Addiction is a major problem in America. From serious problems with drugs and alcohol, to even sugar or internet addiction, millions of families struggle to overcome the diseases of addiction and addictive behaviors. As you probably know, trouble with addiction can often run in families, due to both genetic and environmental factors.
Unfortunately, children are the ones who usually suffer most from the addiction patterns in their parents. In fact, roughly 12 percent of American children live with a parent who is addicted to a harmful substance. These addictions can contribute to youth drop-out rates and putting future success at risk. If addictive habits run in your family, no matter what those addictions may be, you are probably concerned with breaking that cycle. Fortunately, there are natural ways to combat addictive habits that could otherwise span generations.
- Be honest about the problem
If yourself or someone close to you is exhibiting signs of addictive behaviors, don’t try to sweep your concerns or feelings under the rug. It’s not easy to face these things head-on, but it’s the best way to heal the problem before it grabs hold — increasing the risk for future generations.
- Take time to relax
Addictions usually begin as a way to escape or relax. But people who learn to do these things in a more healthful way might be able to curb addictive behaviors. What helps you or your loved one relax or escape reality for a little while? Perhaps it’s the basketball court, the gym, or a great book. Many find that formal relaxation tools such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga are very helpful.
- Try biofeedback
Brain wave biofeedback (also called neurofeedback) is a natural and non-invasive therapy that teaches patients how to modify their own brain wave patterns. It has been shown to help with stress, anxiety, ADHD, and yes, addiction. If someone in your family shows potential for addictive behaviors that concern you, it could be worth a try.
- Talk about it
If you or your family has already experienced the struggles of addiction, it’s important to share your story. Share your personal and family experience to offer comfort and hope to others. Putting your energy into helping other families who face similar challenges can give you a new lease on life — and a positive reason to keep moving in the right direction.
There is recent scientific evidence that exercise can have an amazing impact on overcoming addiction, and play a role in decreasing your risk for substance abuse. Physical activity can help manage substance cravings and withdrawal by increasing blood flow to the brain, as well as sending endorphins and other feel-good chemicals throughout the body.
People with addictive habits or out-right addictions generally don’t eat very well and eat or drink too much junk. This can stimulate the body’s cravings for addictive substances and make addiction recovery more difficult. A healthy diet can help give your body the tools it needs to combat addiction.
If you are concerned about the potential for a family cycle of addiction, the best thing you can do is reach out for help. The sooner you recognize the potential for a problem, the more productive and effective your intervention will be. Don’t be afraid to reach out — future generations will thank you.