A physical or emotional dependency on some substance or thing is termed an addiction-at least, this is the way we understand the nature of addictions in this day and age. The implication of an addiction is that a compulsive or habitual necessity for the addictive substance exists in the addict and furthermore, this dependence can take the form of either a physical or psychological imperative for the individual-it becomes vital to the well being of the person.
Food can also be addictive and addictions per se are not necessarily connected to drugs or narcotic compounds, indeed many prescription medications are addictive-many people develop addictions to some very common drugs. Addictions can also develop in a person to certain activities and tasks, especially when they fulfill some underlying need-thus individuals can become addicted to compulsive physical exercise, to work and to compulsive and constant diets. As far as addictions go, workaholics are not very different to alcoholics.
Intense and overwhelming cravings develop to the source of the addiction and once a dependency has been established in cases such as nutrient deficiencies, in disorders like hypoglycemia and to substances like caffeine-the consumption of
sugar and coffee will induce strong cravings in the addicted individual.
Psychological problems are induced by the presence of these factors, and disorders like mood swings and insomnia start to affect the individual as a secondary effect. The depletion of much of the body’s B vitamins is induced by the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol. The long term consumption of narcotic substances can lead to a reduction in the levels of essential minerals within the body, particularly the important minerals like magnesium and calcium which are vital for many biochemical processes in the body.
The toxic effects of certain medications and their ability to induce addictions can be quelled by supplements of the vitamin C-the use of this vitamin as a supplement is an excellent idea during treatments that involve the use of strong and addictive prescription medications.
The effects of chemical addictions on the human body can be mild or serious in its implications. The problem with serious addictions is that the addictive substance assumes the primary place in the life of the individual, above all of his or her family and friends, it becomes more necessary than social acceptance, and in all cases of final and lethal addiction it becomes more important than life itself as far as the person is concerned. The subtle growth of addictions is a great danger and most addictions are developed gradually and affect the person insidiously over the long term.
The recognition of the problem by the individual who is addicted is the real and biggest problem in the attempt to treat all addiction related issues in a person. The event that takes casual use to the point of addiction is not well defined and is not very simple-addictions therefore depend on degree and the individual personality. As is well known, the addictions to drugs and to alcohol remain the greatest forms of addictions.
Though narcotics and alcohol are known to be addictive by all people, there two forms of addictions remain as addictive epidemics across the population. Addicts and affected families are supported by a wide variety of support groups, which exist solely to provide support for the addicts and buffer their social relationships vis a vis family and friends. Such existing group programs have achieved a great deal of success in helping many addicts gain long-term substance withdrawal and have enabled many addicts to come back into society.
The presence of a physical or psychological dependence and need is the usual cause of drug and alcohol addictions in the majority of individuals-indeed, many people fulfill an emotional need through drugs or as the saying go “drown their sorrows” in a glass of whiskey.
The intense cravings result due to long term psychological addiction and emotional dependence, while the persistent physical addiction is responsible for causing withdrawal symptoms when the substance is depleted in the body. Good examples of physical addictions are the addictions to narcotics like marijuana, to the drug cocaine and to LSD-in the use of these drugs, the body physically becomes dependant on the presence of the chemical in sufficient amounts.
Psychological and physical addictions are strongly felt from alcohol abuse and addictions to cigarettes are similar in terms of the physical and psychological dependency it creates in the individual to smoking. The ability of the body to tolerate such substances increases with the long term and habitual use of these substances-dosages tend to go up to the point of no return.
While the damage to the body does not reduce in any way over the long term, more of the addictive substance becomes necessary to achieve the same effect, as time goes by. The modern obsession with the ideal to perfect figure, and the stress or penchant for excessive dieting has brought the food addictions to a prominent position among the different types of addictive maladies.
Many of these food addiction and other related conditions have brought about serious health problems in the younger generations-obesity, bulimia and other eating disorders are good examples. The most prominent amount these addictive problems are the eating disorders, examples are yo-yo dieting, and the severe related disorders of anorexia and bulimia-these are potentially lethal problems which tend to affect mostly young people.
The release of brain pleasure chemicals known as endorphins are believed to be partially responsible for the development of the psychologically form of addiction known as anorexia nervosa in many-mostly-young girls. These endorphins are “pleasure” chemicals which are often released by the body triggered by unpleasant conditions or unbearable physical or emotional stress. They are natural compounds which aid the body in coping with stress.
Overeating and the use of food as an emotional bulwark against stress causes obesity, thus in many people this disorder comes through strictly addictive behavior-which leads a person to stuff him or herself as a means to overcome emotional stresses.
Though the full role is not known, it is believed that the personality of an individual plays a prominent role in the manner and form of addiction. Addictions also often come about due to peer pressure, because of emotional instability and in attempts made by individual to quell their feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness-these psychological factors are evident and tend to occur in the majority of addicts.
Most people experience such problems after puberty as teenager’s experience, thus the presence of such emotional hardships make teenagers a particularly vulnerable demographic group to the possibility of abusing addictive substances and to developing eating disorders of many kinds.
The continued use of many addictive substances and the development of dependencies are encouraged in a large part by the presence of social acceptance to the use of certain medications and to substance like alcohol. In the modern world, all sorts of pharmaceutical drugs and medications exist for every imaginable problem, we use drugs to reduce pain, to bring use to sleep and to lift flagging spirits-it is easy to develop an excessive dependence on any substance that eases life.
The situation is not helped by the fact that most advertisements often promise very easy solutions to really complicated problems people face. Social pressure is also another factor, for example, most young women are praised for maintaining a slim figure, though the consequences for the health of the person is known.
Supplements and herbs
Many addiction disorders are complicated with the appearance of other conditions such as malnutrition in the affected individual, the presence of such additional disorders greatly increases the symptoms of the addiction in the affected person, and they give an extra edge to the physical cravings and bolster the withdrawal symptoms. Many of these chemical imbalances which exist within the body can be rectified or corrected by the consumption of appropriate supplements and nutrients.
The majority of individual addicted to chemical substances often have a deficiency of the B complex vitamins-these essential nutrients are vital to calm the nerves, they are also important for the role they play in combating persistent stress and they also enable the body to manage the craving sensations.
Supplementation with the vitamin C is also suggested for all addicts especially during the presence of withdrawal symptoms, the vitamin wards off the destructive effects of the toxins accumulating within the body of the individual. Withdrawal symptoms are also reduced significantly by the vitamin, in addition, the vitamin C helps in lowering anxiety and brings about great improvement in the ability of the person to gain proper rest-lastly it boosts the appetite and thus plays a significant role in the maintenance of the overall health in the addict.
The side effects present in the individual during the appearance of withdrawal symptoms have been shown to be reduced by supplements of the vitamin E, the use of this vitamin as a supplement thus has a proven beneficial effect on addicts. Detoxification and the eradication of antioxidants is carried out successfully by both the vitamins C and E, thus these two essential nutrients help protect the body from any free radical damage in the long term.
If irritability and muscular cramps occur as part of the withdrawal symptoms, then supplementation must be carried out with the essential mineral magnesium. The nervous system is calmed down by the actions of this mineral within the body and it also brings a soothing effect on cramps. Addicts must include this mineral in their supplements as necessary.
The recovery process from alcohol and drugs is boosted if the diet of the patient includes a lot of green food supplements. These are excellent in their ability to assisting in the recovery of the body from the final effects of long term drug and alcohol addictions in many addicts.
Green food supplements include plant based compounds like the chlorophyll and the grass called alfalfa, this have a detoxifying effect in the blood of the patient and they also provide a variety of the nutrients essential for the maintenance of proper body functions, these compounds present in green food supplements include many types of essential proteins along with a wide variety of essential minerals needed by the recuperating body.
The cold pressed herbal flax seed oil and the many kinds of fish oils, along with the essential fatty acid – gamma-linolenic acid or GLA present in the evening primrose oil serve an essential role in the human body. These compounds are required by many metabolic processes to achieve an internal balance in the body of the addict, especially for the functioning of the nervous system in the body. The energy levels in the body are also boosted by supplements of bee pollen; this extremely nourishing food also reduces the intensity of cravings in the body of the individual.
The essential amino acid – glutamine is known as “nature’s brain food” due to the variety of beneficial effects it can induce in the brain. The use of regular glutamine supplements will lead to an increase improvement in the mental capacities of the addict, the amino acid also increases the speed and healing rate of developed ulcers, at the same time it alleviates physical fatigue and reduces the craving for sugar in people. The amino acid also helps in the detoxification of accumulated ammonia within the brain.
Glutamine is very effective as a supplement in the treatment of hypoglycemia in individuals affected by eating disorders-a form of addiction.
Different types of antioxidants, such as the vitamin A, the mineral selenium and the essential mineral zinc are also suggested as regular supplements as an additional means of combating the free radicals within the body.
If the person follows these measures strictly, the continual use of the various supplements will give much better support to the body and aid in the restoration of liver tissue, the supplements will also benefit the pancreas and boost the functioning of the adrenal glands. In time, the taste and constant craving for alcohol, for tobacco, and for caffeine along with the need for other drugs will subside and disappear.
Lasting beneficial results can also be obtained from the use of the following supplemental herbs-these aids in nourishing, strengthening and rebuilding the damaged nervous system in the addict and foster long term health.
Metabolic functions within the body are bolstered by supplements of herbs such as the dandelion, the nettle, the use of the Siberian ginseng in tea or tincture form, the goldenseal herb, the licorice root, the cayenne and the skullcap, and the root of the lobelia along with valerian root.
Herbal teas prepared by boiling these herbs in a little water can be consumed three times every day to bring about better health. The herbal calamus root can be chewed to blunt the desire for smoking in individuals addicted to cigarettes. The detoxification of all body impurities can be achieved through supplements of the chaparral herb, this herb also takes LSD and its metabolites out of the system of drug addicts.
Additional things you may do
Stress is not good for you and complicates existing health issues, avoid being in any situation that exposes you to long lasting and excessively stressful sensations. Travel or stay at home and relax, try to get a complete change of daily environment by taking part in new activities and hobbies.
The best way for the body to recover is if the person assumes a natural and well balanced lifestyle that contains equal elements of plenty of sleep, and lots of resting and relaxation, by following such a lifestyle the body has the time to rebuild organs damaged during the addictive use of medications and other narcotic substances.
Get your liver and digestive systems stimulated by taking part in long walks and hikes in the out of doors, preferably in the fresh air of forests, out in the meadows or in the mountains. Such outside excursions will help rejuvenate the mind and oxygenate the blood-helping overall health in the long term.
Emotional support is very essential to the recovering addict and try to involve yourself with a sympathetic friend who understands your unique situation-this is important as people with strong social bonds tend to do better and greatly succeed in leaving the habit following a detoxification program. Health and vitality are restored by regular sessions of physical activity such as swimming, low physical activities like gardening and alternative techniques such as partaking in regular deep breathing exercises.
Taking to the sauna and forcing yourself to take cold morning body washes will also help you deal much better with the situation and the withdrawal symptoms.
Alfalfa tablets or another green food supplement, one table spoon.
Evening primrose oil, thrice daily, 2 x 500 mg capsules.
Vitamin A, 35,000 IU.
Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 3,000 mg. During withdrawal take up to 10,000 mg of vitamin C.
Vitamin B complex, 50 mg thrice daily.
Vitamin E, 400 IU.
Bee pollen, one to two table spoons.
Nutritional yeast supplements, one to three table spoons.
Glutamic acid, thrice daily, 500 mg.
Magnesium, 500 mg.
Selenium, 200 mcg.
Zinc, 35 mg, with 3 mg of copper.
Other beneficial herbs