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How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
from 46,000 to 78,000
from 78,000 to 132,000
from 132,000 to 210,000
from 210,000 to 440,000

 
 
 Naturopathic Medicine: Addictions 
 

The basic parameters for recovery are the same as for any rehabilitation; good high fiber, high fresh veggie, plenty of pure water diet; regular adequate sleep; daily exercise; heartfelt participation in group activities. Don't isolate yourself. The more people know you're trying to quit, the more help will be spontaneously offered, and the more comfortable you'll be with asking for help and taking baby-steps towards your new reality.

The cornerstone towards my own recovery has been wanting to hear that small and enormously personal inner voice that would get drowned in the substances night after night. Breaking free of addictive habits is a blessed opportunity to engage in the ultimate purpose of life -- to know Thyself. Meanwhile, there are a few natural support mechanisms that may help.

1) Good old Vitamin C, preferably the powdered form (1/4 tsp = 1 gram). Take up to 12 grams daily. Vitamin C is the single most potent free radical scavenger and will help cleanse and oxygenate the tissues. It will also help to keep the bowels moving; a very important component of getting clean and sober.

2) The amino acid Glutamine is a so-called amino radical, useful in detox, as well as acting as an excitatory neurotransmitter. Glutamine, 1 gram 4-6 times daily betwen meals on an empty stomach, will stimulate the body's natural opiates, the endorphins and enkephalins, to help us through the cravings.

3) Essential fatty acids (preferably Flax oil, cold, raw, 1 tablespoon daily) in combination with the sulfur proteins (foods with cysteine or methionine, such as yoghurt, eggs, codfish, sesame paste, garlic and onions) will render fat soluble toxins water soluble, allowing all the toxic wastes, which are preferentially stored in the body's fat cells, to be flushed out via the kidneys and sweat glands.

4) Anything to enhance perspiration; rigorous exercise, Turkish wet steam, or Finnish style dry heat sauna. Make sure to scrub down with a high-fat soap (such as Neutrogena) after sweating, to emulsify the fatty secretions and prevent their re-absorbtion.

5) Liquid aqueous chromium drops are extremely helpful in reducing sugar cravings. This is because the trivalent mineral chromium is the central molecule in the Glucose Tolerance Factor, which allows insulin to deliver glucose from the blood stream into the cells. Without chromium, the insulin cannot do its job and sugar will build up in high levels in the blood, then flood precipitously into the cells causing the dramatic rollercoaster ride of "sugar blues."

6) There are a number of natural substances to help with sleep and depression, incluing the amino acids tyrosine, phenylalanine, tryptophan (the precursor to serotonin) and the vitamin niacinamide. From the botanical pharmacy we have Valerian, Scutellaria (Skullcap), Passiflora (Passion lower), Chamomile and many others.

7) Many people are help enormously by acupuncture, especially for getting off nicotine and street drugs. Acupuncture detox clinics using a simple "5 needle protocol" in specifc acupoints (Spirit Gate, Lung, Liver, Kidney and Parasympathetic) in both ears are so successful that state governments have become involved. Seattle King County medical insurance will now re-imburse for acupuncture treatments for addicts. In Oregon, heroin addicts MUST try acupuncture before getting methadone.

Whether you go the route of stimulate the natural endorphins or 12-step meetings, the bottom line is commitment to self. Cold turkey off anything is usually the least painful in the long run -- but please prepare yourself. Prepare for the demons who will emerge. Prepare to negotiate with them and bring them around to your best interest. Set a date; tell your friends; locate support groups in your area; stock up the pantry with fresh healthy snacks; invest in a consultation or two with your local holistic health practitioner to get some high quality supplements. Ask your doctor or therapist to help guide you through a visualization of a shiny clean new you. No one is pretending it's easy; but it's certainly worth it.

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 About The Author
Emily Kane NDA graduate of Bastyr University in Seattle, she completed both the Naturopathic and Acupuncture/Oriental Medicine programs. Her preceptor work (similar to residencies) took place in Seattle, West Virginia and China,......more
 
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