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Tue, Aug. 7th, 2012, 04:12 pm
Alternative Treatments & Addiction

Buy the Book: Recovery Options

The information below is taken from the above text. This is a gentle reminder that I am not a doctor and this information is not intended as treatment for any medical ailment.

"Researchers soon discovered [...] if someone was given the opiate-blocking drug naloxone before acupuncture, the acupuncture was not effective in killing pain. This finding suggested that acupuncture works by causing the body to release its own painkilling substances."
-- from the book Recovery Options

It seems that in some instances, acupuncture can be useful to ease withdrawal symptoms. Study results have proved ambiguous though, and it doesn't seem to help with nicotine addiction at all. Some people do report it helping them cope with crack, alcohol, or heroin addiction, so it is worth trying.

"It has long been known that many severe alcoholics suffer from malnutrition. In fact, the brain-damage syndrome known colloquially as "wet brain," is actually caused by a deficiency in the nutrient thiamine."
-- from the book Recovery Options

It would seem like a good idea to enroll in one of the nutritional programs designed to help with alcohol addiction, however most studies have not been able to prove any benefit toward the addiction despite numerous claims by diet programs about reduced cravings, easier withdrawals, etc. Certainly, most of the diets are fairly good for you overall and, at the very least, generally aren't harmful.

"[...] but some alcoholics and other addicts may find it frustrating and intolerable to introduce such a restricted diet soon after quitting drinking and other drugs. When you have just given up your main source of comfort, it's a good idea to be easy on yourself about others -- such as fatty, sugary foods."
-- from the book Recovery Options

Outside of a general multivitamin, there is little reason to embark on a program of herbs and mega-dosing of supplements. The one exception to this seems to be L-glutamine, which may help reduce the cravings for alcohol. However, if you have liver disease (which many hardcore alcoholics do) it can actually harm you, so you should consult your doctor before taking L-glutamine.

Early work in studying LSD proved promising in providing the 'spiritual awakening' AA believed necessary to free alcoholics. However, the studies were discontinued when the drug became illegal. Likewise, an African psychedelic called ibogaine seems to eliminate heroin withdrawal symptoms and cravings, but no human safety studies have been completed. Ibogaine is likewise illegal in the United States, however some organizations will transport you to other countries for treatment... if you can afford them.

For more information, I highly recommend getting this book. There is also an entire chapter on Drugs & Teens which I will not be pulling tips from.

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