An Addiction can be defined as any repetitive behavior one is compelled to do or
perform despite knowing that it is harmful or detrimental to that person's well being.
There are broadly five classes of addiction: chemical(substance), food, gambling, work, sex. Substance abuse represents the largest number of addictive problems. The disease of addiction is multifactorial having genetic, metabolic, environmental, psychological and spiritual components. In the US, court-ordered treatment programs involving the use of auriculotherapy and chiropractic have been implimented with good success in some jurisdictions. Addictions are our way to compensate for our feelings when we are separated from our true selves and are not feeling good about who we are. The simple joy of being alive becomes insufficient and we seek the things and events that eventually become our addictions. Despite the various particulars of individual addictions, there is a breakdown in the common neurological pathway called the "Brain Reward Cascade". This the name given to a complex sequence of neurochemical events in the brain that in normal circumstances leave us feeling peaceful and satisfied. When the brain reward cascade becomes dysfunctional, we are unable to attain that feeling of peace and satisfaction and suffer from the new term given to addiction which is "Reward Deficiency Syndrome".
I rely mainly on auriculotherapy and chiropractic to treat addictive behaviors. Auriculotherapy has been shown to stimulate the release of specific neurotransmitters like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and others in the brain. Since addiction is largely a problem of neurochemicals in the brain, it makes sense that a treatment that targets the brain's chemistry should have the potential to correct problems found there. Chiropractic manipulation, by reducing mechanical strains on the spinal cord and normalizing nerve tone can help improve a person's sense of comfort and well being.
Auriculotherapy has demonstrated its effectiveness since the 1980's when Dr. Michael Smith developed the well known NADA protocol for the treatment of street addicts. I believe there are now protocols that are even more specific and effective, that can be tailored the patient's individual needs. There is no cure for this savagely destructive affliction, but there is help. Since addiction is such a multifaceted problem I also recommend patients seek concurrent help from other sources if they are available, like psychological counseling, education, 12 step programs, community supports for the spiritual and social dimensions, programs for co-dependants and family members.