What is addiction?

“Addiction is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm. The term addiction does not only refer to dependence on substances such as alcohol, heroin or cocaine. A person who cannot stop taking a particular drug or chemical has a substance dependence.

Some addictions also involve an inability to stop partaking in activities, such as gambling, eating, or working. In these circumstances, a person has a behavioural addiction. Addiction is a chronic disease that can also result from taking medication and the overuse of prescribed opioid painkillers.

When a person experiences addiction, they cannot control how they use a substance or partake in an activity and the become dependent on it to cope with daily life.

Most people start using a drug or first engage in an activity voluntarily. However, addiction can take over and reduce self-control.”

-Western Medical Today

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The Western Medical Approach:

The Western Medical approach to addiction involves a medical or disease orientation to understanding the onset, course and management of addiction and a clinical goal of abstinence or very significant reduction in the type of addiction, usually with a combination of behavioural and pharmacological interventions. Even within this Western approach, and despite several consensually accepted features of addiction, a significant mismatch remains between what this culture has come to accept as the nature of the disease and how that same culture continues to treat the disease.

Our Approach and Treatment:

The Five Element acupuncturist sees any addiction (like any symptom) as a sign of an imbalance in the person. All living beings are governed by the natural laws we observe in nature and the cause of the addiction experienced by the presenting patient will have a cause in one of the five elements that produce our outer and inner reality. Practitioners of this ancient healing tradition have the skills to diagnose the unique cause of addiction in each person and effect an acupuncture treatment that has the potential to break not only the addiction but all suffering.

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