Empower, Educate, and Breakdown the Stigma: Approaches to Addiction

Empower, Educate, and Breakdown the Stigma: Approaches to Addiction

 March 3rd, 2020 | 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

PRESENTED BY | Chelsea Hynson, CH . . .

In the US, while the prevalence of addiction continues to increase, resources and tools for recovery have not. Private rehab programs are high cost and even for those who can afford them, often the results are mixed.  Community groups and public rehabilitation centers are more accessible but the majority of them follow the 12-step program, a model whose effectiveness is controversial, and which does not resonate with many non-religious participants. Lesser-known co-therapies are slow to be introduced.

As an example, nutritional therapeutics are absent in many recovery programs and rehabilitation facilities, a modality which has shown to be effective for numerous types of addiction.

In her practice, psychotherapist Julia Ross (author of “The Mood Cure”) focuses on supplementing with specific amino acids during any stage of substance use, for various therapeutic effects. This includes supporting the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body which are depleted with the use of drugs.

Other researchers including Carolyn Ross, MD, note that certain drugs can deplete vitamins and minerals in the body, on both a broad and a narrow spectrum (for instance, folic acid and vitamin C can be depleted through opiate use). This makes supplementation with these specific nutrients potentially a very useful cofactor in recovery. There is evidence, through the work of various practitioners, including those mentioned above, that imbalances in the brain, that can be supported by diet, are a major reason people experience addiction.

Christina Veselak (Founder of Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition) states that the number one reason for relapse is missing a meal. Clearly food can have an incredibly positive impact for someone depending on a substance, but how can it be harmful? Foods like sweets, trans fats, and processed starches cause a spike in blood sugar, which can cause mood swings, anxiety and the craving for a drug or more sugar. The craving for these foods comes from their drug-like actions of releasing feel-good chemicals like serotonin from the brain. Balancing blood sugar and avoiding these spikes can be done with foods like meats, vegetables, olive oil, and whole grains.

Plant medicine is another ally that is not typically used in the traditional recovery methods of substance abuse. Herbs have the ability to help us connect back to ourselves and the world around us, which can help to create empowerment. Feeling empowered creates a more open mind and willingness to learn how to cope and thrive. The feeling of control in addiction is part of what makes it so complex and confusing. Much of the outside world doesn’t understand why a person can’t just “stop” using and depending on a substance.

One in every ten Americans struggle with drug abuse, and yet it is an issue that is still stigmatized and misunderstood. Stigma is based entirely on assumptions and not on facts and comes directly from a lack of education.  The fact that incarceration is the believed solution to punish someone for their drug-related behavior, shows that it’s believed to be an issue of making poor choices, rather than a disorder. This allows for blame and creates a view that the morals of these individuals are broken. Education around this topic must be provided in more abundance for people to better understand this complex topic and to breakdown the stigma around dependency disorders. You can break down this stigma by educating yourself around the deeper reason someone has a dependency disorder, as well as reworking the lingo surrounding the topic such as using words like “junkie”. If you know someone who may have a dependency disorder let them know that they are not bad people, and you are there to support them.

Empower, Educate, and Breakdown the Stigma
A class on addiction

This class will provide a range of tools including, herbal formulas, recipes, supplements, community groups, and vitality practices. These will all be taught according to the drug of choice and the nutrients being depleted during use. Because addiction is so unique to everyone these tools will be taught in a way that can change based on individual needs. You will have the chance to try multiple herbal formulas and take recipes home with you. A major concern of this approach is cost because eating healthy, taking vitamins, and drinking tea every day isn’t always the least expensive route. The approach of this class is to create a space and education that is available to all.

This class is free to the public and you do not personally have to struggle with addiction to attend. I would be more than happy to discuss anything with you after that class if you have further questions.

[The content of this blogs does not necessarily represent or express the views of CSCH.

REGISTRATION 
DATE & TIME | Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 • 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
LOCATION |
CSCH, 424 E. Simpson Street, Lafayette, CO 80026
COST |
Free to the Public.

DOWNLOAD FLYER | Hynson Class Flyer

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