Addiction is a disease that kills thousands of Americans every year. Even though an estimated 21 million suffer from at least one kind of addiction, only 10 percent receive treatment. With the opioid epidemic still in full swing and claiming more lives than ever, as well as the rates of alcohol-related emergencies climbing yearly, it’s clear that addiction has affected countless lives.
Many individuals never seek treatment for their addiction due to denial or an unwillingness to face the hard truth about themselves and their situation. However, countless others live in fear of what might happen to them if they came forward and asked for help.
In this article, we’re going to shed some light on natural remedies that you or your loved ones can use to help combat addiction. We’re going to explore everything from the use of natural supplements like CBD products to incorporating physical activity such as yoga into daily routines. By the end, you’ll have several approaches to help combat addiction.
Diet and Nutrition
Whether it be to alcohol or drugs, individuals gripped by addiction generally make poor choices that lead to a bad diet and lack of nutrition. For some, this means consuming less food or skipping meals entirely. For others, it means consuming foods that are nutritionally poor and incredibly unhealthy. In both cases, the body will suffer. This is especially true of the brain.
When the brain doesn’t receive the proper nutrients to function, this affects both the cognitive process and emotions. In fact, some research has shown that dietary interventions are potentially effective in helping to alleviate symptoms of depression.
Anyone who has or is suffering from addiction will confirm that stress, anxiety, and depression are key factors influencing their continued abuse of a substance. Such states present a roadblock to recovery.
Physical recovery is just one aspect of overcoming the addiction but is essential for the mental processes needed for total recovery.
In a perfect world, we would get everything we need from the diets we eat. However, there are some additional supplements that we can use to help combat addiction. Here are two to consider adding to your routine if addiction is an issue for you.
The first is citicoline, also known as CDP-choline. Initially used as a neuroprotective agent for neurological disorders such as stroke and dementia, it is now being researched for its efficacy in treating addictive disorders. And though researchers suggest further investigation is necessary, what they have found so far appears promising.
Taking a citicoline supplement could be beneficial in two ways. First, it may help raise acetylcholine levels. This is an essential neurotransmitter responsible for important brain tasks like memory, thinking, and learning. The production of dopamine, another important neurotransmitter responsible for how we feel pleasure, will also be upped. Both these functions may help curb cravings for addictive substances.
Another natural supplement being investigated for addiction treatment, specifically to combat relapse, is cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD. CBD is a non-psychoactive derivative of the Cannabis sativa plant and has become widely available in recent years after legal reforms were made to allow the industrial production of hemp across the U.S.
It is believed that the anxiety- and stress-reducing properties of CBD might be effective in curbing relapse in individuals recovering from addiction. Easily purchased in stores and online, a CBD tincture can be added to a person’s routine quite easily.
Exercise and Fitness
Healthy body, healthy mind. And according to a Danish pilot study, there may be something to using exercise treatment for addiction issues. The findings were based on 38 participants who took part in group exercise activities three times each week for anywhere from two to six months in total.
The results were that, at follow-up, 20 had still abstained from returning to substance abuse while 10 had managed to decrease the amounts they used versus before enrolling in the program.
What the Danish study also illustrates is the importance of the peer group component in this area. Thus, joining a yoga studio with regular attendees or becoming a part of a running club will bring fitness and the companionship, and camaraderie.
These programs are all founded on the principles established by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the late 1930s. While AA remains alive and well to this day, several other groups have since freely utilized their program to help other addicted individuals. Some of the more popular include Cocaine Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
Twelve-step programs are based on spiritual principles, but this should not be confused with religious ones as they clearly differentiate this in their literature. The writing speaks of a higher power as each participant understands it. This may range from the versions of God taught by one of the major world religions to more abstract concepts like the nature of the universe.
What is essential is that the person suffering from addiction be taken through the 12 steps of the program by another individual who has previously done them. This is done free of charge, making it accessible to anyone wishing to overcome their affliction and stay sober.
This isn’t one or none…
When it comes to combating addiction, each individual will have to chart their own path to freedom. The options presented in this article are just that. They can all be engaged, or they can all be left behind. The important thing is that if you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, help should be sought.