What Does Healing the Core of Addiction Mean and Why Is It Important?

Addiction Recovery Publishing Nutrition March 13, 2024

What Does Healing the Core of Addiction Mean and Why Is It Important?

There is little doubt that addiction remains a serious issue throughout the United States. With issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic, addiction issues have become even more prevalent. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), “In 2022, 48.7 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year, including 29.5 million who had an alcohol use disorder, 27.2 million who had a drug use disorder, and 8.0 million people who had both an AUD and a DUD.” These are serious statistics that require serious solutions, including healing the core of addiction of those in need.

What Does Healing From Addiction at the Cellular Level Mean?

Whole-healing from addiction is about a lot more than simply putting down the drink or the drug. It is about getting to the deeper issues that cause individuals to want to use alcohol or substances in the first place. This is why many people in the addiction and recovery realm often say, “Alcohol and substances are but a symptom of a deeper disease,” and, yes, addiction is a disease. In fact, the majority of addiction specialists agree that it is a “chronic” disease.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences… Addiction is a lot like other diseases, such as heart disease. Both disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of an organ in the body, both have serious harmful effects, and both are, in many cases, preventable and treatable,” and “If left untreated, they can last a lifetime and may lead to death.” This is why healing from addiction must happen at the cellular level.

Healing from addiction at the cellular level has to do with the interconnectedness of our entire “self.” This means the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It is when all of these components are addressed that all of these components can truly heal. If one is left out or not treated properly, then the others will suffer as well and not fully heal. It is a whole mind-body-spirit healing process. Also, this can only happen when a recovery plan is created specifically for the individual.

Why Is Individualized Addiction Care So Important?

The fact of the matter is not all treatment facilities and recovery centers are created equally. Many recovery centers utilize a “one-size-fits-all” approach to recovery using broad overarching recovery plans. While this may work for some, it often leaves most people who struggle with addiction still struggling. 

Individualized addiction care is so important because it takes all factors into account before creating a recovery plan. For example, it takes family life into account and whether or not there should be a family therapy component. Another example is taking an individual’s occupation into account. If an individual has a high-stress or elite position, it is important to factor that into recovery planning so they can get back to work in optimal shape. 

Individual attention is also important because it lets the specialists and recovery center know which means, methods, and modalities should be used. This is critical because comprehensive addiction care is also essential for healing at the cellular level (and getting to the core of addiction).

Why Is Comprehensive Addiction Care So Important?

Comprehensive addiction care is crucial because it ensures that “no stone is left unturned.” It means that enough modalities are being utilized to be effective. For example, if an individual is just being treated with psychotherapy and it is not working, then there is nowhere else to turn. However, if an individual is also being treated with experiential therapies and holistic methods, there is a better chance that one (or more) will be found to be effective.

Comprehensive addiction care is also about having many modalities ready to go when something isn’t working or stops working. This way, there is never a delay in recovery. There should always be another recovery option to turn to when a plan is not working. Also, it is good to add more healing options to a plan that is working. This keeps recovery exciting, engaging, and positively evolving.

What Is the Multi-Angled Approach to Addiction Care?

The multi-angled approach to recovery is very much linked to individualized and comprehensive care. It means creating a plan that will address all issues, including cognitive, emotional, physical, and spiritual issues.

An example of a multi-angled approach to addiction care would be utilizing psychotherapy for mental health, nature immersion therapy for emotional health, yoga for physical health, and meditation for spiritual growth. Of course, all four of these methods also overlap to address the other issues. For example, yoga can also address cognitive issues and how to manage feelings and offers potential for spiritual practice. 

This is why the multi-angled approach to addiction care is so effective; everything works in unison to address direct issues while also offering whole mind-body-spirit healing at the cellular level. Also, this is how the core of addiction can come to be healed as well.

What Does Healing the Core of Addiction Mean?

Healing the core of addiction (also known as “the root/core cause of the issue”) is all about addressing the underlying issues that cause addictive behaviors. It is about healing all of the cognitions and emotions (thoughts and feelings) so one can stop their negative behaviors (actions).

Also, it should be noted that many people struggle with some type of trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the core of their addiction. Trauma and PTSD are more common than many people may think.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “About 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the U.S. population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.” Also, “About 5 out of every 100 adults (or 5%) in the U.S. has PTSD in any given year. In 2020, about 13 million Americans had PTSD.” Of course, trauma and PTSD are just examples of core causes of addiction. Other causes include unaddressed stress, undiagnosed mental illness, and unresolved family issues (to name a few). 

What Does Healing the Core of Addiction Look Like

Healing the core of addiction is all about healing from the inside out and the outside in. This means that there must be modalities that both address what is happening internally and what one reacts to externally.

An example of this would be to utilize an experiential therapy like surf therapy to address how an individual is coping with the world around them (while also getting a multitude of benefits) and utilizing psychotherapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address what is happening underneath the surface (again, while also getting countless other benefits). Essentially, healing the core of addiction is going to look very active and very assorted.

Healing the Core With Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is still perhaps the most common type of therapy utilized to treat addiction. The reason for this is simple: it works. Also, that is not just random people saying it works. It has had many studies that have shown it to work, which is also why it is common to refer to most psychotherapies as “evidence-based” therapies. This is especially true with the aforementioned CBT.

CBT is still one of the most common types of psychotherapies utilized to treat addiction. According to the clinical thesis, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, by Doctors Chand, Kuckel, and Huecker, “[CBT] has been extensively researched and found to be effective in a large number of outcome studies for some psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, and personality disorders. It also has been demonstrated to be effective as an adjunctive treatment to medication for serious mental disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. CBT has been adapted and studied for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families.” As one can see, it is a very comprehensive and expansive type of therapy.

CBT can be particularly effective at healing the core of addiction because it directly addresses the way one thinks and feels about oneself. With someone struggling with addiction, these thoughts and feelings are generally severely skewed. Once these core thoughts and feelings are uncovered, then one can begin to see just how negatively skewed they have become and how detrimental to their day-to-day lives they are. The good news is that with CBT, there are methods to address these cognitions and emotions and thus help an individual adjust and control their behaviors (namely their negative addictive behaviors).

Healing the Core With Nutrition Therapy

Another highly important and effective way to treat the core of addiction is to treat the nutritional deficiencies that people with addiction often have. For example, people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) are often nutrient-depleted in very specific ways. 

According to the journal Alcohol, Clinical and Experimental Research, “Chronic alcoholic patients are frequently deficient in one or more vitamins. The deficiencies commonly involve folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A … Alcoholism can affect the absorption, storage, metabolism, and activation of many of these vitamins.” Nutrition therapy (also known as “nutritional therapy”) can help replenish these essential vitamins.

Now, nutrition therapy is not just about what foods are taken in but also about what foods are left out. According to the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, “Nutritional Therapy uses food to prevent and reverse diseases that plague most western societies: diabetes, obesity, heart disease, arthritis, and depression. For food to be therapeutic, it must be nutrient-dense, measured in part by the nutrients and anti-nutrients, contained in consumed foods. Nutrients are plant and animal sources providing macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat), micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, probiotics), and fiber,” and “Anti-nutrients are food products that have no biological necessity.”

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we like to say that “Food is medicine” because it is food that can truly help heal us down to the core. Yes, this, of course, has to do with physical wellness, but it also has to do with emotional well-being. When one not only eats what is good for them but also what nourishes their soul, they are nutritional healing at the cellular level. This is why all of our nutritious foods are not just curated by professional dieticians and nutritionists but prepared by five-star chefs based on individual needs. Also, some of our foods are grown right on the property and directly cultivated by our clients via horticulture therapy.

Healing the Core With Horticulture Therapy

Horticulture has been used as a form of wellness for thousands of years (though it was not always categorized as such). However, it has recently been shown to be highly beneficial in helping people heal from issues of addiction and mental illness.

Horticulture therapy is a great way to interact with nature while also relaxing and reducing stress. It also has many other benefits. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “First, horticulture could have emotional benefits, such as reducing stress, reducing psychiatric symptoms, stabilizing mood, and increasing the sense of tranquility, spirituality, and enjoyment. Second, it could help people to reduce fatigue and restore attention and cognitive ability. Third, it could increase self-efficacy, self-esteem, and quality of life.”

Horticulture therapy has also been shown to help people regulate their mood and could potentially reduce the risk of relapse. Also, relapse is more common than many people may think.

According to the peer-reviewed journal Current Psychiatry Reports, “It has long been known that addictive disorders are chronic and relapsing in nature. Recent estimates from clinical treatment studies suggest that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment.” Also, “For 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within 1 year of treatment.” However, when one focuses on healing the core of their addiction, the chances of relapse go down exponentially. Yoga is another way to ensure this “core-healing” process happens.

Healing the Core With Yoga

As with horticulture, yoga has long been used as a form of healing and wellness (though it was originally strictly used as a religious or spiritual practice). However, just like horticulture therapy, yoga is now being used to effectively treat issues of addiction and mental illness.

Yoga’s benefits are vast and varied. According to the International Journal of Yoga (IJOY), “Therapeutic yoga is defined as the application of yoga postures and practice to the treatment of health conditions. Yoga therapy involves instruction in yogic practices and teachings to prevent reduce or alleviate structural, physiological, emotional, and spiritual pain, suffering, or limitations. Yogic practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.” These are all essential benefits that can be utilized to cure the core of addiction and heal at the cellular level.

Healing the Core of Addiction at the Cellular Level With Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we don’t believe in “one-note” or “cookie-cutter” recovery. We don’t believe that these methods offer healing at the cellular level and ultimately will not fully address the core of addiction.

The author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle wrote, “Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you.” Addiction often masks this love and buries it deep down. It is our goal to help bring it back to the surface by offering the love a person needs until they once again learn to love themselves.

Getting to the root/core causes of addiction is essential for a healthy, successful recovery. Getting to the root/core causes of addiction can best be achieved by utilizing various traditional, holistic, and experiential means, methods, and modalities that can help get to the underlying issues of addiction. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or co-occurring disorders, we can help get you on the right road to long-term recovery right away. For more information about how to get to the root/core causes of addiction and heal at the cellular level, please reach out to Exclusive Hawaii Rehab today at (808) 775-0200.