Stress. Anxiety. Societal pressures. Oh my! At every turn in life, the temptation to escape with addictive drugs, alcohol or even food is often too much to resist — especially for teens.
Research shows that “nearly 20 million Americans 12 and older have engaged in illegal drug use.” That’s staggering! And according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.” Simply put, our Generation Z is in bad shape.
Rather than delving into longer-term holistic solutions, many patients, insurance companies and healthcare providers go for the quick fix. Psychiatrist and dietitian Dr. Marion Vetter makes a point that the culture of current medicine is part of the problem. It has “increasingly focused on pharmacologic treatments, rather than lifestyle modifications”. Because people are not investing in lifestyle changes, they often go back to the same behaviors that got them into trouble in the first place.
When you apply this thinking to a problem like drug addiction, it all starts to make sense. There’s a whole lot of momentum behind prescribing meds to treat addiction -- basically trading drugs for drugs to solve problems. As a result, when people come home from rehab centers on prescription drugs, they can easily get dependent on those drugs, particularly if they haven’t sufficiently dealt with the root causes of their problems.
I recently learned about a business colleague’s son who spent most of his adolescence medicated for anxiety and attention problems. He had completed a crazy number of rehab programs before turning 18. After his last rehab experience, he was taking benzos and a dozen other prescriptions just to get through the day, smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes daily and weighing in at 50 pounds overweight.
After hitting rock bottom for the umpteenth time, he decided to try something different. He turned to a holistic healing center – The Holistic Sanctuary. He was determined to detox his body, refresh his mind and conquer the demons that haunted his soul. At the Sanctuary, he learned about juicing and adopted a plant-based diet. He also participated in techniques such as yoga and meditation to strengthen his emotional well-being, and he embraced self-discovery through plant-based natural medicine. In four weeks, he came home transformed. A healthy lifestyle. Thirty-five pounds lighter. No drug cravings. No cigarettes. And a positive outlook. Whoo hoo!
After multiple failed rehab experiences, how was this 21-year-old now able to turn his life around this time? Maybe it was his desperation to return his body to its natural state. Maybe it was his quest for personal empowerment. Maybe it was his openness to a holistic approach.
As the benefits of holistic medicine make their way into the mainstream, debates will continue across the medical and therapeutic communities — as they should. I’m excited to see places like The Holistic Sanctuary forging new ground and saving GenZ-ers and others, one soul at a time, proving that addiction can be reversed simply by aligning our minds, bodies and souls. To that I say, “Om”!
Inspiring personal growth, professional success and positive change. Author of The Goddess of Happiness, Vita’s Will and Note to Self: Love (Book & Screenplay). Lover of food, fashion, fitness, funky music, dogs, dancing, cooking, laughter and anything Italian.