Addiction can be defined in many terms. Addiction is an inability to stop the process of using substances or engaging in a behaviors which can be harmful to the physical and mental health. When a person consciously knows about the negative effects and interference with the happy life about the practices or consumptions of the substances still can not be controlled that actions or intakes is considered as the addiction. A person can be addicted to several things that can be consuming Alcohol, smoking ,drugs, sex, pornography, internet, food, sweet, coffee, exercise, work, success and many more. we think some of these addictions are not harmful but over use of anything can be harmful, sometime we can not see the immediate results of those good habits but chronic use of those practices can be injurious after a period of time. as per the estimate, around 21% of Canadian can be considered as addicted to some or other things. the numbers of addicted people are not less in the world and very few people are treated for the addiction in the world.
Addiction interferes with work performance, social and relationship, In addiction when the substance or practice is stopped creates withdrawal symptoms, continues and longtime use of particular substance increases the tolerance to have a desired amount of effect and increases the amount of intake. usually people suffering from addiction have always desire to cutdown the use of that substances but they can not. even though people do not like the taste of those substances they can not control it. despite knowing all these and having aspiration of quitting that object, why they can not stop it.
Despite knowing all the negative results about the addiction , what is that makes people to get addicted to particular substances. as per my observation , first a person starts to consume any substances or behavior by watching other person or friends , for enthusiasm, or for a company or for a social reason. slowly he or she starts to see the immediate good results as stress relief, good sleep, feeling good, focus in work and enjoyment. When a person starts to consume a particular substance to relieve pain, fear, anxiety or stress that is the triggering point. because these substances gives immediate results and that person becomes dependent to those substances to relieve pain or stress. it is common that if anyone finds relief in their pain by any actions or consumption they are more likely adopt that actions or substance as a habit. Now, we can define pain or trauma as a stressful experience that alters with our ability to cope with all our daily situations. Everyone in that life have had experience of trauma, but the capacity to tolerate the pain can be different as per individual. some time a painful experience of one person can not be pain for other person. capacity of pain tolerance depends upon the emotions (mental stability), body constitution, lifestyles and understanding and knowledge about life.
Now we know that some addictive substances provides immediate relief, but what is that biological process takes place that helps in all issues. Dopamine is the a neuromodulator used by neurons in various part of the brain responsible for movement, motivation, mood, learning and sleep. substances like Alcohol increases the level of dopamine that is why it feels pleasurable after having even low amount of Alcohol. Serotonin is the other chemical produced in brain and used by neurons to transmit the messages, which is responsible for mood, sleep and motivation for longtime. the level of serotonin increases after alcohol intake but the next day the level goes down that creates anxiety, depression. so basically these addictive substances initially increases the level of our good hormones but it decreases after certain hours that leads to other issues like hangover, anxiety and depression. norepinephrine is the one more hormones that helps in mobilizations of brain and body in actions. it is the hormones that deals with the fight or flight response. Alcohol intake stimulates the level and metabolism of norepinephrine. so initially boosting of the hormones brings happiness, motivation, pain relief , sleep that can be the cause of addiction of these substances. As we discussed it is a human nature which always seek for the easy comfort for any problems. people find easy solutions for the pain, stress, anxiety, fear by adopting some habits. Actually these habits diverts one’s focus form pain or trauma. the main reason of adopting habits is the quick solutions of the problems. if we can find the reliable answer for these problems we can avoid implementing wrongful habits. to find the answers of the problems like stress, anxiety, fear or pain we should understand that all these are deep rooted with our ego and mind.
Ayurveda states these substances or practices which can harm our physical or mental health are known as Visha (poison). These types of substances decreases Oja. Oja is our radiance or vitality. As per Ayurvedic philosophy, Addiction starts when we forget who we are, what is our goal and what our true nature is. when we loose alignment with our true nature, we will start to find the solutions for our problems or trauma from outer world by using various substances and engaging in a behavior’s which can harm ourselves. once we start to use the addictive substances to numb our discomforts the energy (oja) within us goes out of balance which creates more adverse effects. conscious effort to know the reality of our own nature will bring us back to the true nature of ourselves. every human knows the fact that the solutions of any questions is within us, just we need to dig it out. to find out the solutions of our questions, we will need to go deep into us and we will definitely be able to find the solutions only requirement is to make conscious efforts.
Ayurveda suggests the way of diverting the mind from harmful substances to inner self. for that reason Ayurvedic sages have accepted Sankhya philosophy, which teaches the difference between mind and soul. addiction keeps a person in Annamaya (body) , Pranmanya (breath) and manomaya (mind) sheaths and it disconnects from the intellect and conscious sheaths. We human are trained from centuries to see ourselves as a five or six feet body which has a mind and intellect to function in this material world, This is what we are taught but in reality we are much more then what we perceive through our limited senses. If the inner power is awakened, we can use the infinite power of our limitless senses for the better of our health. senses can have infinite power if used with inner reality. we will need to shift our awareness from Annamaya kosha to Ananadmaya kosha. by shifting awareness from physical sheath to bliss sheath we can have a realization of Atman(inner soul). knowledge of Atman will lead towards the understanding the difference between mind and soul, that can teach us what mind craves for is not important as it seems, actually the mind craves for something else but we mean it as per our own necessity.
Proper diet, sleep, meditation, pranayama, and sadvritta (code of conducts) can help to minimize the cravings. Pranyama helps to create state of balance in the parasympathetic and sympathetic system of the mind, which creates overall regulation of code of conducts.
Ayurvedic approach for the recovery from addiction involves indoor patient stay which can be longer as two to four months (advisable to keep a companion), Ayurvedic counselling with individual and family as family can help the individual in recovery , withdrawal management by Ayurvedic detox therapies, residential retreat which includes everyday scheduled routine and diet to improve Oja, Anger and stress management, healthy food, routine of yoga (eight limbs), meditation, Pranayama, spiritual readings and satsanga, herbal medicines to detoxify the damage in mind and body and mind and to help to create calmness in mind. Ayurvedic therapies with herbs and herbal oils, mud bath with special property of mud. which helps to bring balance in Oja. prevention of relapse, setting up a specific goal, rejuvenation programs,
If addictive substance stopped immediately, the withdrawal symptoms starts. withdrawal of some substances can be life threatening, that is why it is always advisable to take doctor’s advise when you start to reduce or stop the addictive substances. chances are not less to go back to the addiction when working on quitting habits. Ayurvedic approach for addictions is to bring the person back to the stage of true reality. daily practice of being in moment, listening to your gut, following the daily routine to enhance strength and inner power to come over external attachments, herbal remedies and Ayurvedic therapies if applied properly can help with addiction.
The information provided in this article is for knowledge and information purpose only. please any one of you or your family, or a friend is suffering from addiction, please take advise from your doctor. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. see you next month with a new interesting subject. stay healthy.

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