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Innovations in Addiction treatment

Dr Vijay Patil (MBBS, MD) consultant at Dr V B Patil Foundation

Addiction is a chronic medical illness involving damaging cerebral cortex & limbic system. Addicted engages in behaviors that become compulsive & often continue despite harmful consequences. Though addiction is a chronic disease & relapses are frequent new recovery science treatment approach gives chance of recovering from addiction. New addiction treatment can help repair the addiction infected brain damage & enhance once ability to focus on & benefit from various therapies. Sometimes medication works so well & so quickly that it seems like a ‘quick care’ but the individual will still need to follow through the traditional treatment & lifestyle changes & learn new coping skills necessary to maintain sobriety.

What’s wrong with our current ways of treating addiction?

Why do we fail so often & so miserably? We need to think & take entirely new approach; we need a paradigm shift for the treatment of addiction. The treatment can be short term by detoxification with medicines & long term with relapse prevention, damage reduction & control of psychiatric co morbidities.

Herbal Medicines

The use of herbal medicine is again become popular & it was also used in ancient practices. The herbal or medical plants used are consistently studied and only minority has been evaluated in clinical trials but is effective in controlling cravings and distancing from addictions. The plants commonly used are kudzu, Iboga & Ibogaine, st jhons wart or hypericum, Ayahuasca, Dansheen or Chinese sage, Indian Ginseng or Aswaghandha.


The therapies such as EMDR, CBT & MI therapy is very much effective for controlling relapses in addiction. All this therapies plays important role in addiction treatment and are equally beneficial for chronic addicted patients.


One more effective treatment option is ‘Mindfulness’ which came from Buddhist literature. Mindfulness refers to remembering the object of one’s attention which can be one’s own breathing or mental & emotional processes. Meditation practices are recommended for the development of this state of mental presence.

Omega 3 fatty acids

In medications for treating addiction we neglect omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids have been associated with impulsivity states & compulsive behaviors affecting healthiness of the neural system. Omega 3 influences the functioning of different neurotransmitters such as dopamine & serotonin including reward system.

Macro & Micronutrients

In addition multivitamins such as Vit A, B, D, Zinc & Magnesium has major role in the recovery of addiction. The addicts should also be trained for yoga, physical exercise & meditation practice to make more successful recovery from Addiction. The treatment in addiction disease is a long journey. We need to approach ancient with modern treatment modalities for faster and permanent recovery.

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