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A Drug-Free Approach to Addiction


A Drug-Free Approach to Addiction

by Ron Skaar

By Dr. Cindy Zafis 

Everyone wants to feel good, but hormonal, biochemical, and neurological imbalances can often leave us feeling less than optimal. In an attempt to feel stronger and more vital, it is common to self-soothe with alcohol and drugs, a short-term fix that ends up leading to more imbalance. Withdrawal symptoms from dependence are traditionally approached from a pharmaceutical model. Although millions of dollars a day are spent on advertising for medications, there are still many people who are uneasy treating one substance dependency with another. Fortunately, there are alternatives.

Our holistic recovery program, Health Resolutions Treatment Center, focuses on the hormonal, biochemical, and neurological components of addiction. We address withdrawal symptoms by correcting functional or biological issues to ease the process of recovery from drug and alcohol dependence.

Holistic approaches get results

Recently, a local addiction clinic referred one of its patients to our treatment center. The patient suffered such unbearable withdrawal symptoms that he had been unable to make it through any of his other attempts with alcohol rehab programs. Our clinic designed a plan for him that combined chiropractic care with a specialized functional and nutritional program. With this protocol, the patient was able to successfully move beyond his dependency, experience far fewer withdrawal symptoms, and felt great at the end of the five-week program.

Research has shown that holistic treatment programs for recovery get results. Although the average completion rate for traditional recovery programs is around 72%, the research done at the University of Miami School of Medicine achieved 100% rate of patients completing a non-pharmaceutical recovery program.

In another study, a large addiction clinic in Florida measured patients’ withdrawal symptoms during the recovery process. A drug-free approach of chiropractic care and other modalities were tested. Anxiety and depression were measured during the recovery process, with one group using pharmaceutical drugs and the other group using the same natural treatments we use at our clinic. The results were dramatic. The drug-free treatment showed a reduction in depression levels after only one month, whereas the pharmaceutical approach took a whole year to achieve the same results.

The over-stimulated nervous system

Calming down an over-stimulated nervous system is an additional treatment that I find necessary to implement with both my health and dependency patients. At least 50% of patients who come into the health and recovery clinic have an over-stimulated nervous system.

When the brain is out of balance, people often seek out ways to soothe their discomfort through self-medicating. Correcting the imbalance or biochemistry of the brain can help to alleviate the need to self-medicate with those substances that are themselves depressants.

One patient came to our recovery program after 17 years of heavy marijuana use and a three-year addiction to alcohol. We quickly addressed his over-stimulated system by resolving specific hormonal and nervous system imbalances so he was able to sleep at night without drugs or alcohol. Within the first week of recovery he was sleeping very well and on his way to enjoying a life free of dependency.

A life free from dependency

I have seen patients go through radical changes in their health and recovery and some within a short amount of time. Correcting the biology and psychology of the body can be a powerful way to align with the natural state of wellness that lies within each of us. Holistic treatments are a good option for patients looking to achieve positive changes in their health and dependency issues without relying on medication.



Dr. Cindy Zafis is a chiropractor with a certification in addiction medicine. She has developed innovative drug-free approaches for effectively addressing anxiety, addiction and dependency using chiropractic functional medicine techniques. INFO: