The Physical Aspect Of Addiction

Many addicts try and fail at a sober life because treatment programs often fall short on recognizing the physical aspect of addiction. Without addressing the very real presence of physical dependency within an addiction, no addict is guaranteed success at his or her new, drug free life.

Treat All Angles Of An Addiction

Most rehab programs recognize the different mental and emotional aspects of addiction, although most fail to realize there is an extremely important physical component.

The three angles of an addiction are:

•    Mental,
•    Emotional and
•    Physical

Mental exercises and life skills courses in treatment are usually designed to restore mental functions, logical reasoning, communication, etc.

Emotional counseling is geared more towards the address of underlying issues which, present, drive addictive tendencies to continue as an escape from emotional pain. Individualized programs usually see the best results for emotional drug abuse-related issues.

Last, but certainly not least, the physical addiction is addressed through nutritional therapy, detoxification and proper diet/exercise. A substance abuser or habitual drinker has more than likely destroyed his/her physical health through consistent chemical dependency.

Developing And Treating A Physical Addiction

What exactly is a physical addiction?

If you are a drug user, the physical addiction is easily defined in two words: drug craving.

Even if you are not a drug user, you may have observed a loved one start down a path of drug use that slowly and gradually increased to a point of loss of control.

Sometimes with just one hit of a drug, the body shuts down normal physical function to cope with the presence of a toxic chemical in its system. It fights to tolerate such a drug by all sorts of mechanical changes, and eventually the body becomes dependent on its presence for normal function.
The presence of heroin, for example, causes the brain to cease production of its natural feel-good pain relievers (endorphins). It also decreases appetite and, consequently, digestive function. In the event of a time period without heroin, highly uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms set in which spur the individual to consume more heroin.

This is the function of physical addiction—the physical body demanding a drug to feel normal.

Medical supervision is usually required for safe withdrawal from heavy drug and alcohol use. Physical dependency is then treated with proper diet therapy, light exercise, vitamin and mineral supplements as well as a biophysical detox program.

Incorporate Healthy Eating To Restore Optimum Function

A proper and well-rounded diet is usually very effective towards achieving optimum mental, physical and hormonal function. This is key in overcoming the physical aspect of addiction.

Certain nuts, whole grains, fresh fish, fruits, vegetables and dark chocolate are each noted by experts for their healthy benefits toward healthy mental and emotional function. Further, recent scientific research points out that an unhealthy diet may be more than physically taxing. In fact, a poor diet has actually been proven to cause depression, anxiety and loss of motivation.

Healthy eating habits can and should be developed in all addicts overcoming substance abuse. Doing so will lay the framework for a long, healthy and sober life.

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