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Drug Addiction



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What Is Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction, or Addiction in general, is a chronic, often relapsing, brain disease that results in continuous drug use and seeking.  Addicts will continue to seek or use drugs, despite the negative effects it brings to them and/or family members and friends.  The reason that Drug Addiction is a brain disease is because drugs alter the brain's chemistry and function.  This changes the brain over time and hampers one's ability to resist the urge to take drugs or have self control.  A person does not have this altered brain chemistry when they initially take substances, but it happens over the course of using them. 

Signs Of Drug Addiction

Most Drug Addictions being with experimental use of a certain substance.  The risk of developing an addiction varies on the substance, as some addictions will develop quicker than others.  As time passes, an addict may need more of a substance because of an increased tolerance, and this makes it difficult to stop.  Symptoms are as follows:

  • Having Intense Urges to Use the Drug
  • Feeling that you Have to Use the Drug Regularly
  • Built-up Tolerance to a Substance
  • Keeping a Certain Supply of a Substance
  • Drugs Interfere with Life (not fulfilling work tasks, avoiding social or family gatherings, or avoiding activity)
  • Focusing more Time on Drug Use
  • Failing to Quit Using
  • Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms (after not using the drug for a certain amount of time)
What Causes Drug Addiction

While biological factors tend to create Drug Addictions, psychological factors are believed to be the primary cause.  Most traumas such as sexual or physical abuse, neglect, or a chaotic home can be the cause of pyschological Drug Addictions. Addicts with psychological induced additictions feel the need to self-medicate.  Another common belief is that Drug Addictions can be caused by genetics.  Drug Addiction can run in families and are believed to be located in gene sequences in the blood, but science has yet to pinpoint these genes.  Other causes are:

  • Mental Illness such as Depression
  • Lack of Friends (inability to connect with others)
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Environmental Factors (i.e. peer pressure)
  • Participation in Sports (in which performance-enhancing substances are encouraged)
  • Genetics
  • Gender or Ethnicity 
  • Economic Status (people in lower socioeconomic situations are at greater risk for addiction)

 

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • One of the best things to do to help combat drug addiction is to attend NA or Nar-Anon meetings.  These meetings, which are designed for drug addicts or people who have a drug addicted family member, are available in most cities. Attending these meetings will educate the addict or family members about the severity of the disease.  They are often a place of solace and help many addicts find sobriety.  In certain circumstances, therapy can also be a great remedy for addicts.  
  • Exercising can also help relieve the body of stress and help take the mind off consuming drugs.  When you’re exercising, your focus is not on using the substance, rather, you concentrate on the way you feel.  Exercise helps to boost the body's production of endorphins, which improve one's mood and decrease the desire and need for drugs. Acupuncture also helps release endorphins by using certain pressure points.  It also helps relieve anxiety and increase overall wellness. 
  • Taking a biochemical approach to repair the body is a great natural remedy that can aid one's path to sobriety. First one must detox, repair the damage, and then care for the body.  Remove any mind altering substances, caffeine, sugar, and nicotine from your diet.  Stick to raw foods that provide the nutrients you need for recovery because a poor diet can lead to drug cravings.  A clean and healthy blood stream with a balanced pH level translates to a clearer mind.  Refrain from hanging around people who use drugs or mind altering substances. Finally, keep yourself busy to avoid boredom, as this is the first step on the road to relapse. 
  • Consuming foods or natural, herbal supplements that are high in vitamin B12, vitamin C, glutamine, and amino acids (spirulina is a great source of these) helps repair the damage caused by different substances.  Getting healthy doses of magnesium, essential fatty acids, and calcium can also help combat addiction. 
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water.  Dehydration can be a problem during recovery so it is imperative to keep the body hydrated.  Drinking the recommended eight 8oz glasses of distilled water per day can help keep the body at the optimum level of hydration. 
  • There has to be a will to stop using substances.  The individual needs to commit to quit using and take follow the natural remedies in this list to avoid relapsing. 
Things you should eat
  • Bell Peppers
  • Guavas
  • Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard)
  • Kiwis
  • Beets (preferably juiced)
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Plant-based Protein sources (helps imrpove blood circulation)
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