Early Life Trauma, Addiction, and Psychedelic Medicine

Early Life Trauma, Addiction, and Psychedelic Medicine

With research about addiction being conducted now more than ever, it’s becoming clear that addiction isn’t caused by drugs alone. Addiction’s a multi-faceted condition, and research has shown that the type of environment an individual was exposed to in their childhood years can play a major role in future substance abuse and vulnerability to addiction. A lot of this comes down to the way the brain develops in these influential early years. When a child develops, the brain is developing as well. And this brain development has a lot to do with how they react later in life. How The Early Years of One’s Life Influences Their Future Say a child grows up in a stable, relatively stress-free environment. There’s a direct response in the brain that responds and adapts to outside stimuli. When the environment a child grows up is nurturing and supportive, children are better able to adapt (and feel secure) in a variety of different situations. When a child’s environment is non-supportive, however, adapting to different situations (during childhood and later in life) can pose some serious problems. Being abused, neglected, or experiencing frequent or high levels of stress when young actually inhibits brain development. All have serious potential to make it extremely difficult to deal with stress not only in childhood, but into the rest of the years of one’s life. What’s more is, high stress levels during the early, formative years leaves an individual more susceptible to substance abuse and addiction. The early years of someone’s life greatly influence what they’ll see in their future. Trauma is often held onto and is something that...
Getting Rid of Bad Friends for Successful Addiction Recovery

Getting Rid of Bad Friends for Successful Addiction Recovery

Making it through addiction treatment is undoubtedly challenging. Making it through the recovery process can prove to be an even harder. The potential for relapse is very real, and doing what can be done to avoid it is crucial for a successful recovery. While recovery might sound easy enough, this isn’t usually the case. Sobriety presents an entirely new life, which is one that can be confusing and difficult to navigate. It’s easy to want to turn to what’s familiar, which is why many people in recovery often turn to their old friends for support. Here’s where things can get tricky during the recovery process. Surrounding one’s self with the people that used to be a part of their addiction (whether actively or not) is easy to do, yet can prove to be detrimental when it comes to lasting recovery. Why Getting Rid of Bad Friends is Crucial for Addiction Recovery The people we surround ourselves have a direct influence on our lives. Surround yourself with good influences, and you’re bound to experience a more positive life. Surround yourself with bad influences, and you’re quickly going to notice that misery loves company. Peer pressure is powerful, and during the recovery process it can prove to be even more so. Recovery is a very delicate time in the life of an addict, which is why it’s crucial that they stay away from the old friends they hung out with when they were using. Whether it’s the buddy from the bar or your “best” friend, getting rid of these people is totally necessary if someone is serious about staying sober. Some...
Animals and Psychedelics in the Wild

Animals and Psychedelics in the Wild

Psychedelics have been used for thousands of years by many different cultures throughout the world. These mind-altering substances are even considered sacred by some and have been used by various people as powerful spiritual conduits and for healing on mental, physical, and emotional levels. Psychedelics are revered by many, but it seems that humans aren’t the only species that appreciate the effects psychedelics have on the mind. There happens to be many different species of animals that enjoy dipping into the psychedelic cookie-jar. While the initial appeal animals find in psychedelics is most likely for nutritional or protective reasons, many return time and time again to certain plants that contain psychedelic compounds. Fermented fruits, opium poppies, and hallucinogenic mushrooms are all quite popular amongst the animal kingdom. And there are those that speculate that animals choose to return to these plants for the sole purpose of experiencing the altered state they provide. Reindeer on Mushrooms The northern hemisphere is home not only to reindeer, but to the fly agaric mushroom. We’re familiar with these mushrooms as the red-topped, white spotted variety fancied by garden gnomes. It seems, however, that reindeer fancy these mushrooms a bit more and will go to great lengths to search them out. Eating these hallucinogenic mushrooms causes reindeer to act drunkenly, and run around meaninglessly making strange noises. Jungle Animals Dig Up Iboga In the jungle regions of Gabon and the Congo, there’s more than one animal known to purposely seek out iboga. Gorillas, boars, mandrills, and porcupines have all been known to dig up the roots of the iboga plant and eat them until...
The Myth of the Addictive Personality

The Myth of the Addictive Personality

From drinking a pot of coffee and smoking three packs of cigarettes a day to excessive alcohol consumption and drug use, there’s always been the notion that some people are more prone to addiction than others. Many people claim they have an addictive personality, whether they’re drinking too much or gambling all their money away. The thing is, there’s actually no such thing as an “addictive personality” as addiction doesn’t stem from the perQsonality traits they exhibit. The Components of Addiction To understand that there is indeed no such thing as an addictive personality, it’s important to understand the mechanisms of addiction itself. It’s not one’s personality that deems them an addict, but certain components that include: Obsession over a substance or activity that causes a demise of other relationships, responsibilities, and activities Mental and/or physical withdrawal symptoms when the substance or activity isn’t attainable Increased tolerance to a substance that makes it impossible to feel the same effects without the need to use more It’s these that would render something to be an addiction, which all have nothing to do with one’s personality. While many people exhibit personality traits that predispose them to addiction (including anxiety, negativity, and those who are unhappy), there isn’t a personality, per say, that fits into the model of addiction. Take, for example, the millions of people that have anxiety. While some people that have anxiety do in fact become addicted to drugs or alcohol, having anxiety doesn’t predispose someone to become an addict. The same is true for those who tend to have negative or neurotic personalities. Just because they’re negative or neurotic...
Internet and Video Game Addiction Can Be a Serious Problem

Internet and Video Game Addiction Can Be a Serious Problem

We hear a lot about drug and alcohol addiction, but people can become addicted to a variety of different things. Internet and video game addiction rates are rising…and can be a serious problem among those who fall victim to these particular types of dependency. Addiction is addiction, no matter what kind of “substance” someone falls victim to. For those addicted to the internet or video games, life can mean little when they’re disconnected from the screen. Internet Addiction It’s estimated that 1 in 8 Americans has some kind of problem with excessive internet use. In China, Korea, and Taiwan it’s thought that some 30 percent of the entire population experiences internet addiction. As the internet continues to dominate almost every part of our lives, these numbers are only suspected to rise. What is Internet Addiction? For those that suffer from internet addiction, the internet is something that completely takes over their life. Just like other addictions, people addicted to the internet develop a “relationship” with the internet, one that completely takes over everything else in their lives. Internet addiction can ruin relationships with friends and family and interfere with work or school. In internet addiction, it’s the internet itself that offers the “high” someone’s looking for. When people addicted to the internet get online, the pleasure center of their brain lights up (the same as in drug and alcohol addiction) and they feel good. When they can’t use the internet as they please, and are possibly restricted from it in some way, they may feel anxious, depressed, irritable, and angry. While the most popular types of internet addiction are...
The Crossroads Treatment Center is now the Crossroads Research Initiative, a single source compiling psychedelic research data, offering expert consultations, clinical guidance, case studies and best practices for integrative psychedelic medicine.
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