Holistic approaches to addiction treatment are by far one of the most popular and successful treatment methods that there is. These techniques and these methods one and the same need to be approached and need to be pursued if anyone wants to make a full recovery from addiction without feeling the need to use other replacement or remedial drugs. It is amazing what kind of accomplishments can be made in addiction recovery with some vitamins, minerals, supplements, amino acids, and key herbal remedies.
On a physical level, most if not all addicts are in a poor or declining state of health. When high and in the drug-created state of mind, the person is numb to the damage being caused; but when sober, the person tends to be physically drained due to the severe nutritional deficiencies that go hand-in-hand with long-term alcohol or drug use. The lack of energy and any aches and pains are exacerbated by the deficiencies and lack of adequate nutrition. Fortunately, there are natural substances which the addict can use to help restore their well-being, and aid in getting sober.
Treating Substance Abuse – Where to Begin
Substance abuse tends to create a false sense of well-being, but ultimately is ends in severely damaging the person’s physical, mental and spiritual health.
According to Janet Zand, a naturopathic physician practicing in Los Angeles, underlying metabolic malfunctions are common to substance addictions. Drugs such as psychedelics, cocaine and amphetamines cause an increased release of sugar into the bloodstream creating a “high” similar to that of sugar and alcohol. Zand also notes that pharmaceutical drugs are the most serious addiction today, with some physicians regarding its increasing trend as our nation’s “number one health problem”.
It has been found that substance abusers may very likely be suffering from metabolic disorders such as mineral deficiencies, Vitamin B deficiency, hypoglycemia, liver malfunction and depression.
Zand suggests that ongoing nutritional support is significant in a person being able to gain real and lasting recovery from substance addiction. She notes that a beginning nutritional program would include a diet of lean proteins, an abundance of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates (whole-grain breads, peas, beans and starchy vegetables) and no or very little refined sugars.
She shares some wise advice for the addict in recovery to start with a particular nutrient, using it for one week while noticing whether or not it is having a beneficial effect, followin the same procedure with the addition of a second nutrient. Signs to watch for and experience which would indicate a beneficial effect would be a “heightened sense of well-being” or “an overall increase in energy”.
Nutrients & Vitamins that Help Addiction
The following are nutrients and herbs which Zand recommends to address some common needs of recovering addicts. She identifies the following nutrients as helpful in detoxifying and strengthening the liver and digestive tract:
- Vitamin C
- S.O.D. (Superoxide dismutase), an enzyme.
Nutrients connected to the relaxing and strengthening of the nervous system:
- DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA), (amino acids useful in soothing the nerves and reducing cravings; helpful in depression)
Nutrients considered to be energy enhancing:
- B Complex.
Herbs connected to detoxifying and strengthening liver and digestive tract:
- Milk Thistle.
- Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis root).
- Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale root).
- Bupleurum (Radix Bupleurum).
Herbs connected relaxing and strengthening to the nervous system:
- Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora herb).
- Valerian (Valeriana officinale root).
- Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata blossom).
- Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba leaf).
Adaptogenic herbs (adaptogens) are substances for enhancing the ability to resist environmental stressors such as anxiety, fatigue, trauma and stress. Zand identifies the following adaptogenic herbs/herbs in strengthening the immune function:
- American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius root).
- Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous root).
The above is a simple overview of nutrients and herbs which can be used to help a person recovering from substance abuse. Each person is an individual and common sense and wisdom would dictate careful and informed choices as to which ones would be most suitable and helpful to each individual.
For more complete information on the use of the above nutrients, herbs and other vitamins that help addiction, please read Janet Zand’s article here.
For more information call us today.