Thursday, August 26, 2010

Treating Addictions: The Way of The Fist and The Palm

Addictions -and allergies- of any type can be treated by removing the stimuli (drug) and changing the receptivity of the person. As when a "kung-fu" salute ends, the fist and the palm must come apart and turn away from each other. The fist is the stimuli, and the palm is the person’s receptivity to it. “Pull the fist, turn the palm” is sage-like advice that works.

1. External trigger (The Fist): avoiding environmental exposure

1.1. Psychosocial:

Avoiding environmental/ informational/memory cues

1.2. Biological:

Avoiding slippery slope use of drug

2. Internal receptivity (The Palm): decreasing relapse risk

2.1. Psychosocial:

Increasing fear of adverse outcomes if drugs are used

Increasing support/self-esteem/importance if abstinence is practiced

Increasing desire to do good/ spirituality

2.2. Biological:

Treating withdrawal, blocking the effects of the drug

Treating other predisposing disorders (Axis I/II in psychiatry)

Increasing biological resilience: exercise, diet, meditation

Alexander B. Niculescu, III, MD, PhD