I have often wanted to deliver a speech to graduating high school seniors about the land mines and traps that lay ahead of them. Alcoholism, divorce (50% now divorced), illicit drugs, even food addiction.
Who can make it through life without succumbing to the sins of the five senses (touch, taste, sight, sound and smell)?
Who can make it through life without addicting their brain to tobacco (a stimulant) or alcohol (a depressant)?
A shocking report issued by the US Surgeon General reveals 21 million Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol, more than the number of people afflicted with cancer. One in seven Americans face alcohol or drug addiction. Over 60 million admit to binge drinking.
The point of these figures is that more people choose to practice an unhealthy lifestyle than those who are stricken with a life-threatening disease.
And now with the legalization of marijuana, how many are going to become addicted to weed? About 9% of marijuana users abuse it.
Alcohol abuse alone has a negative economic impact of -$249 billion and illicit drugs -$193 billion. [Daily Mail UK Nov 17, 2016]
More than 16 million Americans live with a disease caused by smoking tobacco. [Centers for Disease Control Dec 11, 2015] Smoking leads to the early death of 480,000 Americans per year and at least 30 more Americans living with serious tobacco-related illness. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
The CDC says more than $9 billion a year is spent on cigarette advertising. According to the Centers for Disease Control 16.8% of all US adults (40 million people) smoke cigarettes. That figure has dropped to 15% now.
Smoking is related to education. While less than 5% of those Americans who achieved a graduate degree from college smoke tobacco compared to 25% who didn’t graduate from high school.
To top it off, food makers lace their foods with high fructose corn syrup that induces yeast (Candida) infections that in turn results in sugar craving that emanates as gluttony. It is said if foods with added sugar are removed from a grocery store only 20% of foods would remain. Added sugars and carbohydrates that turn to sugar in the body are as addictive as opioid drugs. [Food Navigator]
We haven’t even touched on behavioral sex, pornography, gambling, shopping and Internet addiction. There are a lot of entities in our modern world spending advertising money to coax us to get addicted to their offerings.
Too many Americans are enslaved to their addictions.
There are some antidotes to addictive behavior offered by nutraceuticals.
Myricetin, a molecule from the Asian raisin tree, has been shown to block the cell receptor in the brain responsible for addiction to alcohol.
Researchers at UCLA tested various molecules and found one that magnanimously blocked the cell (GABA) receptor on the surface of brain cells that produces alcohol craving. [Acta Pharmacologica Sinica Aug 2014; Neurochemical Research June 2014]
N-acetyl cysteine, a sulfur compound, has been shown to reduce behavioral addictions such as gambling and physical addictions such as smoking. [Journal Clinical Psychiatry Jan 2014]
Zinc supplementation may be beneficial for those individuals who are hooked on opoid drugs (Fentanyl, morphine, Oxycontin, etc.). [Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention Policy Aug 4, 2015]
Carvacrol from oil of oregano is effective in beating back fungal overgrowth (Candida species) that creates sugar craving. [European Journal Clinical Microbiology Infectious Disease Jan 2011]
Zinc and magnesium may be helpful in reducing nicotine addiction among heavy smokers. [Addiction Research & Therapy 2012]