Alcohol, Tobacco & Marijuana – Overcoming Addiction Part III
by Tiffany Brawn, January 2018
In ancient times, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and psychedelic fungi were revered for their medicinal properties, utilized for ceremonial rights of passage and coming-of-age rituals…
All of these substances were respected for their ability to improve psychological, Spiritual, emotional, and physical health. When used wisely, they assisted the expansion of consciousness and claimed an esteemed place in ancient pharmacopoeia. Each has a rich history woven into human evolution, and each has been corrupted to reinforce the corporate, materialistic agenda of the modern economy.
Foods that have a high sugar content, like grains, honey and fruit have been fermented by humans for longer than recorded history. Every culture had its indigenous preferences and its citizens intuitively knew that consuming these elixirs, to excess, was detrimental. In the middle ages Spirits were widely used to extract the medicinal benefits from potent plants, trees, and herbs and made into tinctures to help improve and enhance health and wellness.
By the beginning of the 1700s, British law dictated the use of cheap grain to produce excessive amounts of alcohol to help forge a burgeoning, middle-class commodity. It was at this time in history, that alcoholism became a serious problem.
In the early 20th century, the U.S. tried to ban the use of alcohol altogether, but after creating a booming illegal trade industry, the law was scrapped. It is currently estimated that 15 million Americans suffer from alcoholism, however, that number could easily be doubled. The CDC estimates that 29% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. are alcohol-related.
Alcohol is often referred to as Spirits, because it temporarily fills an inner Spiritual void and excuses us from having personal authority over the outcomes of our lives. If you watched your family members, entrenched in negativity, cope with Life by overindulging drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, then your chances for following suit were naturally much higher.
Alcohol attacks the liver, causing a disease called Cirrhosis. The liver transforms cholesterol into hormones and determines if we have fatigue or vitality throughout our Life. Alcohol is high in estrogen and literally turns men into women, evidenced by a plethora of middle-aged men with breasts and big bellies. Most alcohol, unless produced organically, is also genetically modified causing serious damage to beneficial gut bacteria.
To add insult to injury, alcohol also immediately metabolises into sugar which also, like GMOs, disrupts the good bacteria in the gut and feeds pathogens. Well-fed parasites, viruses and pathogenic bacteria crap out toxins which poison all systems of the body and lead to many preventable dis-eases like obesity, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, cholesterol disorders, and even cancer. In fact, sugar addiction is the most prevalent and insidious of all addiction, however, that is another article…
Tobacco, originating from the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes, was used by the Ancient South Americans for ceremonial purposes and for fundamental initiations. It was regarded as the most sacred of all herbs and was used to communicate with the Great Spirit. The Ancient Australian Aborigines also utilized this mystical plant for their Spiritual ceremonies.
Tobacco was the first plant cultivated in the Americas as an export commodity to Europe. It greatly contributed to the rise of slavery in the American South. The first African slaves were shipped, by the Dutch in the early 1600s, to Jamestown to work the tobacco plantation fields. Fast-forward a few hundred years and that originally sacred plant is now unrecognizable to most Native Americans and healers alike.
Packed with over six-hundred toxic and addictive chemicals, this once revered herb is used to enslave the masses, destroy the body at the cellular level, and erode the intellect. Chronic cigarette smoking pollutes the lymphatic system and plugs up the detox channels of the body. This is why many chronic smokers get cancer. It is also one of the most effective, and insidious, corporate tools in limiting Life expectancy in our culture. Besides robbing you of your health, a pack-a-day habit will set you back $2500 a year, robbing you of your ability to get out of debt, to save for a holiday and even plan for retirement.
Marijuana originated from Mongolia and Siberia around 12, 000 years ago, and from there, spread across the world. It is verified as one of Humanity’s oldest cultivated crops and has been recorded as medicinally valuable since at least 4000 B.C.E. Ancient Chinese noblemen were discovered to be buried with large quantities of psychoactive marijuana, dating back to 2500 B.C.E. Spreading into ancient India it was celebrated there for its ability to ease anxiety.
The infamous Vikings and even medieval Germans used cannabis for toothaches and for easing the pain of childbirth. It wasn’t until the Mexican Revolution of 1910 that marijuana came to the U.S. with immigrants fleeing a political nightmare.
“Many early prejudices against marijuana were thinly veiled racist fears of its smokers, often promulgated by reactionary newspapers,” wrote Barney Warf of the University of Kansas. Marijuana was then biologically confused with the hemp plant, which has no THC, and had been extensively manufactured into rope, canvas, paper and textiles for centuries. Both species were outlawed in most states by the 1930s.
Marijuana, seen as a Schedule One, controlled substance, along with heroin and LSD, is a historically modern anomaly; it has been revered medicinally for aeons and has undergone much scientific study, in recent years, to back up this rich Holistic history.
With today’s designer strains and potencies, and glorification in pop culture, chronic marijuana addiction is on the rise. It can damage the pre-frontal cortex of the brain and scorch lung tissues, limiting the amount of optimal oxygen absorption that is necessary for cellular health. Although used by many artists to enhance creative abilities, many chronic users instead become demotivated and unhealthy.
Fortunately, for Holistic Health Care, there are many companies resurrecting the suppressed medicinal uses of this powerful plant. Regrettably, this herb is also subject to fast and dirty corporate growing, processing, and shipping practices, with the express goal of making massive amounts of money, not necessarily good medicine. In the near future, we will likely see provincial laws change and, expertly-made, medicinally clean choices emerge.
A Historic Decline into Addiction
The Industrial Revolution encouraged many farmers to leave the fields and move into coal choked cities to work in labour camps and factories. Back-breaking and mind-numbing, these physically demanding jobs became the new norm for the emerging working class, who searched for ways to cope with the resulting chronic pain. Refined alcohol and modified tobacco were insidiously woven into main-stream, working-class society as health and wealth-robbing weapons. They became crutches of emotional suppression and huge cash cows for the corporations that manufactured them.
A perfect example, that highlights this manipulative programming, is the shrewd advertising carried out by Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud. He used his uncle’s revelations on the human psyche, to encourage millions of women in the 1920s to start smoking in public. This one move exponentially increased cigarette sales and helped him to become a master of propaganda.
All addictive substances excite dopamine, a powerful reward-based neurotransmitter, in the brain. Unfortunately, repeated exposure to the addictive chemical causes dopamine receptors to get “downshifted” and the brain becomes deficient, setting the stage for repeat habitual use.
Regardless of the substance of choice, it is the same chronic, deficient dopamine loop in the brain that is at the heart of dependence. Alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana addiction may be linked with Obsessive Compulsive and blood sugar disorders, both of which further damage an already imbalanced brain.
The prevalence of alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana consumption, in our culture, is pervasive and destructive. In fact, they are so ubiquitous that it is nearly impossible to avoid coming into contact with them in our daily lives. The prefrontal cortex, or CEO of the brain, must be strong and healthy to have the will to say no to temptations that lead to dependence. Ironically, all addictive substances damage the prefrontal cortex and literally steal our power of choice from us. Most people unconsciously hunger for a wonderful life filled with exciting experiences, Love, and accomplishments. Often, we cannot reach all of those lofty social achievements so drugs, alcohol, junk food and materialism are quick, and easily acquired, distractions.
Our materialistically-driven culture teaches us to feel inadequate on purpose and the pressure to conform to the status quo is so pervasive that it takes the will of a warrior to blaze a different trail. Often those groups that avoid such health-eroding habits are labelled as hippy-dippy or eccentric Spiritualists.
Visions of unbathed, dreadlock-laden, free-loaders holding hands and barefoot under the full moon are brandished about to deter members of a family, tribe, or culture, from choosing a cleaner, less toxic lifestyle. Corporate America has done an unrivalled job at selling us disempowerment at every turn. And even though lifestyle-related diseases are still on a sharp incline we still let skeezy salesman in dark suits and enslaved scientists tell us what we should eat and drink. It’s easier to give your power over to a substance then search within for the existential Truths of Life.
Changing deeply entrenched habits in Life is terrifying for humans, because the ancient brain is addicted to familiarity even if those habits create illness. If you decide to change a deep-rooted pattern, like drinking or smoking, then you will also need to change how you use your time and who you spend it with. Addictions exist in clusters as do addicts.
Louise Hay, a world-renowned Holistic Healer, and Life Coach, considered addiction to be an inability to really Love One’s Self. So, often the beginning of a Self-respecting, healing journey begins with the choice of what to put between your lips. Weather solid food or drink, these substances build every part of who we are.
Meditation, clean eating, and exercise can rebuild the brain and the body. Recovery involves a willingness to witness the thoughts that were previously drowned out by the substance. Then, one must face the irrational fears of fully feeling the subsequent emotions that are created by those toxic thoughts. An Energy Medicine Practitioner can help to uproot and heal the original wounds that first led to the addictive behaviour. Hypnotherapy, Body Talk and the Emotion Code are good places to start.
Instead of striving for perfection try making small, personal improvements in what you eat and drink daily.
Swap out the booze for coffee, then for black tea, then with peppermint tea and eventually with mostly water. Get really good at that each change until you don’t think about it anymore. Eat two more pieces of fruit per day until it is a habit. Then start eating two more veggies per day.
Do you see a pattern? These minor shifts in choice encourage the phenomenon called, Cosmic Habit Force, which is the subconscious drive to repeat choices day in and day out. It was introduced to our culture by a great teacher of the Law of Attraction, named Napoleon Hill. Available to all, this psychological “hack” dictates that the more you repeat a healthy choice, day to day, the faster you will create an unconsciously empowering habit.
- Regulating and maintaining blood sugar is imperative to recovery. Addicts rarely consume enough healthy calories or get enough vital nutrients to build good health. If your addictions are long-standing, have the courage to ask for help. There are many wonderful programs available to those that are ready to take their personal and Spiritual Power back. As with all things worthwhile…it will be a journey, not a destination and requires daily practice and forgiveness. You can do it and you are worth it too!
Helpful Links on Overcoming Addiction