Addiction is a well-researched field, with multiple treatment avenues available for those who are ready to ask for the help they need and want to lead a healthier life. Drugs, alcohol and other substance abuse disorders can range from mild to severe.
The three most common symptoms of abuse, or a ‘use disorder’, include needing more of the substance over time to achieve the same effect, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping use, and being unable to quit even when you know there is a big problem.
Use disorders can range from mild to severe, depending on the number of symptoms you have. These symptoms include:
- Being incapable of limiting food, drug, alcohol use, shopping sprees, sexual encounters, or your gambling.
- Making unsuccessful attempts to curtail use.
- Spending too much time using or obtaining the substance.
- Experiencing cravings to use.
- Falling behind in work, school, or family responsibilities due to use.
- Continuing use even when aware of the problems it causes.
- Abandoning former relationships, interests or hobbies to engage in use.
- Drinking alcohol or using drugs in unsafe situations, such as driving.
- Requiring more of the substance to achieve the same effect.
There are three major components to quitting an addiction.
- The first is detoxification, where a person abstains from using so that the substance can leave their body. Medication is often prescribed during this stage to reduce the intensity of symptoms.
- The second step involves seeking treatment, which might include additional medications, counselling, and evaluation of other mental health problems. Treatment occurs in outpatient or inpatient programs.
- Finally, you will need to find support for the long-term to prevent relapsing on the substance.
Acupuncture is a supportive modality, and should be used as and when needed. The AcuDetox protocol helps to strengthen willpower, to accelerate the withdrawal process, and to ease the withdrawal experience. It helps to release toxicity restoring the body’s natural ability to heal.
Any treatment should coincide with exercise, a healthy diet, a regular sleep schedule, elimination of stimulates (like caffeine) and stress management techniques – such as yoga or meditation.
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection,” Johann Hari