Addiction is a complex condition; it is a brain disease that is manifested through compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. An addictive substance (be it alcohol, tobacco, opioids, cocaine or prescription drugs) feels good because it stimulates the pleasure center of the brain through neurotransmitters such as dopamine and GABA. If you have a genetic predisposition, addictive substances don’t just feel good, they feel so good that you will want to chase after them. Addictions do not only include physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but may include behavioral addictions, such as gambling, sex, internet - in other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence or behavioral addiction. Many of us can use substances or become engaged in activities without any significant problems. Some people, however, may experience damaging psychological and/or physical effects when their habit becomes an addiction.
Addictive substances feel different inside an addict’s brain than they do to a non-addict. Therefore, the two sides have difficulty understanding each other. People who have developed an addiction may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.
Our research has shown that holistic healing techniques and alternative medicine benefit individuals suffering from addiction, supporting greater emotional and physical well-being
On this page on Begin to Heal, you can (1) book remote video sessions on our website or in person sessions in New York with experts that help with Addictions and (2) read articles here from experts to educate yourself on this topic further
Barbara E. Savin
Lissa M. Cowan
Mary Sise, LCSW