Drug addiction can be a debilitating condition that takes over your life and destroys your health, career, and family. The loss of control that addiction brings makes it all but impossible to stop abusing substances. While there are many available rehab options, most of them don’t use methods that cure drug addiction naturally.
If you’re struggling with a mild or moderate substance abuse problem, a natural addiction cure may be all that’s needed to help you live a drug-free lifestyle. Natural approaches focus on helping you work with your mind and body’s own self-healing systems. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when considering natural addiction cures.
What Is Addiction and What Drives It?
The incessant cravings and withdrawal symptoms resulting from addiction carry an even bigger price tag than what you see on the surface. Ongoing effects of substance abuse alter the brain’s chemistry in such a way that it loses the ability to function normally without the drug. This includes basic regulatory functions, such as appetite, body temperature and sleep along with higher cognitive functions like thinking, emotions, and memory. These changes underline the “disease” aspect of addiction.
As these changes become more pronounced, the effects of the drug of choice completely take over brain reward system functions. This reward system is where your priorities, motivations, and resulting behaviors originate. The changes that develop in this area of the brain account for why addicts become obsessed with getting and using drugs. They also underlie the psychological aspects of addiction.
Ways to Cure Addiction Naturally
Change Your Diet
Your overall health takes a beating when drug-using behaviors take over. The body’s normal appetite for food tends to take a backseat to the needs of the addiction. Not being able to get proper rest also drains the body’s resources. The end result leaves the body unable to properly absorb vitamins and nutrients from food.
Now that you’re looking to cure addiction naturally, a good place to start is by boosting your diet’s nutritional content. While a well-balanced diet is always a good way to go, you’ll also want to include certain additional nutrients to repair the damage left behind by substance abuse. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat lots of high-fiber foods, such as vegetables, whole grains and beans
- Limit sugar intake
- Take a multivitamin supplement
Many people turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with daily life pressures and stressors. Without the drug’s effects, the demands of daily life can easily overwhelm your ability to maintain abstinence. Meditation can be an effective way to manage emotions and stress levels in recovery.
Practicing meditation on a regular basis enables you to process the emotions and thoughts behind drug cravings and channel them in positive ways. These practices help retrain the brain’s reward system, making it easier to spot triggers and manage urges. Other benefits of meditation practice include:
- Help reduce anxiety
- Reduces stress levels
- Enhances self-awareness
- Improves focus and concentration
The “high” or feelings of euphoria and calm brought on by drug abuse result from a massive release of endorphins in the brain and body. Over the course of drug use, the brain loses the ability to produce these chemicals on its own. Once a person stops using altogether, endorphin levels have been depleted.
Vigorous exercise naturally releases endorphins. Starting a daily habit of exercise can go a long way towards restoring normal endorphin levels in the brain and body. Also, regular exercise can be a natural addiction cure that helps heal and restore the body’s major systems. Here are some key benefits:
- Improves sleep
- Help reduce drug cravings
- Reduces stress levels
- Enhances focus and concentration
- Enhances mood
- Helps add structure to your day
Anyone who’s gone through detox knows that drug cravings can continue long after drug use stops. This is because detox only works to break the body’s physical dependence on addictive substances. Addiction develops out of the mind’s psychological dependence, meaning your psychological well-being relies heavily on the drug’s effects. For these reasons, it’s essential to develop new ways of thinking about the world around you and how you experience it.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT does just that. It works by helping you identify the negative, “automatic” thought patterns that drive drug-using behaviors. These thought patterns typically develop out of feelings of fear and self-doubt. Once identified, they can be worked through and replaced with the types of positive thinking patterns that support a drug-free lifestyle.
CBT can also be of benefit in cases where mental health issues, such as depression, ADD, or bipolar disorder exist alongside an addiction problem. This bodes well for many recovering addicts since underlying mental health problems make a person more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol. As a natural cure for addiction, cognitive behavioral therapy offers a range of benefits. While natural cures for addiction can be effective in cases of mild and moderate substance abuse, a certain degree of willpower will be necessary to maintain continued abstinence from drug use. If you’re coming off a chronic or long-term drug problem, the changes that have taken place in your brain will make it all but impossible to follow through on any one natural cure. When this is the case, a more structured treatment approach is needed. Fortunately, there are holistic addiction treatment programs available, which use a “whole person” approach to recovery. These programs specialize in not only treating the physical aspects of addiction but also help restore your emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being. If you feel you might need a more structured approach to breaking addiction’s hold in your life, a holistic addiction treatment approach is the way to go.
Things to Keep in Mind
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While natural cures for addiction can be effective in cases of mild and moderate substance abuse, a certain degree of willpower will be necessary to maintain continued abstinence from drug use. If you’re coming off a chronic or long-term drug problem, the changes that have taken place in your brain will make it all but impossible to follow through on any one natural cure. When this is the case, a more structured treatment approach is needed.
Fortunately, there are holistic addiction treatment programs available, which use a “whole person” approach to recovery. These programs specialize in not only treating the physical aspects of addiction but also help restore your emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being. If you feel you might need a more structured approach to breaking addiction’s hold in your life, a holistic addiction treatment approach is the way to go.
1 –ASAM Definition of Addiction – American Society of Addiction Medicine – “Definition of Addiction”
2 –todaysdietitian.com/ – Today’s Dietitian, “Substance Abuse and Nutrition”
3 – .drugabuse.gov – National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Nicotine)”
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.