Today’s society is addictive, whether it be to video gaming, smart phones, social media, or sugar highs found in most processed foods and drinks. To begin the day and for the afternoon lows, uppers like caffeine are taken. We can also be addicted to the stresses of life, or feel the need to escape by taking the edge off with alcohol or marijuana. It is a rarity to find those who are not controlled by any of these vices and live life free of any crutches.
Society has an uncanny ability of creating a crisis, along with a short term solution for temporary relief. Because of society’s familiarity with addiction, the body suffers the shortcomings, and to treat the symptoms of addiction, our medical / pharmaceutical solution is to create new addictions to treat everything from anxiety, depression, pain, sleep disorders, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), constipation, hormone imbalance, and in the end, heart attacks, cancer, MS and every other disease known today.
Let’s look at the current opioid crisis as an example. According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), opioid overdose deaths in the United States in the year 2016 totaled 42,249. This figure is expected to exceed 60,000 in 2017 when the statistics are calculated.
Scientists at the National Institute of Health (NIH), the nation’s chief medical research agency, are working on solutions for addressing the public health crisis by investigating new and better ways to prevent opioid abuse, to treat opioid use disorders and to manage pain.
WebMD shares some interesting statistics on our dependence on these strong pain medications: “An estimated 100 million Americans live with long-term pain. For decades, medicine’s overwhelming response has been prescription opioids like hydrocodone and fentanyl. Retail pharmacies dispensed more than 214 million opioid prescriptions in 2016. That’s more than 66 prescriptions for every 100 people and more prescriptions than any other country in the world.”
Formulated to mimic the pain-reducing properties of opium, opioids encompass a wide range of both legal drugs, such as morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone, and illegal substances, like heroin or illicitly made fentanyl. Here are some examples of other opioid products: Codeine, Meperidine (Demerol), Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet), Fentanyl, Hydrocodone and acetaminophen (Lortab, Norco, Vicodin), Methadone.
When given legally, opioids or narcotics are usually given after an accident or surgery; they can also be used as a treatment for chronic diseases like arthritis. Opioids are designed to bind to receptors in the brain and spinal cord, where they disrupt pain signals. They also release dopamine (the reward chemical of the brain), creating a “high” feeling.
Unfortunately, with extended use, the body becomes tolerant of opioids, and the dose initially used might not eliminate the pain anymore. This leads to a spiral where more and more opioids are needed to eliminate pain and have the same feelings as before. Attempting to stop taking opioids at this point can also be dangerous, because if you start them again, overdose becomes more likely, as the body has lost its previous tolerance. It is best to wean off of opioids with the help of a medical practitioner, but even then, withdrawal symptoms are daunting. How long withdrawal lasts will depend on the specific opioid, how long the person was on it, and how much the person was used to taking. Common withdrawal symptoms can include chills and sweating, diarrhea, insomnia, body aches, nervousness, widespread or increased pain, irritability and agitation, and nausea and stomach pain.
Opioid addiction is a global crisis. In 2016, more Americans died from opioid addiction than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War. Blue Cross recently found that from 2010-2016, the number or people diagnosed with opioid addiction (both legal drugs and illegal drugs) climbed 493%. However, in 2016, a Surgeon General’s report found that only 1 in 10 get specialized treatment to manage their addiction.
Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly accepted to treat one addiction with another, hopefully more manageable addiction. The Canadian government just announced it will make prescription heroin and methadone easier for doctors to access for their patients. It is being hailed as a breakthrough help for physicians, but even as Dr. Jeff Turnbull, director of Ottawa Inner City Health, acknowledged: “You have to find stable housing, you have to find support, you have to treat their underlying mental health problems and their addiction is all part of that. The real work begins now.”
Opioid overdose deaths can be averted if the drug Naloxone is used before it fatally depresses the addicts respiratory and central nervous system. Naloxone sales in 2011 were $21.3 million, and in 2016 the sales were $274.1 million: preventing death while the victim remains addicted.
The current opioid crisis is critical for those who are addicted and for those who will become addicted. Since opioids were first introduced, and even now that millions are addicted, nothing has changed. In fact, opioid manufacturing can hardly keep up with the prescriptions, and without the consideration of the long-term consequences of creating new addicts.
While opioid addiction is troubling, it is symptomatic to the core problem. A healthy lifestyle should be a given for anyone: a clean organic diet, 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and 2-3 liters of clean water per day.
From this baseline, we can examine natural products that can address the underlying issues. For anxiety, try Life Choice fermented GABA, 1 to 3 capsules per day on an empty stomach. Or Kava kava, 2-3 capsules per day on an empty stomach.
For natural pain control, use Life Choice DLPA. Make sure you use only USP pharmaceutical grade, fermented amino acids. Take 3 capsules 3 times per day on an empty stomach; take for 4 to 6 days to allow tissue absorption and depending on pain remain at this dosage as a natural pain substitute. Also consider DMSO gel or liquid; again, this should only be medicinal grade, as other grades such as solvent may have impurities. DMSO applied topically is as effective as DMSO administered orally, since it passes immediately into the bloodstream, thus the importance of only using medicinal grade. We would recommending adding Sweet Relief Cream with MSM, Capsicum and Eucalyptus. Use in equal parts with DMSO 50-50 and once your body tolerance is increased, adjust the ratio to DMSO 705 and Sweet Relief Cream 30%.
When trapped in a hole, the only way out is through a lifeline with medical intervention and support by trained health professionals. The system that doled out the addictive drugs and created the crisis needs to be held responsible for fixing the mess they have created. This will require an overhaul to what is now being done.
Natural healing from addiction is possible, to the point of matching or surpassing pharmaceutical drugs and without side effects, if produced using the same pharmaceutical grade raw material quality.
Restoration is never an easy task. It takes work and discipline. Support must be directed to treating the core issues and not the symptoms; it should also be administered by a doctor who understands natural healing, like a naturopathic doctor. Nature has everything our body needs for health restoration…we must have faith, be patient and persistent with lifestyle changes, and it will happen when the body is returned to balance.