Drug overdose numbers in the U.S. reached record highs last year.
Over 70,000 people died from drug overdose in 2017. To put that in perspective, about 40,000 people died in car crashes in 2017.
Drug addiction is deadly serious. But how do we treat it?
Read on for more information about healthcare innovations in treating addiction.
The Addiction Crisis
The opioid epidemic knows no boundaries. Even newborn babies suffer withdrawal symptoms if their mothers were using when pregnant. Getting into a treatment program isn’t always easy or affordable.
There are waiting lists for many treatment programs.
Drug use and overdose in America has grown for years. The opioid crisis began, in part, due to doctors prescribing pain medication. They thought the new pain medications weren’t addictive.
Now doctors know that many prescription painkillers put patients at risk for addiction.
Also at high risk are patients with dual diagnoses. This is when the patient has a substance abuse problem. But he also has a mental health issue, like a schizophrenic alcoholic. Patients need places like this center in the case of dual diagnoses.
The crisis isn’t going away any time soon. But some healthcare innovations are helping treat the deadly disease of addiction.
1. Nutrition Therapy
This is also known as biochemical restoration and nutrition. This approach restores and repairs biochemical imbalances in the brain. Those biochemical imbalances make a person more prone to addiction.
There are many types of biochemical imbalances:
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Adrenal fatigue
- Oxidative stress
- Brain neurotransmitter imbalance
These are a few of the imbalances treatment aims at improving. The patient receives a full assessment to identify imbalances.
A nutritionist creates an individualized nutrition plan targeting the imbalances. Balancing a patient’s chemicals helps with mood stabilization. It also restores physical health and reduces alcohol and drug cravings.
Acupuncture uses thin needles inserted into specific points on the body. This regulates neurotransmitters, stimulating blood circulation and the endocrine system.
It’s especially helpful in treating the pain of withdrawal. Some patients report reduced alcohol and drug cravings.
3. Yoga and Meditation
Yoga studies are ongoing. But they show promise in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and stress. Many people self-medicate with drugs in the hopes of reducing such symptoms.
The practice of yoga has been around for thousands of years. Yoga stresses harmony in mind, body, and spirit. Yoga consists of stretching, breathing work, physical poses, and meditation.
Yoga helps addicts through self-awareness and improved inner strength. Their physical and emotional states are better. And they feel less need for substances.
Buprenorphine is an anti-addiction drug. It helps people stay off drugs while providing relief from depression and anxiety.
When used in conjunction with decriminalization of drugs, it’s a promising treatment. If an addict isn’t afraid of prosecution, he’s more likely to seek help.
Alcohol and other drug addictions are at crisis levels in America. But healthcare innovations in the treatment of addiction offer hope.
Buprenorphine is one such treatment. Treating brain and chemical imbalances through proper nutrition is another.
Yoga and meditation, as well as acupuncture, are also promising addiction treatments. If you or a loved one suffers from drug addiction, don’t give up. There are treatments for addiction.
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