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The Opposite of Addiction Isn’t Sobriety, It Is Human Connection

Addiction is an issue for many, many families.  Whether it is drugs, alcohol, food, sex or shopping, the impact is felt by everyone connected to the person with the problem. Children with food intolerances to dairy, gluten and sugar are already faced with an alteration in the amount of opiates in their system.  When these foods are not digested completely, these by-products are absorbed into the blood stream and are responsible for both the cravings and some of the behaviour related symptoms these children face.  The same is true for adults that are bothered by these foods.

It has long been believed that it was the chemicals in drugs and in the brain that were responsible for the addiction but some new research offers a very different point of view. It seems that narcotic drugs given to patients for medical reasons rarely result in long term addiction but similar doses taken for a similar length of time often ends in a lifetime of addiction to these drugs for people living alone.  The factor that is different in these two populations is that the addict on the street often had a challenging childhood and is isolated and alone.  Patients in hospital receiving these drugs are often surrounded by people who care and are also receiving on going supportive help from the medical staff.  Perhaps it is this sense of stress and isolation that is truly the underlying trigger that leads some people down the path of addiction.  The article in the link below discusses a program in Portugal where drugs were decriminalized and all the money saved was put into programs to help addicts find meaningful work and a sense of community.  They get help in warm and loving clinics rather than in jail.

Addiction affects many of us and this study offers a new perspective on people struggling with these serious challenges.  While loving a person in their state of addiction is very difficult to do, perhaps some new approaches to treatment would help more people get well.  It also reminds me yet again of the importance of offering a listening ear and a warm, nurturing environment for our children as this might me an important part of helping them avoid the path of addiction down the road.  Addressing their food sensitivities is also essential as it eliminates the opiate by-products from their body and also helps them find a sense of belonging and friendships when their difficult behaviour improves.

The link to article is here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.htm

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