The Third Leg of the Stool: Nutritional Support for the Addicted Brain
By Christina Veselak, LMFT
The American Medical Association has long understood that addiction is a brain driven, bio-psycho-social illness. Traditional treatment programs, including Alcoholics Anonymous have done a great job developing effective approaches to the psychological, social and spiritual aspects of addiction. However, for the most part, these programs do not teach their clients the skills necessary to address or manage the biochemical and brain imbalances that drive addiction. Thus relapse rates are chronically high, and even when people do manage to stay sober, they are often plagued by ongoing depression, anxiety, irritability and insomnia. This leads them to seek relief by going to psychiatrists whose tool-boxes are generally limited to the use of psychotropic medications, thus rendering patients dependent upon them for lifetime prescriptions. Many addicts and alcoholics go into treatment to get off mood altering substances, only to leave treatment on more drugs than they entered with. Furthermore, many of these drugs are toxic, have serious side effects, or stop working effectively after a while. Just as importantly, these drugs do not address the root causes of brain imbalance.