How Addiction Happens…
Within the brain exists a network of billions of nerve cells (neurons), signalling each other many thousands of times during daily life.
When underlying life factors such as stress, trauma, depression, hopelessness/helplessness, relationship difficulties, or other psychosocial issues go unresolved, the signalling potential of these neuro-networks can be reduced.
These reduced levels of neurotransmitters – the brain’s messengers – can be temporarily raised through ingestion of quick-fix substances such as junk food, recreational drugs, alcohol, or other substance mis-use.
With sustained use over long periods, the nerve cells in the brain “habituate”, and begin to require increasing amounts of these additional substances in order to continue generating the same levels of contentment, happiness, etc
And with each increase in alcohol or drug intake, the nerves require yet more of the substance, to continue signalling these feelings of happiness or contentment.
When intake of the substance ceases or is reduced, the artificially sustained levels of these brain messengers plummet, and the brain triggers profound cravings for the substance perceived to bring relief.
At this point, the sufferer is chemically addicted to the substance.
2 Methods Of Detox
Abbeycare Foundation are the only UK in-patient clinic to offer clients a choice of either:
(i) Prescriptive medication detox; or
(ii) IV nutritional detox
All patients complete the therapeutic elements of the program regardless of method of detox.
Remember, complete rehabilitation from drugs or alcohol requires all 3 elements:
- Full detox from the substance itself
- Normal brain and neurological function restored
- Underlying psycho-social drivers of addiction resolved
Prescriptive medication detox replaces the missing (e.g.) alcohol from an individual’s system with a prescriptive drug equivalent (e.g. Librium) to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
Medication is administered in decreasing doses over a period of weeks until the individual’s system is free of alcohol.
Whilst effective, and the most commonly used method of detox, prescriptive medications do not address the other missing nutrients and minerals required to normalise brain function.
In addition, chemical detox does not replenish reduced levels of other key neurotransmitters, that are typically deficient in most rehab patients, such as serotonin, dopamine, etc
And, since the liver, kidneys, and other organs can only detox from the substance at a certain rate, the speed of chemical detox is limited to the healing potential of the body’s endocrine, immune, and reparative systems at that time.