A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Addiction (Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco)

Addiction (Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco):  Addiction is the psychological dependence on a substance or practice that is beyond voluntary control. People with an addiction do not have control over what they are doing, taking or using. Their addiction may reach a point at which it is harmful. Addictions do not only include physical things which we consume such as drugs or alcohol but may also include things such as tobacco and gambling.

Addiction to substances or activities can sometimes lead to serious problems at home, work, school and socially. The causes of addiction vary considerably and are not often fully understood. They are generally caused by a combination of physical, mental, circumstantial and emotional factors.

Addiction often referred to as dependency leads to tolerance. The addicted person needs larger and more regular amounts of whatever they are addicted to in order to receive the same effect. Often, the initial reward is no longer felt and the addiction continues because withdrawal is very unpleasant.

Treating addiction with herbal remedies may be one of the best cures for addiction. The reason why some people may be more prone to addictive substances and behaviour is to seek a form of comfort that they are lacking from their daily lives. They might be trying to escape the stress of work, a rocky relationship, financial difficulties or a painful childhood experience. They might be in intense physical pain and trying to cope by using drugs. Tobacco, drugs and alcohol help them to forget the troubles in their lives and get them into a mental state that provides temporary pleasure.

Withdrawal from drugs, tobacco and alcohol may produce symptoms such as sleep disturbances, muscle aches, irritability, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. Although withdrawal requires the attention of a physician, certain herbs may help reduce the symptoms associated with the withdrawal process.

Vitamin & Supplements:  When a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol begins the long process of recovery, he or she needs more than just personal support. Vitamins and herbal supplements can help ease the physical and mental effects of addiction withdrawal and can also help reverse the months or years of damage caused by alcohol or drug use. Vitamins play a major role in alcohol recovery. Recovering alcoholics suffer from depleted nutrients from heavy drinking that can cause irregular eating habits. Alcoholics neglect healthy diets and often get their calories from fatty or sugary foods. Recovering alcoholics may confuse feelings of hunger for alcoholic cravings and need encouragement to return to normal dietary patterns. A healthy diet for recovery includes vitamin-rich protein, complex carbohydrate and high fibre foods. Vitamin supplements aid in restoring proper nourishment.

Help for Addictions - Organisations

Addiction and dependency | Mind, the mental health charity - help for ...
Useful organisations | Adfam
Action on Addiction | Home
Addiction NI
Ireland's National Organisation for help with Addiction

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies


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