Addictions are unhealthy attachments, habits, behaviors or dependencies. One could also be positively attached, meaning devoted to God, for example. This is not really an addiction, however, because it is not an unhealthy attachment, but rather a profound understanding and appreciation of God Himself, in the super natural and His divinity.
This article discusses principles of addiction, causes of addictions, some types of common addictions, and how to stop addictions of many kinds, which includes reading a few books that can help you detach from your addictions. Let us begin with some principles involved in addiction. PRINCIPLES OF ADDICTIONS NOURISHMENT VERSUS STIMULATION Nourishment is anything that is required for life, including simple food, water, warmth, even true love or relationship, and other items. By definition, nourishment does not cause much of a stress reaction in the body when given in the right amounts at the right times. Stimulants are substances, behaviors, and habits that may seem to nourish, but cause a stress reaction in the body. They eventually weakens the body and/or mind. Even nourishing substances such as foods can become addictive and stimulating if taken in the wrong amounts or too often or not enough, for example. Any habit, behavior, or other addictive item may also be part nourishing or nurturing, and part addictive or co-dependent. For example, coffee contains nutrients, but is also stimulating and irritating. Cigarettes encourage deeper breathing, but contain cadmium, nicotine and other poisons. Alcohol can be used as a fuel in the body, but it depletes B-complex vitamins, zinc and magnesium and damages the liver. All stimulants tend to be addicting. All nourishment tends not to be addicting. This is partly just a definition of addiction. In other words, healthy items in the right quantity at the right time are not addicting, but nourishing. Misuse of them tends to create all addictions and away from God. Stimulants tend to cause a high followed by a low when it is withdrawn. Anything that causes a temporary 'high' or feeling of well-being followed by a 'low', tends to be addictive. As the well-being effect wears off, another dose or fix is needed to regain the temporary high. Every addictive substance or habit weakens the body or mind. It stimulates more than it nourishes. When the 'high' wears off, one feels a little worse than before one used it or experienced it. This is why a person is attracted back to the substance, habit or even a person to feel good once again. CELEBRATION VERSUS NEEDINESS To some degree, how one uses behaviors, sex, foods, activities and even people can determine whether they are addictive or nourishing. For example, some people can celebrate and enjoy a little alcohol or caffeine without becoming addicted. If, however, one is looking to fill a void or some deep need inside or ‘get something’ from a food, activity or a person, addiction is inevitable. What might be slightly nourishing can turn to poison as a result. This is a very fine line, however. The reason is that all alcohol contains poison. All caffeine is a stimulant, no matter how it is used. If the body chemistry is just perfect, maybe it can be handled, but if one is healthy, it will never tend to feel good. It will tend to feel like a poison to some degree. If one needs the nutrients it contains, perhaps it is not addictive, but it is never very healthful, and the risk of addiction is always present. The same can be said for most “bad" habits, whether they be lying, stealing, too much sex with oneself or others, or co-dependent relationships. ADDICTION HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH MALADAPTATION By this I mean that addictions have to do with some disconnect or improper stress response that throws the body out of homeostasis. This is one way of viewing addictions from the perspective of the stress theory of disease and general systems theory and cybernetics. RUNNING FROM REALITY All addictions are escapes from reality to a degree. Another way to say this is that all addictions and codependency is traumatic. This is also part of chaos theory. A trauma is simply something that increases chaos in the body at deep levels. ADDICTION AND THE ADRENAL GLANDS Another principle of addictions is that they commonly involve the adrenal glands. This may be because the adrenals are so essential for having energy, and because some adrenal hormones such as cortisol and cortisone, notably, give one a natural high. Adrenals do this by stopping pain, increasing the oxidation rate in most cases, raising the blood sugar level a little, and decreasing inflammation in the body. This combination, and perhaps other effects as well, makes the adrenal hormones very needed and perhaps “addictive”, one might say. Most people with addictions have weak adrenal glands. They essentially crave the euphoric feeling that goes with more active adrenals. They gravitate to substances, activities, habits, behaviors, relationships or other situations that stimulate, or perhaps nourish to a degree, the adrenal glands. Just a few examples of this include addictions to caffeine, sugar, cocaine, depressants, stimulants, anger, fear, sex, vigorous exercise, or job or marital drama. Furthermore, these stimulants eventually weaken the adrenals, causing a deepening of the addiction. Understanding how substances, habits and even emotions affect the adrenal glands can be a key to understanding their addictive power. And understanding how to overcome addictions through spiritual practice is a key component is setting yourself free. SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS STIMULATION Another principle of addiction related to the above is that one can stimulate the adrenal glands directly with various chemicals including:
However, another way to stimulate the adrenals is with anything that moves the body into a state of activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Examples are:
perhaps some other stressors.
OTHER ORGAN AND SYSTEM STIMULANTS Another principle of addiction related to the body is that some addictive substances, habits or activities stimulate various body systems, and weaken them at the same time. For example, smoking, exercise, sex and wearing inadequate clothing in cold weather may temporarily stimulate the circulatory system, but may also weaken it. Other stimulants primarily increase the depth or rate of respiration, providing a high that can have to do with increased oxygen and/or lowered carbon dioxide in the blood. These can include exercise, cigarette smoking or inhaling certain other irritants. It can even include certain postures such as puffing up the chest. Activities that stimulate the muscles such as weight lifting, running and other exercise can also create a lactic acid high. One can also become addicted to stimulating the palate with certain tastes, or feeling ‘stuffed’. Other stimulants mainly act at the level of the brain rather than the body. This, of course, includes some drugs and even foods such as carbohydrates or sugars, at times. However, one could become addicted to certain attitudes and beliefs, for example, because they calm the brain or nervous system and relieve nagging anxiety, self-doubts, loneliness, fears, anger or persistent negative thoughts. Not all of these attitudes or beliefs are addictions, of course. They might be healthy attachments to the idea that God exists, for example. TYPES OF ADDICTIONS - SUBSTANCES THAT ALTER BODY CHEMISTRY Substances like alcohol and coffee are addictive because they influence body chemistry in particular ways that produce temporary feelings of well-being in some people. One could become addicted to vitamins or minerals for the same reason. Substance can influence body chemistry in thousands of ways. Vitamins such thiamine and niacin speed up the oxidation rate and can give one a ‘high’ for this reason. While these vitamins have many beneficial effects, if used symptomatically without being part of a total program to promote health, they can easily act as stimulants that may seem to improve one’s health, but are really making health worse. This is why I do not like guessing about what a person needs and I always use the hair mineral test, when properly performed and interpreted, to guide supplement recommendations. This is crucial to understand. Muscle testing, symptomatic recommendations, use of electrical machines and other methods I do not find nearly as reliable to avoid mistakes with vitamins and minerals, for example, or other substances and foods, for that matter. For example, adrenal glandular supplements, thyroid supplements and hormones, ginseng, maca, ephedra, guarana, yohimbe, ginger, cayenne and other stimulant herbs can also give one a temporary feeling of well being. Again, these herbs and products, noted above, have many beneficial qualities. However, most contain subtle stimulants that may be damaging, so they must be used carefully. Otherwise their addictive properties easily overshadow their benefits and the patient becomes worse over time. THE CANDIDA ALBICANS CONNECTION Deranged body chemistry, especially combined with sugar consumption, often leads to chronic intestinal yeast infection or candidiasis. Deficiencies of zinc and other minerals weaken the normal immune responses. Weakened adrenals cause copper to become biounavailable. Copper is the body's natural yeast killer. Also, eating sugar feeds the yeast, which encourages its growth. Repeated antibiotic therapy, birth control pills and steroid therapy may be additional addiction factors as they contribute to yeast overgrowth and weaken body chemistry. Candida produces alcohol and acetaldehyde, both toxic substances. The alcohol can produce its own addiction, even though one has not drank a drop of alcohol! Both substances also further weaken the body, affecting will power and mental clarity. THE PEPSI GENERATION Soda pop is an interesting addictive substance. Not only does it contain caffeine and up to 10 teaspoons of sugar per can, but it also contains phosphoric acid. This chemical cuts the sweetness. It also binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in the intestines and removes them from the body. This may temporarily increases the metabolic rate, making one feel better for a while. Of course, it can lead to mineral deficiencies and other imbalances. Diet soda is little if any better. Although it contains no sugar, the other chemicals are still present, and the sweetness can mislead the body into thinking one has consumed a sugar-laden beverage. Advertisements for soda pop and other junk foods are total lies. Drinking Pepsi won't make you slim, beautiful or popular, even gallons a day. EMOTIONAL ADDICTIONS Another principle is that emotions can be addictive. For example, millions of people are addicted to watching violent, x-rated or horror movies, listening to loud music or tuning into ghastly headlines on the nightly news. Without these stimulants, they feel bored or even somewhat dead. Similarly, arguing with a partner, hating anyone or anything, and holding grudges or resentments are other methods that many people use to get high for a while. Most of use know people seem to need to be upset or angry about something or someone in order to feel "well". Fear, at the emotional level, is the common denominator of most emotional addictions. Love, for example, if it is real, tends NOT TO BE addictive. It is just there. Sex, by this definition, is not love. Sex is a feeling in the body caused by hormones. Love is a presence of God which is entirely different. Both can help you forget your fears and other symptoms, but they are not the same. Sex always tends to deplete the body in some ways and it often leads to some sort of enslavement. You can read more about SEX in the book, entitled, Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political control, by E. Michael Jones. MENTAL ADDICTIONS These are beliefs that get one high and keep one high. They differ from positive, healthy beliefs because they are damaging to the mind and often to the body. For example, feeling superior to others will tend to give anyone a high. One may feel smarter, more attractive, more talented, or even wiser than others. This will help you forget your inadequacies and even your physical symptoms and problems. However, it will also interfere with healthy relationships and wise decision-making. It is sometimes called arrogance, and this is the main mental addictive quality or activity. Another fatal type of mental addiction is believing a lie. It could be almost anything from believing in a stock that will rise, when it does not, to believing in another person, or believing in a political party or ideology, or anything else. This, too, is a form of arrogance as it is a rigidity of the mind, although it could just be a form of ignorance that you insist upon maintaining in the face of facts to the contrary. Another type of common mental addiction is called a neurosis. This is also a type of fixation, but not necessarily a lie. It is simply an exaggeration or glitch or trap that keeps holding you down. Common neuroses are fear of germs, for example, or fascination with sex, or intellectualism – reading all the time, or something else. There are literally thousands of them. They, too, can give one a spectacular high, but slowly damage the mind and body, causing them to be addictive. Finally, another common mental addiction can be a psychosis or delusions or hallucinations. This is a break from this reality and instead a fixation or inability to be present and instead the mind is elsewhere. For example, you might think you are Jesus Christ re-incarnated. This could just be a severe neurosis. However, it could be something mores sinister and harmful, such as hearing voices that tell you to do something when it is harmful to yourself or to others - God never tells you to do harm to yourself or others. Psychoses can be very attractive and addictive, as they can help you forget your fears and your worries and problems. A common psychosis that can be addictive, for example, is to believe everything is alright when it is not. This feels good, of course. But it causes millions of people to tune out or turn off the news, engage in risky behaviors, dress inappropriately, have sex with strangers, for example, and so on. The opposite is also a common addiction – believing that the world is horrible and people are ALL bad. This is the basis for many people’s thinking and it is wrong. It feels good because one feels superior to all the slobs and crooks with whom these people compare themselves constantly. But this belief is damaging because it tends to lead to very poor decisions, lack of trust, lack of healthy interaction with others, and more. Intense negativity can also sicken the body horribly, over time. ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS AND HABITS These can impact the body, the brain, attitudes, emotions and all levels of functioning. In fact, the more levels a behavior impacts, the more addictive it can be. Here are two common examples – exercise and sex addictions. EXERCISE ADDICTION Exercise powerfully stimulates the adrenal glands, causing a cortisone high. It also stimulates respiration and circulation, causing euphoric feelings related to these. It also produces lactic acid which can have a euphoric effect. On top of all this, exercise is fashionable and one hears that ‘more is better’ for one’s health. Exercise addition also appeals to those overly concerned with their appearance. A slim, muscular build is associated in their minds with health. Unfortunately, as with any activity, when it becomes addictive it becomes damaging. Excessive sympathetic nervous system activity shuts down the immune system, deprives the adrenals of rest, upsets thyroid activity and overworks the joints. Many compulsive or excessive exercisers do not eat well, believing that plenty of exercise is all they need. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of those in the worst of health are exercise addicts. They destroy their adrenals, joints and immune systems by their lack of balance in regards to exercise. SEX AS AN ADDICTION This is a large topic. You can read more about SEX in the book, entitled, Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political control, by E. Michael Jones. HANDLING ADDICTIONS SUPPORTING THE ADRENAL GLANDS Supporting the adrenal glands is a powerful way to help end the cycle of addiction. Nourishing the adrenal glands to enhance their activity can help provide a person with some of the same euphoric feelings that mild addictive substances provide without the harmful effects of stimulants. Nutrients that benefit the adrenal glands include vitamins B-complex, C and E, manganese, chromium, zinc and eating some protein at least twice daily. Plenty of rest and sleep are also excellent for the adrenals. Letting go of fear and worry are essential. Getting rid of chronic infections is also very important. Detoxification of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, copper, and toxic levels of manganese, iron, chromium, aluminum and others is also required or at least most helpful. Strengthening the adrenal glands can also improve one’s resolve or willpower. The adrenals are called the fight-or-flight glands. One’s ability to secrete adrenal hormones in large part determines one’s ability to handle stress. Adrenal glands weakened by sugar consumption, excessive exercise, stress or anything else will reduce one's ability to resist the temptations of other drugs. In other words, one’s ability to cope with reality depends, in part, upon a balanced body chemistry. The use of any item or habit that weakens or unbalances the chemistry reduces the ability to handle stress. The temptation to go into denial increases, and with it the temptation to use drugs or other habits to deny reality. It is possible to overcome a weak will through faith, prayers and a support group. However, fixing one’s body chemistry is also a great help! NORMALIZING THE BLOOD SUGAR Normalizing blood sugar is another way nutritional correction can help overcome addictions. Recently, a teenager consulted me who admitted he was addicted to Coca Cola. He had spent time in a local mental institution for severe depression. During his stay, he was allowed all the Coca Cola he wanted. No one understood why he made poor progress. When his nutrition was corrected, his depression lifted. Have you ever noticed how much coffee with sugar is consumed at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings? Weak adrenals often result in hypoglycemia since adrenal hormones raise blood sugar. This condition is very common. When the blood sugar level drops, cravings can be very strong for sugar, soda pop, a cigarette or another adrenal stimulant. Alcohol craving can also be caused by low blood sugar. ADDICTION AND FRIENDS A powerful factor in some addictions is one’s friendships and groups. The effect can be extremely negative, or it can be very positive. A true friend is one who looks out for your best interests at all times, even at parties or other social events. So if a person you know or are involved with in any way leads you toward more unhealthy behavior, that is not a friend. It is just a buddy or acquaintance. Many people indulge in alcohol, for example, to be social, to fit in, or to “have a good time”. These are never one’s real friends, however. False friends or unhealthy groups can have other negative influences when it comes to addictions. Friends might talk you out of change, emphasizing how hard it is to change, how likely one is to fail, or how others have failed. They might make you think it is silly to change and not worth the effort. Friends can bring you gifts that keep the addiction going, such as a bottle of wine, without even realizing at times what they are doing. Friends may speak badly about you to someone whom you are wanting to invite into your life. This can be a tremendous block for some people if they continue to listen to or even associate with these "friends". Good friends, of course, can also be life-saving forces to help one change and give up addictions. This is the basis for AA sponsorship and other similar programs such as AA or S.L.A.A. The friend who reinforces that one can change, one can succeed, and one is doing well is as a rare gem. This is a true friend, one that holds one’s highest interest in mind at all times, no matter what happens. Good friends are especially important when family and other influential adults are sending one negative messages. Indeed, choosing friends who support where you want to go and with whom is a great secret to overcoming any addiction. For this reason, permanent reversal of addictions requires accepting reality and not trying to run away from it. Anything that gives one hope or better, can demonstrate that life can be really terrific, will greatly assist one to let go of all addictive behavior. This is the appeal of spiritual teachings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, attending Mass and reading spiritual texts, from the father's of the Church and Saints, such as Saint-Augustine, or Thomas Aquinas. It is also the reason group support, friendship and love are the finest things to help people end addictions. FACING REALITY RELEASING TRAUMAS NOURISHING, CARING FOR AND FOCUSING POSITIVELY ON THE BODY CONCLUSION Understanding the nutritional and glandular causes for addiction can help break addictions easier. Supporting the body with a scientific program of diet modification and nutritional supplements can definitely ease the pain that sometimes occurs when one lets go of addictions. And most importantly, letting go of addiction cannot be done all by oneself. A need to rely on God and His grace to get through addictions is the only way out. St- Augustine was able to overcome his addiction to lust by reading passages of the Bible. You can click HERE to buy the book, entitled, The Confessions of Saint Augustine, by St-Augustine. The good news is it's possible through the grace of God, to overcome addictions and by adhering to a lifestyle change which would include starting a nutritional balancing program. If you wish more information and/ or have a 20 minute consultation you can contact me HERE. Your faithful servant, Josephine