction may be mild or severe, socially acceptable or socially unacceptable.

When we think of addictions, we commonly think of socially unacceptable addictions, specifically addiction to drugs, but many addictions are socially acceptable. Two of the most common addictive substances in North America are tobacco and alcohol, and both are widely accepted socially, in spite of their potential dangers. A car is a lethal weapon when the driver is under the influence of alcohol, while smoking damages the lungs not only of smokers, but of people who are inhaling the secondhand smoke.

Alcoholism and cigarette smoking are obvious addictions, but an even more common addiction is caffeine. How many people just cannot "get through the day" without a cup of coffee or a caffeinated soda? And what about food? With 70-80% of the people in this country being overweight, how many people are suffering from food addictions?

Behaviors can be addictive, too. people can become compulsive about sex, gambling, or shopping. What makes a behavior addictive is its compulsive and repetitive nature. The Greeks had a saying about this: "Everything in moderation; nothing in excess." When we can't stop a behavior that is damaging to ourselves and to others, it is addictive.

What causes addiction? It's the desire to feel good! One reason people may become addicted to certain substances or behaviors is because they stimulate the release of neurotransmitters in their brain and nervous system, such as endorphins, dopamine, or epinephrine. Most addictive substances either mimic or trigger the release of these chemicals, all of which elevate mood and help us feel good. The body becomes accustomed to this outside stimulus, which becomes necessary to the release of these chemicals, and the person becomes addicted.

Moderation is the key, and it's easier said than done. It's a dilemma that is deeply rooted in human nature, our need for ritual, our love of pleasure and our cravings. Here are some basic suggestions.

First, it is critical to understand that one does not overcome addictions by willpower. It simply does not happen. The instinctive drive for pleasure and self-satisfaction is too strong for us to resist. It easily subverts people's good intentions.

That's why the first thing anyone needs to do to overcome an addiction is to seek outside help. One of the reasons for the remarkable success of organizations like Alcoholics Anonyrnous (AA) is they provide a support system that gives people accountability to a power outside of themselves.

Forming groups of people that meet together to support one another in overcoming addictions to drugs, alcohol or even overeating (weight loss) has proved to be one of the most successful models for helping people become free of addictive behaviors. So first, seek assistance from other people who have overcome the addiction you wish to overcome. Allow yourself to be accountable to outside influences, including spiritual so you are not relying on your own willpower.

Secondly, since addictions are motivated by the inner desire we all share to feel good, improving overall health and nutrition will make it much easier to overcome addictions. When our diet contains a proper balance of nutrients, and we are otherwise taking care of the body, it produces the chemicals that make us feel good. This is the healthy way to feel good.

Finally, cleansing the body is very helpful in overcoming addictions, especially in helping a person going through withdrawal. A general cleanse with a general blood and liver-cleansing formula can help the body flush the toxins created by the addictive substance out of the system.


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Therapies:
Affirmation, Visualization & Meditation, Aromatherapy, Cleansing prrograms, Hydration and Stress Management

Therapies: Stress Management

Flower Essences: Be Response-Able

Nutraceuticals: Multiple Vitamins & Minerals