Why are people addicted? In the majority of cases (excluding tragic situations such as babies who are born addicted because of their mother’s addiction), people who are addicted start out simply seeking more pleasure and joy in their life. Their life is difficult and unhappy, their relationships may be painful and unfulfilling, they may be dissatisfied and stressed at work, and they simply don’t know how to deal with the situation. So they escape from the reality of their circumstances into drugs or alcohol.
Whether the addictive substance is tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, or something else, it soon goes beyond being a psychological escape and becomes a chemical dependency. Then, unless a certain level of the addictive substance is present in the blood, the person’s brain doesn’t
function properly. Treatment depends on how serious and long-standing the addiction is. For milder addictions, such as a recent smoking habit, the person may simply be able to stop. But if a chronic alcoholic suddenly stops drinking, it creates alcohol withdrawal syndrome that is difficult to deal with.
DOSE REDUCTION. Along with this cleansing program, slowly decrease the dose of the addictive substance. According to Ayurveda, unless some strong medications are available to deal with withdrawal, it is not good to completely stop using the addictive substance all at once, or a stressful withdrawal syndrome will probably occur.
• With nicotine toxicity (which affects the lungs and cardiovascular system) and alcohol toxicity (which affects the liver) we have to strengthen the affected organs. For alcohol toxicity, use this formula:
Chitrak 3 parts
Kutki 3 parts
Take ½ teaspoon of these herbs, with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice, 3 times a day.
• Ayurveda suggests a bitter wine made of aloe vera juice. (It is called kumari asava.) In place of hard liquor or other alcoholic drinks, the person who is addicted to alcohol can take small amounts of this light, dry wine. Try 4 teaspoons diluted with an equal amount of water. Then gradually reduce the amount of herbal wine in the dose, while at the same time using the above herbal formula to strengthen the damaged liver.
• The same applies to tobacco. For a person who is addicted to
nicotine, remove one-third to one-half of the tobacco from each cigarette (at the end you light), and fill the paper with a mixture of rose petals, brahmi, and jatamamsi (equal proportions). Smoke it until the tobacco starts burning. The moment the tobacco starts, put out the cigarette and discard it.
NASAL MEDICINE. Doing nasya with brahmi ghee will also reduce the toxicity of nicotine.
EXERCISE. Most of the time, whenever there is the desire to drink or to smoke, the person should go out for a walk in the fresh.
TIME TO SEE THE DOCTOR
If there is strong alcohol addiction and the person experiences a headache, tremors, drowsiness, depression, or other alcohol
withdrawal symptoms when he or she stops drinking, see a
doctor right away: Medical help is needed. air, or do some other exercise, or go for a swim.
APPETITE STIMULATION. Some people drink because they have a low appetite. Unless they have a drink, they never feel hungry. In such cases, instead of alcohol, they can have some ginger tea to stimulate their appetite. Or try this recipe for a tea to stimulate agni, the digestive fire:
1 quart water
⅛ pinch cayenne pepper
½ handful minced ginger root
2 tablespoons Sucanat or other sweetener
⅛ to ½ teaspoon rock salt
Put all the above ingredients in a pot and boil for 20 minutes.
Take the pot off the burner, cool for a few minutes, then add the juice of half a lime. Do not boil the lime juice.
YOGA ASANAS. Some yoga exercises will also be beneficial. Sun Salutations Should be included, and some Alternate Nostril breathing. So-Hum Meditation will also be helpful.