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What An Addict (Or An Alcoholic) Really Needs

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What An Addict (Or An Alcoholic) Really Needs

September is National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month. Addiction is a complicated issue and does not fit neatly into a medical answer. I’ve treated addictions for many years and have always seen the problem as larger than just the chemistry of the body. But I have also found that caring for the body helps. Addictions fill a hole in a person; that hole could be filled by many addictive behaviors: smoking, eating, gambling, work, almost anything.

So what does someone who is suffering from addiction need? I think the same thing that everyone needs, some basic respect and acceptance. The holes in their lives they are trying to fill are real; they just chose the wrong filler. And sometimes it takes some compassion to understand that.

Many of the addictions have their root in chemical imbalances, which may have genetic aspects to it. Think of a simple addiction. Did you ever wonder why we crave sugar? Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana tend to throw off sugar balances. Using substances that balance sugar cravings such as chromium and alpha lipoic acid can be helpful in reducing cravings for other addictive substances. If you are uncomfortable with one form of counseling or treatment, don’t stop seeking help. Find someone you can trust to work with you. We’re all in this together and no one is uniquely perfect. Take care of yourself.

Most addictions create an additional stress on the body’s nutritional needs. Nutrients that should be going to maintaining the body’s strength and recuperation are being used by the drugs or alcohol that are consumed. Essential vitamins and minerals that are depleted need to be replenished. Amino acids, the substances that form proteins in the body, also form the neurotransmitters that send messages to the brain. So if our bodies are depleted of the basic substances we need for our brain to function, our brains start to degenerate. Different addictive substances have different effects on the brain, but they all do their damage.

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Dr. Andrew Lange

Dr. Andrew Lange served as Chair of the Department of Homeopathic Medicine and Supervising Clinical Physician at Bastyr University in Seattle. He is the author of Getting to the Root: Treating the Deepest Source of Disease. He is the Medical Director at www.saveonlabs.com and practices in Boulder, Colorado. For more information go to www.andrewlange.com.

76 comments

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3:19AM PST on Mar 3, 2014

If you are addicted to drugs, it’s important that you handle the situation carefully. It’s common to be afraid to approach you about drug use, because you don’t know how it will harms. However, the important thing is finding the substance abuse help the addicts needs. If you need more information on treatment there are many alcohol rehab center are available. so you need to approach the situation with care.

2:41AM PDT on Apr 30, 2013

thanks for sharing

9:08AM PST on Feb 22, 2013

Nice, thanks

2:09AM PST on Feb 11, 2013

Bravery for a break-through

11:27AM PDT on Oct 26, 2012

noted

1:45AM PDT on Oct 22, 2012

Thank you for sharing

5:40PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Thank you

5:55PM PST on Nov 16, 2011

Thanks

4:28PM PST on Mar 7, 2011

acceptance and forgiveness

3:08PM PST on Mar 3, 2011

great, thanks for the information :)

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