Are You an Addictive Person?

Total
0
Shares
Joyful woman enjoying the freedom of the beach standing with open arms and a happy smile looking up towards the sky

I have a new book coming out soon, and as a prelude to its release, I thought it would be helpful to talk about addiction. Did you know that over 40 million people in the USA (one in seven) abuse or are addicted to substances? This figure does not even take into consideration people who are addicted to behaviors, for example, over-using sex, internet, video and television, and relationships; smoking; or eating specific foods, such as sugar, white flour, or caffeine. All are used in the hope of self-medicating/moderating one’s moods. So, let’s review the definition and mechanisms of addiction so that we can further explore this topic together.

What Is an Addiction?

According to the Center on Addiction (COA):

“Addiction is a complex disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the functioning of the brain and body. It also causes serious damage to families, relationships, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. The most common symptoms of addiction are severe loss of control, continued use despite serious consequences, preoccupation with using, failed attempts to quit, tolerance and withdrawal.”

COA further explains that:

“[a]ddiction disrupts regions of the brain that are responsible for reward, motivation, learning, judgment and memory.”

What Is the Addiction Cycle?

The Study, Magnesium and Drug Abuse and Addiction by Mihai Nechifor, taken from the paper Magnesium in the Central Nervous Systemidentifies the three major features of the addiction cycle:

“There is a large group of substances that result in more or less intense addiction, which is characterized by three major features: compulsive use (intake), craving, and withdrawal syndrome (when administration is stopped).”

How Substance Use Changes the Brain

COA describes the pleasure response when people meet their basic needs as:

“[p]eople feel pleasure when basic needs such as hunger, thirst and sex are satisfied. In most cases, these feelings of pleasure are caused by the release of certain chemicals in the brain.”

Are Addictive Substances Different?

COA continues:

“[m]ost addictive substances cause the brain to release high levels of these same chemicals that are associated with pleasure or reward.”

Compulsive Use

Further:

“[o]ver time, continued release of these [pleasure inducing] chemicals cause changes in the brain systems involved in reward, motivation and memory. When these changes occur, a person may need the substance to feel normal.”

Cravings

Then:

“The individual may also experience intense desires or cravings for the addictive substance and will continue to use it despite the harmful or dangerous consequences. The person will also prefer the drug to other healthy pleasures and may lose interest in normal life activities. In the most chronic form of the disease, addiction can cause a person to stop caring about their own or other’s well-being or survival.”

Withdrawal

Moreover:

“[w]ithdrawal is the physical and psychological discomfort that can occur when a person suddenly stops taking a drug[/repeating an addictive behavior]. Withdrawal symptoms can range from severe (hallucinations, fever, rapid heartbeat and seizures) to distressing (feeling sick, anxious, irritable, pain, nausea/vomiting, flu-like symptoms, strong cravings) to mild (headache or insomnia).”

How Do I Know I Might Have an Addiction?

Self-Assessment Questions
(taken from Narcotics Anonymous)

Answering these questions can be useful when looking to see if you have addictive behavior. In this questionnaire, you can substitute your addiction of choice (alcohol, sex, sugar, caffeine, texting, etc.) for the words, “drug” or “drugs.”

  1. Do you ever use alone?
  2.  Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking that one particular drug was the problem?
  3. Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs?
  4. Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs?
  5. Do you regularly use a drug when you wake up or when you go to bed?
  6. Have you ever taken one drug to overcome the effects of another?
  7. Do you avoid people or places that do not approve of you using drugs?
  8. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you?
  9. Has your job or school performance ever suffered from the effects of your drug use?
  10. Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs?
  11. Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?
  12. Do you put the purchase of drugs ahead of your financial responsibilities?
  13. Have you ever tried to stop or control your using?
  14. Have you ever been in a jail, hospital, or drug rehabilitation center because of your using?
  15. Does using interfere with your sleeping or eating?

Have You Looked at Hidden Addictions?

Let’s look at a scenario where there is an addiction, but because the behavior is so common in our culture, it remains “hidden in plain sight.”

Let’s talk about Joe. Joe has problems sleeping at night. So, when he finally falls asleep, he can hardly wake up in the morning. When he does, he’s got brain fog and feels overtired. His first move is to plug in the coffee pot and make himself a strong cup of coffee. Since one cup starts “waking him up,” he has another. Then, he feels brighter and more with it and is able to get ready for work. Traffic is very slow, and he feels anxious about getting to work on time. Since he’s in stop-and-go traffic, he convinces himself to get off the interstate, take a familiar side road, where he goes through a drive through to get another cup of coffee. After all, he just can’t pass by the shop and not have one.

Joe finally gets to work, but after a couple of hours, he is feeling foggy and lethargic again. It’s okay though. It’s time for his break, and he goes for another cup of coffee. He gets a “second wind” and works until lunch. Joe wants to lose weight, and quite frankly, he’s not all that hungry. So, he has another cup of coffee instead of eating lunch.

Joe’s day rolls on in the same vein, with Joe getting a cup of coffee whenever he wants a lift. By the end of the day, including his after dinner cuppa, he’s drunk 8+ cups of coffee. He’s not terribly tired, so he has a scotch to see if it will relax him. Despite being wide awake, he tries to get some sleep, because it’s bedtime. Joe tosses and turns all night.

Joe’s sleeplessness is getting ridiculous, so he finally listens to his wife and goes to the doctor for a checkup. When his doctor finds out how much coffee Joe drinks, he advises him to cut down on his coffee gradually, with a view to quitting. Joe decides to follow his doctor’s guidance to cut down on his coffee. But, every time he tries, he gets a headache, feels nauseous, has brain fog, craves coffee, and (when at home) constantly fault finds and yells at his wife and kids.

Is Joe addicted to caffeine? Yes, Joe experiences all three prongs of the addiction cycle: compulsive use, cravings, and withdrawal.

What if you substitute “playing video games” for drinking coffee? Can you be addicted to playing “video games?” How about switching “serial relationships” for coffee? Can you be addicted to being in a relationship? What about “texting?” Can that be addictive? The above scenario is designed to show you how any substance or behavior that shifts your brain chemistry to a strong feeling of reward can be addictive.

Why Do Some People Become
Addicted and Others Don’t?

In drugabuse.gov’s DrugFacts, they say:

“No one factor can predict if a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction.”

Here are the factors they mention:

“Biology. The genes that people are born with account for about half of a person’s risk for addiction. Gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may also influence risk for drug use and addiction.

Environment. A person’s environment includes many different influences, from family and friends to economic status and general quality of life. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a person’s likelihood of drug use and addiction.

Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person’s life to affect addiction risk. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens. Because areas in their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, teens may be especially prone to risky behaviors, including trying drugs.”

What Can I Do?

Now that we have reviewed foundational information on addiction and established that some addictions are “hidden in plain sight,” let’s discuss what you can do if you find yourself dealing with the following addictions – alcohol, coffee, and tobacco. These are example protocols with natural alternatives, if you find yourself in an addiction. This information can be applied to helping you begin to deal with other scenarios, if these three don’t apply to you. My words come from my Future Health Now Encyclopedia.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol is a high caloric toxic drink that causes weight gain, yeast overgrowth, nutrient depletion, liver damage and brain damage. To be metabolized, it robs the body of many vitamins and minerals, especially the B vitamins and magnesium. One of the dangers of alcohol lies in its primary waste product –acetaldehyde. This poison is also produced when Candida albicans (yeast) digests sugar from our diet. Exhaust fumes and smoking cigarettes are further sources of acetaldehyde poisoning. Magnesium becomes depleted when this toxin is present because it is a necessary co-factor for the enzyme that metabolizes acetaldehyde.

Acetaldehyde attaches to red blood cells, proteins and enzymes, travels to all parts of the body and passes across the blood brain barrier where it is responsible for creating the symptoms we identify as a hangover. It does that by blocking the attachment of oxygen to red blood cells. It also damages the structure of red blood cells making them rigid so they are unable to squeeze through tiny capillaries to bring oxygen to the tissues. The brain uses 20% of all the oxygen that we inhale but stiff red blood cells cut down that amount considerably leaving you gasping for air and feel woozy.

Acetaldehyde also induces deficits in three important vitamins: the nerve vitamin, B1 (thiamine); the energy and neurotransmitter vitamin, B3 (niacin);and vitamin B5. These B vitamins are crucial for normal brain function. When they are lacking, neurons (brain nerve cells) can be irreparably damaged. Alcohol and acetaldehyde are also damaging to the liver. The amount of alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol, increases dramatically in response to alcohol consumption. Some people produce small amounts of this enzyme and alcohol stays in the bloodstream making them feel drunk very quickly.

People become addicted to the alcohol high. When their blood alcohol level drops, they crave more. When alcohol isn’t available or people are “on the wagon,” sugar is a socially accepted substitute because it maintains a steady level of alcohol in the body by feeding yeast. Blood tests before and after a large amount of sugar can show an elevation in blood-alcohol levels. People have been arrested for drunk driving and failed the Breathalyzer test without touching a drop of alcohol. Read about Yeast Overgrowth and you’ll learn that some people have created a living “alcohol still” in their gut because yeast produces alcohol and acetaldehyde all by itself!

Diet:

Eliminating sugar from the diet is the first step in treating alcoholism because it curbs the craving for alcohol. Follow a good diet of vegetables, fish, chicken, whole grains, and fruit and strictly avoid refined foods and sugar, coffee, and tea to further prevent alcohol cravings. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can trigger cravings for sugar or alcohol; therefore, it is wise to eat small frequent meals to keep the blood sugar in balance. Read the section on Hypoglycemia for more details. According to nutritionists, food allergies can be synonymous with addiction. Read the section on Allergies for more information.

Supplements:

* ReAline has the methylated Bs and sulfur amino acids that ensure swift detoxification of alcohol. Dosage is 1 ReAline per shot or glass of alcohol.

* ReMag, a 100% absorbed, bioavailable, non-laxative magnesium. Dosage: ½-1 tsp twice per day. This mineral drives 700-800 enzyme systems and is responsible for metabolizing alcohol and acetaldehyde. Click on the Books link at Dr. Carolyn Dean Live to download the free eBook, ReMag: Invisible Minerals Part I. Make sure to take enough magnesium to maintain an optimum level of Magnesium RBC at 6.0-6.5mg/dL.

* Whole C ReSet is a food-based, organic Vitamin C and one of our Completement Formulas. It supports the structure and function of connective tissue and helps repair worn out adrenal glands. Dosage: One tablet, once or twice daily.

* Vitamin B complex: Use ReAline: Contains several methylated and food-based B vitamins along with L-methionine and L-taurine from natural sources. It is a safe, natural detoxifier that assists any condition. Dosage: 1 capsule twice per day. ReAline helps the liver detoxify alcohol.

* Chromium and Zinc: Use 100% absorbed bioavailable ReMyte multiple mineral, which contains chromium, zinc and 10 other minerals that work synergistically. Dosage: ½ tsp three times per day.

* RnA ReSet Drops: A unique product made from barley sprouts that produces a unique cell called the iCell, which helps make perfect cells and balances body, mind, and spirit. I describe them on page 14 of this book and you can also go to RnA ReSet for dosage instructions and more information.

NOTE: Over the 9 years of making RnA ReSet Drops, 142 of 144 RnA ReSet batches did not show gluten, however, because of those 2 positive tests, we choose to declare that we are not gluten free on our label.

Herbs:

Damage to the liver must be addressed in the treatment of alcoholism. Milk thistle is the most important herb in this regard. Use an organic, whole plant extract and take the recommended dosage indicated on the label. See the section on Liver Disease for more detailed information.

Homeopathy:

Alcohol addiction can be treated with various homeopathic remedies.

* Sulphuric acid 12X (one dose every few hours). This remedy is completely safe in this extremely diluted form where not one molecule of the original material remains. It acts somewhat like Antabuse, a prescription drug that causes a feeling of nausea and illness when you drink while taking it.

* A remedy called Quarkus alba can reduce the desire for alcohol. Take the 12X potency, one dose, three times daily.

* Nux vomica can curb desire as well as treat a hangover. Take the 12X potency, one dose every hour for a hangover; use it three to four times a day to prevent alcohol cravings.

Acupuncture:

Alcohol and drug detox clinics often employ ear acupuncture in their treatment protocols. Ear acupuncture can be extremely useful for balancing neurochemistry, calming the nervous system and eliminating cravings. However, it usually does not have lasting effects if not accompanied by elimination of sugar, a good diet, and supplemental nutrients.

EFT:

Emotional Freedom Technique is a form of self-therapy that consists of tapping on acupressure points to help release blocked emotions that trigger physical problems and cravings. Read about EFT in Part Four.

Coffee Addiction

Coffee is probably the most consumed beverage on the planet and there are many reasons why. It’s a stimulant and a laxative, which may account for a recent flood of media reporting that coffee is a health drink! If your blood flows well because your heart is stimulated by coffee and you are not as constipated when drinking java – yes, you may experience benefits. If you are already stressed to the max, adrenaline pumping non-stop and addicted to other stimulants like alcohol and sugar, coffee is simply adding to your stress.

An accumulation of stimulants can make your heart jumpy and set your nerves on edge. In a certain group of stressed-out and toxic folks, even one cup of coffee is enough to trigger a serious heart arrhythmia. You know you’re addicted because, when you try to stop, you get a pounding headache –that can’t be healthy. The only way out is to cut it out!

The good news is that you don’t have to go cold turkey. Start by taking magnesium. Magnesium is the body’s natural energizer and it relaxes the bowel, so it’s a gentle laxative as well, so it does what coffee does, naturally. It’s also calming, treats insomnia and neutralizes adrenalin surges preventing anxiety. Plan a time 2-3 weeks after starting magnesium to wean off coffee; you will be amazed how easy it can be.

I recommend ReMag. With magnesium under your belt, switch to black tea for one week only. For withdrawal symptoms of irritability, sensitivity and headaches take Chamomilla 12X, a homeopathic remedy (one dose, 3-4 times a day) or you can increase your magnesium intake by one more dose per day. Then stop black tea and switch to herbal teas or a grain coffee substitute, available in health food stores. Chamomilla can be continued another few days. Read labels, because some herb teas, especially green tea, can be caffeinated.

Supplements:

* ReMag, a 100% absorbed, bioavailable, non-laxative magnesium. Dosage: ½-1 tsp twice per day. This mineral drives 700-800 enzyme systems and is responsible for the production of energy in the body. Click on the Books link at Dr. Carolyn Dean Live to download the free eBook, ReMag: Invisible Minerals Part I. Make sure to take enough magnesium to maintain an optimum level of Magnesium RBC at 6.0-6.5mg/dL.

* RnA ReSet Drops: A unique product made from barley sprouts that produces a unique cell called the iCell, which helps make perfect cells and balances body, mind, and spirit. I describe them on page 14of this book and you can also go to RnA ReSet for dosage instructions and more information.

NOTE: Over the 9 years of making RnA ReSet Drops, 142 of 144 RnA ReSet batches did not show gluten, however, because of those 2 positive tests, we choose to declare that we are not gluten free on our label.

* ReAline: Contains several methylated and food-based B vitamins along with L-methionine and L-taurine from natural sources. It is a safe, natural detoxifier that assists any condition. Dosage: 1 capsule twice per day.

Tobacco Addiction

Addictive chemicals are purposely put in tobacco making it very difficult to give up. Tobacco is cured with sugar, which stimulates combined sugar and tobacco cravings. Smoking natural tobacco eliminates the chemicals, making it easier to quit tobacco. Natural Spirit is the brand name of one natural tobacco. You may have to roll your own for a while as well –it’s a sure way to cut down when you have to stop and make them. You know you’re over tobacco when it’s just too much bother to roll a cigarette.

During the first month after quitting smoking there is often a worsening of “smoker’s cough.” This happens because the small hair cells that line the bronchial tubes start to regenerate after being paralyzed for years. They immediately begin to move and clear mucus, which often contains black tar held deep in the lungs. Although uncomfortable, coughing up this poisonous material is a good sign that things are improving.

Diet:

Drink lots of pure water to help flush out toxins. An adult body is 70% water and if you have been smoking for years, your internal fluids are contaminated. The guideline for water intake is to drink half your weight in ounces of water. If you are 150lbs, that means you should drink 75oz of water a day. To make sure the water you drink is utilized properly at the cellular level, you have to take minerals that are absorbed at the cellular level, this means ReMag and ReMyte, and sea salt. I think it’s important to mix ¼ tsp of sea salt in every pint of drinking water for the 72 minerals that you can no longer find in tap water, distilled water, reverse osmosis water, or highly filtered water.

Maintain a good diet and in the initial stages, avoid red meat, sugar, coffee, alcohol and refined foods, which can stimulate the craving for cigarettes.

Supplements:

* ReMag, a 100% absorbed, bioavailable, non-laxative magnesium. Dosage: ½-1 tsp twice per day. This mineral drives 700-800 enzyme systems and is responsible for the production of energy in the body. Click on the Books link at Dr. Carolyn Dean Live to download the free eBook, ReMag: Invisible Minerals Part I. Make sure to take enough magnesium to maintain an optimum level of Magnesium RBC at 6.0-6.5mg/dL.

*ReMyte, a 100% bioavailable multiple mineral, which contains 12 complementary minerals. Dosage: ½ tsp three times per day. Click on the Books link at Dr. Carolyn Dean Live to download the free eBook ReMyte & ReCalcia: Invisible Minerals Part II. The zinc in ReMyte will help reactivate taste buds so that you can enjoy food more fully.

* B Complex: Use ReAline. Contains several methylated and food-based B vitamins along with L-methionine and L-taurine from natural sources. It is a safe, natural detoxifier that assists any condition. Dosage: 1 capsule twice per day.

* RnA ReSet Drops: A unique product made from barley sprouts that produces a unique cell called the iCell, which helps make perfect cells and balances body, mind, and spirit. I describe them on page 14 of this book and you can also go to RnA ReSet for dosage instructions and more information.

NOTE: Over the 9 years of making RnA ReSet Drops, 142 of 144 RnA ReSet batches did not show gluten, however, because of those 2 positive tests, we choose to declare that we are not gluten free on our label.

Try to avoid substituting one addiction for another. Most people who give up smoking begin eating sweets and rapidly gain weight. Find out the reason for your addiction and avoid being dependent on any substance. In Part Two, read about EFT to help eliminate the emotional reasons for smoking.

Homeopathy:

The following homeopathic remedies are used to treat tobacco cravings:

* Caladium 12X potency one dose three to six times a day.

* Nicotine 12X potency one dose three to six times a day.

* Tabac 12X potency one dose three to six times a day.*

Calc. phos 12X potency can be used for residual bronchitis that may remain after giving up cigarettes.

Herbs:

* Lobelia is called Indian tobacco and in small doses can treat tobacco withdrawal.

* Avena sativa, also called wild oats, can also help with tobacco withdrawal. The tincture form is used for both herbs at a dose of 5 to 10 drops in 4 ounces of water three times a day

* Fenugreek seed tea, 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water steeped for seven minutes, can help loosen the mucus that accompanies cigarette withdrawal and can also lessen coughing episodes. Drink several cups a day.

Acupuncture:

Ear acupuncture can help curb the craving for nicotine. There are several points in the ear that can be used to balance the body by easing irritability and clearing the lungs of the buildup of waste material. A doctor trained in ear acupuncture can administer these treatments.

Do You Want to Know a Secret?

If you read this post to the end, then you are going to be one of the people who learn about a closely held secret. What if I told you that there is a Grand Daddy/Grand Mommy addictive substance that is underneath every other addiction people experience? Would know this be valuable to you and your family? If you answered, “Yes!”, stay tuned! I’m revealing all in my new book which comes out toward the end of the month.

Aloha,

Dr. Carolyn Dean

You May Also Like