Herbal Remedies And Drug Addiction: Can Herbs Help?
Monday, July 23 2007 @ 10:50 AM MSD
Drug abuse refers to the availing of a drug for purposes which the drugs are not intended to, or using a drug in excessive quantities. Drug addiction is a state of physical and psychological dependence on a drug. The physical addiction is often characterized by the presence of tolerance, such as needing more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect, and withdrawal symptoms that disappear when further medication is taken.
Almost all sorts of different drugs can be abused, including illegal drugs, such as heroin or cannabis, prescription medicines such as tranquilizers or painkillers and other medications that can be availed off the supermarket shelf, such as cough syrups or herbal concoctions.
This depends on the nature of the drug being abused, the person taking the drug and the circumstances under which it is taken. Some medications, like for example certain sleeping pills or painkillers are physically addictive. They have a specific effect on the body which leads to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Others may lead to a psychological addiction if people have a craving for the effect that the drug causes.
There has been some speculation that some people may be more prone to drug abuse and addiction than others. Research is being carried out into whether there may even be genes that predispose certain people to addiction.
The methods employed by Chinese traditional medicine practitioners is an effective example of just how effective herbal remedies could be for drug addicts. One famous herbal method used for addicts is moxibustion. Moxibustion is a variation sometimes employed, and is referred to as the slow burning on or over the body of special herbal "cones" , in which a stick or cone of burning mugwort or herb, Artemesia vulgaris, and is placed over an inflamed or affected area on the body. The cone is placed on an acupuncture point and burned. The cone is removed before burning the skin. The purpose of this therapy is to stimulate and strengthen the blood and the life energy, or qi, of the body.
There are also a number of herbs that have been researched to be effective in controlling the urges of drug addicts, as well as in helping them tone down their craving for more addictive opiates.
Homeopathic Opium - This herb is effective for minor hangouts, or sudden spells of dizziness or floating, and should be taken in the morning after.
Passion Flower - This herb can be taken as a tea or in a tincture, it also works as a bit of a depressant, though it has a mild narcotic effect.
Valerian - Valerian can be taken as a tea or in a tincture, This herb is from where Valium was derived from, and acts as a good sedative. It is also calms the nerves while in the process of detoxifying.
ScullCap - This herbal concoction can be taken as a tincture or a tea, and is effective for calming the nerves, nervous headaches & associated .
Social circumstances are important in drug abuse. Peer pressure, emotional distress and low self-esteem can all lead individuals to abuse drugs. Ease of access to drugs is another influence. People abuse drugs for many reasons. Understanding what the person's motivation is helps to explain why that person is abusing drugs. Proper consultation with a herbalist and a psychiatry expert are needed whenever one tries to employ herbal remedies to the drug problem.