More than half of all adults in America today struggle with chronic health problems.1 Besides full-blown addiction, adults suffer from attention deficit disorders like ADD and ADHD; mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and bipolar affective disorder; and endocrine disruption that manifests as obesity, weight issues, and thyroid disorders. Then there’s chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia (a widespread pain disorder) as well as allergies and autoimmune conditions—asthma, diabetes, eczema, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, to name just a few. And nearly 15 million of us are living with cancer.2 What your doctor is not telling you is that the first line of defense to better manage and sometimes even completely reverse your chronic health problems is right outside your window—in the garden—and right there in your dining room— on your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates. The choices you make about what to eat, how much to eat, and even how you eat your food determine first and foremost how well your body and your brain will work. The second line of defense is your lifestyle choices—how much exercise you do throughout the day, how much sunlight you get, how much time you spend outside, how you manage your stress and anxiety levels, how many other environmental toxins and harmful chemicals you’re exposed to (in your air, water, homes, cosmetics, hygiene products, and elsewhere), and the people you choose to have in your lives.
But don’t expect your conventionally trained addiction doctor to ask you any questions about your eating and lifestyle habits. In fact, if you suggest that changes to your diet and an increase in exercise and nontoxic living might be the first steps toward conquering your addiction and health problems, your doctor will likely scoff.
A quick look at the food in your doctor’s own refrigerator and cupboards will reveal why. American physicians—just like the rest of us—don’t eat real food anymore. They eat highly processed faux food, which is loaded with pesticides and herbicides and full of fillers, additives (like mold inhibitors), and petroleum-based “food” dyes. Glyphosate (the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup), which you may already be concerned about because of the mainstream press it has gotten of late, is just the tip of the iceberg. Decades of hybridizing wheat for higher gluten content along with other food-science technology that has led to genetically engineering crops to withstand pesticides and herbicides, splicing together genetic pieces of different species to grow everything from chickens to tomatoes faster, and creating artificial flavor enhancers—all of this has produced Frankenfood, which is taking a heavy toll on our health because it affects our moods, our energy levels, and our brains. Addiction is primarily a brain disorder. When we feed our addict brains with Frankenfood, while simultaneously leading a sedentary lifestyle, which is known to cause depression, and experiencing stress and anxiety on top of all that, is it any wonder that for many of us our condition gets worse?
Eating real food grown without chemicals and as close to its natural state as possible is the most radical step you can take for any of your health issues, including addiction. And there’s more that you can do to jump-start the healing process, including reducing gluten and dairy in your diet, eating naturally fermented foods with every meal, taking high-quality probiotics, and getting enough vitamin D, preferably from sunshine. But most addiction doctors have almost no training in nutrition, no time to keep up with the scientific literature, and no interest in helping support the body to heal itself naturally when it’s quicker and easier to prescribe medication, make a referral to therapy, and move on to the next patient.
Most conventional docs are not even aware that healing gut inflammation has the potential to heal the brain and reverse autoimmune conditions and chronic health issues. Mention this to them, and they will give you that all-knowing smile of contempt or might even ridicule you for being so gullible as to fall for all that natural alternative “nonsense.”
Over 100 million nerve cells line your gastrointestinal tract.3 Your brain is in your gut. So is almost 70 percent of your immune system.4 Healing the gut strengthens the immune system and heals the brain.
The approach conventionally trained doctors take to almost every condition is to make a diagnosis and then write a prescription. If that doesn’t work, they make a referral to a specialist. When patients push back, they label them—often in writing in their charts—as difficult or noncompliant. The saddest part of all of this is these doctors are too blind to even know what they don’t know. They refuse to admit that the human body is a whole package and to fix any part of it we must pay attention to every part of it. These doctors don’t want to admit they don’t have the training or knowledge to treat the whole person, which is what integrative and functional medical practitioners strive to do. They just don’t have the bandwidth or the desire to embark on their own journey of discovery to figure out what works best for an individual patient. Doing so is time consuming, highly individualized, and sometimes difficult. It is much easier to make blanket recommendations, offer one-size-fits-all “solutions,” and insist that there is only One Right Way.
Doctors also feel defensive. They feel threatened by new ideas or new ways of thinking, threatened by the thought that they themselves might be eating poorly or too much, living too stationary or even too sanitary a lifestyle, and being exposed to too many toxins. They find it easier to just dismiss anything that does not lend itself to a pharmaceutical fix.
ADDICTION IS COMPLICATED
Your place on the addiction spectrum is not static. You can go weeks or even months without your substance of choice, but then start using again, going from mild to severe in a matter of hours. The truth is that each person’s struggle with substance abuse is unique. At the same time, it is not weak character that causes addiction, just as it is not weak character that leads to breast cancer, asthma, attention deficit disorder, or any other health problem. It is our genetic vulnerabilities along with environmental toxins (stress, unhealthy food, and early neglect, abuse, or chaos are included in this definition of environmental toxins) that create the fertile ground within which addictions develop. Vibrant health requires embracing a new lifestyle that starts with eating real food as well as avoiding toxic foods, people, and environments.
Doctors working in the field of addiction medicine and you yourself may have negative stereotypes about what causes addiction and what it takes to beat it. Yet many beliefs about addiction are not, in fact, true. Now that I’ve convinced you that you must take an integrative approach to addiction (I have convinced you, haven’t I?), I want to examine—and dispel—some of the common myths about addicts.
“Addiction is the addict’s fault.” Most people used to believe, and many still do, that it’s your fault that you became an addict or an alcoholic. All you had to do was say no.
Addiction is much more complicated than that. Since 2011 there has been a profound shift in how the medical community understands addiction. It was then, after four years of study and consultation with over eighty experts, that the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) released a new definition of addiction characterizing it as a chronic brain disorder:
“Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social, and spiritual manifestations… Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission.” 5
Once considered a moral and spiritual failing, addiction, as most doctors understand it now, is actually a disease, a chronic brain disorder that, in its most extreme forms, will cause cognitive decline, organ failure, and premature death.
There is ongoing controversy about the disease aspect of addiction. Many consider addiction to be primarily a behavioral disorder, something we learned as we tried to adapt to the stresses in our lives. I believe that the psychological, spiritual, and social aspects of this condition are as important as the medical ones. Addiction is actually a public-health crisis, a symptom of our failure as a society to protect those at risk.
We can craft better treatment plans when we remember that a young person who is addicted or on the road to addiction is not weak, but rather is someone who has been failed by the educational system, the medical system, and our public-health institutions, as I’ll be talking more about in the next chapter. In order to help that young person reverse course, we have to pay attention to both his or her individual case and the ways in which society is responsible. Addiction is not someone else’s setback. It is our collective problem and one that can only be solved when we all take responsibility for it.
“Successful people don’t get addicted.” Many people believe that intelligent, highly educated people with integrity and willpower do not become alcoholics or addicts.
This simply isn’t true. The truth is that anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol. In fact, gifted children—those out-of-the-box thinkers who have unique ways of learning and looking at the world—are actually overrepresented among illicit drug users and addicts.6 Addiction is not something that happens to losers; addiction is something that can happen to anyone. People struggling with addiction are not stupid.
Charles Dickens was addicted to opium. Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy struggled with alcoholism, as did the nineteenth-century painter Vincent van Gogh. First Lady Betty Ford was addicted to painkillers, which is why there’s now a center named in her honor. One of America’s most accomplished literary giants, Ernest Hemingway, was also an alcoholic. Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick had a problem with amphetamines (he died of a stroke when he was fifty-three years old), and horror writer Stephen King, one of the world’s bestselling authors, needed a cocktail of drugs to get him through the day before he got sober. Your doctor, your child’s teacher, your favorite YouTuber, blogger, actor, or singer may also be an addict.
I’m not giving you these examples to glorify addiction. There is nothing glorious about abusing drugs. There’s nothing glorious about dying of alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver. But I think it is important for all of us to remember that addiction is often a hallmark of misdirected intelligence and underserved creativity, not of laziness, moral failings, or stupidity.
“All it takes is willpower to stop addiction.” Millions of Americans use mind-altering drugs every year, but only one in every ten of those who try them actually becomes addicted. Millions more gamble, watch pornography, play video games, and enjoy sex. All of us must eat to survive. Most of us have smartphones. So who ends up an addict? Why can one young man engage in a highly pleasurable experience—like gaming or sex—and walk away from it without a backward glance, while another, perhaps his own brother, finds himself addicted?
“Why do you have to drown yourself?”
was my mom’s question one day after I had nearly killed myself with alcohol. I was eighteen, our family was building a house in Monroe, New Hampshire, and I had been invited to a garbage-can party by some local friends. Fresh-faced from boarding school in Swaziland, I didn’t know that inside that black plastic garbage can was mostly hard liquor mixed with just a little Kool- Aid. It tasted like Kool-Aid to me. It was a hot day, and I gulped down three or four 20-ounce glasses of the stuff like it was water. That’s all I remember.
When I woke up at 3:00 p.m. the next day, I had the worst headache of my life; angry elves with sharpened knives were hacking at the inside of my skull. I felt terrible. I didn’t want to ever get that drunk again, and I told myself I never would. The next time I had a drink I didn’t intend to black out. And I certainly didn’t enjoy the headaches and hangovers that followed. But, despite my strong resolve not to, at any opportunity to drink too much that was just what I did.
For the alcoholic or addict, it is not a matter of willpower. Willpower is the exact thing that leaves the second you put a drink to your lips or take that first dose of your drug of choice. It is at that moment that your craving kicks in, and you lose the power of choice. If you aren’t an addict, this is one of the hardest things to understand about your loved one’s behavior. There are some exceptions to this rule, but most of us have little or no defense against the overwhelming urge to have another drink or take another drug. Our subconscious wiring and learned behaviors become so automatic that they create an inability to see clearly and remember what happened last time.
Virtually all addicts or alcoholics who have become aware of their condition, aware that they need to stop, aware that the alcohol, drugs, or behavioral addiction is destroying their lives and hurting not just themselves but others, want desperately to stop. But because addiction has affected and altered your brain, you have lost the power of choice.
Can you have one or two drinks and stop? Once you start to feel buzzed, can you walk away? If you can’t, it’s not because you have no willpower; it’s because you have an illness. There is no human power great enough to keep you from using. No, willpower alone will not stop addiction. What you need to do is heal your brain, which will enable you to take control of your life.
“The cause of alcoholism is alcohol. The cause of drug addiction is drugs.” It is important to understand that the bacteria in our gut ferment sugars into alcohol, so we are always exposed to tiny amounts of alcohol even if we don’t drink a drop. 7 We have opioid receptors, cannabinoid receptors, and numerous other receptors in our brains that provide us with a system of pain relief and feelings of pleasure, which is all perfectly natural. Seeking out good feelings, enjoying the natural endorphins and adrenaline that our bodies produce, and looking for ways to relax and have fun are all part of being human, as I mentioned in the last chapter. It’s when we abuse drugs, alcohol, or pleasurable behaviors that we have a problem.
Different cultures tolerate different drugs, considering some “bad” and others perfectly acceptable. In Peru ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew made from a vine that grows in the Amazon, is legal and used in traditional healing. In Muslim countries like Somalia and Yemen, chewing qat or khat (a leafy plant that contains cathinone, a Schedule I drug in the United States) is a widely accepted national pastime, but drinking alcohol is considered taboo.8 I agree with Andrew Weil, MD, one of the founding fathers of integrative medicine.
“Any drug can be used successfully, no matter how bad its reputation, and any drug can be abused, no matter how accepted it is. There are no good or bad drugs; there are only good and bad relationships with drugs.”9
I’m not a big fan of drugs, to be honest. I’d rather you never try any and stay away from people who are using them. But I also recognize that tremendous creativity and healing have come from the use of both drugs and alcohol.
Opioids are being overprescribed and abused, but they are also important for some pain management, as I’ll explore more in chapter 4. It would be brutal indeed to have major surgery without morphine or another opiate for pain relief. But continuing to use morphine once the pain has passed can get you addicted, not because of the drug itself—at least not at first—but because you start abusing it.
As Gabor Mate, MD, has noted, if it were the substance or behavior itself that causes the addiction, everyone who goes shopping would become a shopaholic and everyone who eats food would become a food addict. Your alcoholism or drug addiction is but a symptom of a larger problem of compromised psychological and physical well-being.
“It’s okay for kids to experiment with drinking and drugs—they’re just being kids.” Walker and his friends started smoking dope in the bushes after school freshman year. Lisa started stealing wine from her parents’ liquor cabinet when she was fourteen. Sam, an eighth grader,dismissed her mom’s concerns about her drug use. “Everyone at school is doing drugs!” Sam said. “Lighten up.” So what if her uncle died of a cocaine overdose in his thirties? She’s sure there’s no way that would happen to her. “Mom, you know I would never try cocaine.”
Most parents in my practice believe that it’s harmless for teenagersto experiment with drugs. They laugh it off, shrug their shoulders,and say, “It’s no big deal. Kids will be kids.” Since our friends’ children are experimenting too, we tell ourselves it’s normal. At the same time, we are all bombarded with advertisements glorifying the use of alcohol and, more recently, marijuana, which serve to reinforce the idea that these potentially addictive substances are just good old-fashioned fun.
But the more we learn about the vulnerabilities of the developing brain, the more we discover that early drug and alcohol use is the opposite of harmless. It’s really not okay for kids to experiment with drinking and drugs. It’s anything but harmless. And it’s not “just being akid.”
We know without a doubt that the earlier you start drinking or using drugs, the more likely you are to succumb to addiction later in life.The fact is that the younger you start, the worse it is for you. Young brains are more vulnerable to addiction. Young brains also experience pleasure in a more heightened way. Kids really do have more fun than adults. But what that means is that when children expose their brains to drugs, they are at higher risk of addiction. “Having fun” is morelike playing with fire, as that “fun” can lead to a lifetime of struggle.You have a six times greater chance of being an alcoholic if you start drinking before age fifteen than if you start at or after age twenty-one. 10 Those who start using marijuana at an early age are nearly twice as likely to become addicted.11
My own children have struggled with addiction, in part because my wife and I didn’t give this enough thought and did not know how to keep them from early exposure. My younger brother, Bruce, has genetics similar to mine, obviously, and had a similar upbringing. Yet Bruce has two amazingly bright girls who have never struggled with substance abuse. Bruce and his wife, Michela, were more open about sharing the family’s struggles with addiction, more vigilant about keeping drugs and alcohol away from their daughters, and careful never to make using drugs or drinking seem “cool,” “fun,” or “harmless.” They kept their daughters busy in after-school activities and didn’t allow them to spend the night at anyone else’s house. Sleepovers were at their place, where they always knew where the girls were and what they were doing.
We can argue all day about overscheduled kids or overvigilant parenting, but the truth is that kids who are involved in lots of extracurricular activities; who have positive, healthy outlets for stress and anxiety; and whose parents are keeping closer tabs on what they’re doing, where they are, and who they’re with are less likely to become addicts. Using drugs in your teens is not harmless. It’s potentially devastating.
“You have to hit rock bottom before you can climb out of addiction.” Most people believe that you have to “hit bottom” or “bottom out” to conquer your addiction. That simply isn’t true. You can jump off the addiction train at any station; you don’t have to wait for it to be going so fast that it derails and falls into the ocean.
As we mentioned in the last chapter, people on that train toward self-destruction usually progress from being fully functional to becoming desperate and nonfunctioning over the course of months or years. The challenge is that the farther along you are, the less likely it is that you have any choice in the matter. But the truth is that you can—and should—stop the train at any point. You don’t have to hit bottom. It’s possible you won’t be successful at first, but then you try again. Wherever you are in the process, you can use the techniques in this book to help yourself.
“If an addict doesn’t want to be treated, there’s nothing you can do.” Maiya was days away from an overdose. Her doctor hadn’t realized that she was hiding IV morphine and injecting herself with it. I hadn’t realized it either. But the kids and I had noticed that Maiya was falling asleep at the dinner table, slurring her words, and walking unsteadily. I was scared we were going to lose her. I arranged for an intervention. Our family counselor was there, along with three of her closest friends, her younger sister, and me. I had already contacted her doctor, who had secured a bed at a local treatment center and gotten it preapproved by our insurance plan. Shocked and resistant, Maiya reluctantly went into treatment.
Maiya wanted to be well, but she did not want to stop using. She was scared that she would die if she didn’t have access to her opioids, a feeling many addicts share. Withdrawal from opioids is very intense and painful, and the reason Maiya had started taking them in the first place was because she had been genuinely in terrible pain. She was also still in denial about her use. “I have real pain—you don’t understand!” was her defensive response to all of our questions, no matter how gentle, about her use. But with her loved ones gathered together, along with our family counselor, we were united. We did not offer her any other choice. So Maiya got in the van, crying, shaking, furious, but surrounded by those who loved and cared about her most. She now has over fifteen years of sobriety, sponsors other women who are suffering, and is a shining example of a life saved.
Most of you are told that if you don’t want it badly enough, your treatment will fail. You are shamed and scolded and exhorted to care more and try harder. Although it’s true, and I’ll talk more about this, that willingness can help you move from the severe toward the mild end of the spectrum, it’s not true that you have to feel ready for treatment. You can get treatment even if you aren’t ready. You can be helped even if you know, deep inside yourself, that you don’t want it. Who wants to lose their crutch? Their most faithful companion?
It is often more difficult to convince teenagers they have a problem than adults. But legal guardians, depending on state laws and the age of consent, can force treatment on children under a certain age. It gets trickier for adults. In some states, including Ohio and Kentucky, there are laws in place allowing family members to petition for court-ordered involuntary treatment. I never want to talk to another parent or partner who regrets not intervening or who wishes they insisted on treatment the minute they discovered the problem. If your loved one is sick, you must help him or her get well. If an addict in your life does not want treatment, do everything in your power to help him anyway.
“Drinking and drugs are fun. Being sober is boring.” The human brain thrives on stimulation. We all want to feel good. As I mentioned above and as I will remind you throughout this book, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out pleasurable experiences. You are hardwired to look for pleasure and do everything you can to diminish pain. That makes sense. It becomes a problem when the pleasure you have found—which you mistake for your best friend—is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing bent on destroying you.
Maybe you’re worried that once you stop using, you’ll never have fun again. Using gives you an instant group of friends to party with and feel close to, and the drugs and alcohol you enjoy with others gives you a sense of intimacy and urgency that was lacking when you were sober. But the most effective addiction programs teach you to replace unhealthy pleasure-seeking behaviors with healthy, nonaddictive, pleasure-producing activities. You can get high as often as you want in sobriety! And feel good! But the ways you find your high will change.
Last Christmas my AA friends rented a bus with an amazing sound system. Our group, about twenty-five squarely sober adults, drove through the streets of Portland looking at the Christmas lights, bedazzled by the displays, and singing at the top of our lungs. Some of us got up from our seats and danced our hearts out. You would never have guessed there was not a drop of alcohol or drugs on that bus. Pure and simple clean sober fun. No, we are not a glum lot. Sobriety is not boring.
“It’s all in your genes. You’re hardwired to be an addict.” When we’re looking for something to blame for addiction, genes make a good punching bag. Some scientists still believe that genes are everything when it comes to addiction and that succumbing to addiction for some unlucky souls is as unavoidable and inevitable as having blue eyes or blond hair. Based on studies that looked at addiction in siblings, particularly twins, it appears that 50 to 60 percent of addiction is hereditary.12 Does that mean you will be an alcoholic or an addict if one or both of your parents is one? Of course not.
When my wife was in treatment for opioid addiction, she asked her physician if he was an alcoholic. “No idea,” he said. “I’ve never had a drink.” Alcoholism ran in his family. He chose not to tempt his genetic fate.
In the right environment—like Maiya’s doctor’s total abstinence—it is not a problem to have this or that genetic tendency. In the wrong environment—stress, childhood neglect, nutrient deficiencies, drug or alcohol use during gestation, or a toxic chemical overload dumped on you during your early years—your genetic tendencies become a recipe for trouble. You may have been told that your addiction is genetic and that you have no control over your diagnosis and your treatment. But don’t let anyone dupe you into believing that you have “bad” genes. We know now that it is actually possible to activate or deactivate your genes through lifestyle decisions. This is exactly what Maiya’s doctor did: he chose not to activate his genetic risk for alcoholism.
Although DNA does play a role in addiction, human behavior is much more complicated than simple on/off genetic switches. Where you are on the addiction spectrum at any given time in your life depends on your unique combination of genetic vulnerabilities and current life circumstances. The less you are paying attention to your nutrition, vitamin D levels, gut microbiome, stress, sleep, exercise, and connectedness to a supportive network of other people, the greater your chance of moving toward the severe end of the spectrum.
How your potential gene expression interacts with your environment is called epigenetics. Although both your genetics and your epigenetics affect the pain and pleasure receptors in your brain, how quickly you metabolize drugs, and how well you respond to different medications, it is becoming increasingly clear that epigenetics matters more. This is good news. You are not chained to your genes, and you can choose how your genes manifest in your life. You have the power to influence how the genes you have that put you at risk for addiction are expressed. Your genes are not your destiny.
“Making lifestyle changes cannot help you as an addict.” In the same way that conventional medical thought leaders dismiss the idea that we can reverse autoimmune disorders, heal from cancer, and improve our brain functioning through lifestyle interventions, doctors often dismiss the idea that we can reverse addiction through lifestyle changes. Although it is true that we have identified some genetic risk factors for addiction, your genes are not your destiny. Your early exposures are not your destiny either. Addiction does not have to be a death sentence. From the most benign behaviors that have somehow gotten out of hand (like Gabor Mate’s obsession with classical CDs) to the most full-blown and seemingly intractable addictions, where patients are on the verge of death, addiction can be conquered, as I’ve seen with my own eyes.
Lifestyle changes are actually the key to both overcoming addiction and mitigating the poor health outcomes resulting from substance abuse. As I talk about throughout this book, nonmedical interventions, including better eating habits, more exercise, reduced stress, and finding other ways to produce natural, healthy, sustainable feelings of euphoria (as opposed to potentially lethal drug-induced highs), are crucial when it comes to treating addiction.
Lifestyle changes have literally saved my life and supercharged my ability to live in recovery. Because I stay connected to a recovery program, committed to a healthy lifestyle, and am constantly vigilant, there is no way I would go back to the severe end of the addiction spectrum.I look back on that time of bondage and say, “Hell, no!”
You too can implement the changes in this book and experience peace and serenity as never before. The more sunshine you get, exercise you enjoy, pain relief you seek from natural sources, and stress you reduce; the better the foods you eat, the restorative sleep you get, and the support you get for your gut microbiome; and the more connected you become to people in a positive drug- and alcohol-free way of living, the less your risk for relapse. Not only that, but you will be healthier in every way.
If you continually assess your place on the spectrum, you have a better chance of keeping life’s difficulties from getting the better of you. If there is a devastating life event like a death in the family, illness, or injury, you no longer feel destined for failure or relapse. You’ve built up strength and a capacity for resistance. You pause before impulsive action and decide in each situation which action leads you in the healing direction along the spectrum. You no longer blindly react to life; you control your responses to what happens to you with intention. Will you make lifestyle changes and stick to them perfectly? No. Is it worth starting the journey back toward the mild end of the addiction spectrum? Yes.
As you work through this book, I will be giving you healthy healing strategies to integrate into your life. Start doing them now. Start with one or two things you know you can do and do them today. Do them again tomorrow. By the end of the week you’ll be feeling better and that good feeling will keep you going. But the only way to make it manageable is to concentrate on this moment and this day. One day at a time.
Your journey along the addiction spectrum—like mine, like everyone’s—is uniquely your own. Take ownership of where you are now. You make hundreds of little choices each day that impact your place on the addiction spectrum. Armed with the information in this book and the deep knowledge that you can heal your life, you are now in charge. You are not a victim of circumstance. Your hardest challenges become your greatest strengths.
At the same time, big business—from the pharmaceutical companies to the food industry—purposefully promotes, cultivates, and nurtures your addictions. Every day you’re bombarded with enticements that encourage you to take drugs, drink in excess, make bad food choices, and stay in poor health. In the next chapter I’ll explain how medical doctors and corporate America are peddling addiction and how you can keep from being deceived.
1 Elizabeth Reisinger Walker and Benjamin G. Druss, “Cumulative Burden of Comorbid Mental Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, Chronic Medical Conditions, and Poverty on Health Among Adults in the U.S.A.,” Psychology, Health and Medicine 22 (2017): 727–35, doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2016.1227855.
2 “Cancer Stat Facts: Cancer of Any Site,” National Cancer Institute, accessed January 19, 2018, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/all.html.
3 “The Brain-Gut Connection,” Johns Hopkins Medicine, accessed January 19, 2018, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection.
4 G. Vighi et al, “Allergy and the Gastrointestinal System,” Clinical and Experimental Immunology 153 Supp. 1 (2008): 3–6, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x.
5 “ASAM Releases New Definition of Addiction,” ASAM News 26 (2011): 1; “Definition of Addiction,” American Society of Addiction Medicine, adopted April 19, 2011, accessed January 19, 2018, https://www.asam.org/resources/definition-of-addiction.
6 James White and G. David Batty, “Intelligence Across Childhood in Relation to Illegal Drug Use in Adulthood: 1970 British Cohort Study,” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, November 14, 2011, doi: 10.1136/jech-2011-200252. See also James White, Catharine R. Gale, and David Batty, “Intelligence Quotient in Childhood and the Risk of Illegal Drug Use in Middle Age: The 1958 National Child Development Survey,” Annals of Epidemiology 22/9 (September 2012): 654–57.
7 M. F. Fouad et al., “Ethanol Production by Selected Intestinal Microorganisms and Lactic Acid Bacteria Growing Under Different Nutritional Conditions,”Frontiers in Microbiology 7 (2016): 47, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00047.
8 Andrew Lee Butters, “Is Yemen Chewing Itself to Death?” Time, August 25, 2009, http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1917685,00.html.
9 Andrew Weil, MD, and Winifred Rosen, From Chocolate to Morphine, rev. ed. (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004), 29.
10 “Fact Sheets: Underage Drinking,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last updated October 20, 2016, http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm.
11 “Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide,” National Institute on Drug Abuse, last updated January 2014, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-adolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide/frequently-asked-questions/it-possible-teens-to-become-addicted-to-marijuana.
12 Danielle M. Dick and Arpana Agrawal, “The Genetics of Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence,” Alcohol Research and Health 31 (2008): 111–18, https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh312/111-118.pdf.
Reprinted with permission from THE ADDICTION SPECTRUM: A Compassionate, Holistic Approach to Recovery. Copyright © 2018 by Paul Thomas and Jennifer Margulis. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers.
Dr. Thomas got his bachelors and masters in Biology at the University of the Pacific, Stockton California. He attended and graduated with his MD from Dartmouth College Giesel School of Medicine. He started his own clinic in Portland, Oregon in 2008: Integrative Pediatrics LLC where he continues to serve over 11,000 patients with his amazing team of doctors and nurse practitioners. Dr. Paul is board certified in Pediatrics, Addiction Medicine as well as Integrative and Holistic Medicine. He has been awarded numerous awards of excellence, including being named one of America’s Top Pediatrician in 2006. 2009. 2012, and 2014. He lives in Portland Oregon – where he raised a family of 10 children (7 adopted).
Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning science journalist and book author, Fulbright grantee, and sought-after speaker. Her writing has appeared in many of the nation’s most respected and credible publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and featured on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. She is co-author of The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health, From Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years (Ballantine, August 23, 2016), with Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D; and author of Your Baby, Your Way: Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting Decisions for a Happier, Healthier Family (Scribner, 2015; first published under the title The Business of Baby). A Boston native, Jennifer Margulis lives with her family in southern Oregon.