How to Overcome an Addiction

Regardless of the addiction, there are ways that you can help yourself or your loved ones overcome it. Here are some of the things that I’ve found that may be useful when fighting addiction.

Lifestyle changes:

Avoid Isolation – Check out this Incredible TED talk on the close connection between addiction and isolation.

Find other outlets to replace your addiction – Use sites like,, or Google to find events going on near you.

Create positive reinforcements/replacements – Instead of drinking a case of beer after work, consider going to the gym or joining an exercise class.

Limit environments, activities, people, and other relapse triggers.

Get Sunshine – Getting exposed to enough sun helps us make vitamin D which plays a massive role in improving our mood by regulating serotonin production and also keeps our genes functioning like they should.

Eat Healthily – Our diet plays a huge role in how we feel. Try to reduce or eliminate sugar and other refined carbohydrates, and other unhealthy processed foods from your diet for a week and see if you feel better.

Exercise – All forms of activity are good.  However, group activities and high-intensity exercise likely will have the most benefit to reshape your brain and body, while also releasing endorphins that help you feel good (R).

Consider talk therapy – Some addictions are best to talk about. Find a local therapist or find an online therapist.

Supplements that may be helpful:

Fish oil – Shown to reduce inflammation, which is strongly linked to depression, and altered cognitive function. Aim for high DHA and EPA containing fish oils and always refrigerate them after opening.

Vitamin D –  Boosts serotonin and makes us feel better. Get your blood tested and see if you have enough. If you can’t get enough sun, consider supplementing.

Propolis– Mood and energy booster. May reduce cravings for things that temporarily boost dopamine, like smoking, drinking, and gambling. Propolis also benefits the gut, which improves your mood and motivations (R).

SAMe – Aids neurotransmitter production and augments the effects of antidepressants. It’s also an endogenous chemical that helps with methylation processes and many other functions. Be warned though, it does have drug interactions and contraindications. Here’s a Web MD Article on SAMe.

TMG – Found naturally in beets, this molecule is like a gentler and cheaper form of SAMe. It can improve our bodies methylation status and increase our neurotransmitter production.

Dark chocolate – Boosts dopamine, which may help reduce your need to seek unhealthy dopamine boosters.

St. John’s Wort – A natural antidepressant – Increases serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. This herb has a lot of interactions, which can reduce the effectiveness of your medications, and lead to nasty side-effects if you’re not careful. As with all these supplements, talk to your doctor before using it.

Acetyl-L-Tyrosine – a precursor to dopamine. The acetyl form is better absorbed than regular l-tyrosine.

5-HTP – an endogenous serotonin precursor that may help with depression and anxiety. Check out this article for more info on it.

Probiotics – Our microbiota plays a huge role in regulating our mood and mental functions. We can change the bacteria in our guts by changing our diets, lifestyles, and taking probiotics (R).

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and this site is only intended for educational purposes. Talk to your doctor before doing anything that can impact your health.

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