A Solution to Substance Abuse & Addiction

An easier, softer way…

As a recovering/recovered chip-carrying member of Alcoholics Anonymous for more than seven years, I believe there are many solutions for solving the problem of substance abuse and addiction. The following are some of my thoughts on how we can clean up the wreckage of our past so that we can pave the way to a more sober-minded future.

Substance abuse and addiction have severe consequences not only for individuals but also for society. Today, these problems extend beyond personal health issues, substantially affecting social, economic, and public health domains.

Firstly, substance abuse significantly impacts public health and safety. The relationship between substance abuse and various health issues, such as heart disease, mental disorders, and infectious diseases, is well-documented. Moreover, it is often linked with risky behaviors like unprotected sex and driving under the influence, which contributes to further health issues and accidents.

In terms of social consequences, substance abuse often leads to disruptions in family life and decreased productivity at work, thereby causing stress and instability within families and workplaces. Children growing up in such environments are at an increased risk of developing substance use disorders. Additionally, addiction is closely related to crime, with a significant proportion of those incarcerated being substance users, often driven to illicit activities to sustain their habit.

From an economic perspective, the cost of substance abuse is staggering, with substantial expenses incurred in health care, criminal justice, and lost productivity. As per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse, and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare.

Given the profound impact of substance abuse on society, it is essential to implement strategies to mitigate its effects and provide help for those affected. One such approach is investing in prevention and early intervention programs. These programs can target vulnerable populations, such as children and adolescents, and aim to equip them with skills to resist peer pressure and make healthy life choices. Such strategies are cost-effective as preventing substance abuse reduces the costs associated with treating addiction and related health issues.

Next, enhancing access to treatment and recovery resources is a critical aspect of managing substance abuse. One of the barriers to accessing treatment is the stigma associated with addiction. Societal attitudes often paint addiction as a moral failing rather than a health issue, preventing individuals from seeking help. Therefore, public health campaigns need to focus on changing societal perceptions of addiction and promoting the idea that recovery is possible.

Furthermore, integrating addiction treatment into primary health care can significantly reduce barriers to treatment. This involves training healthcare providers to screen for substance use disorders and provide brief interventions, referrals to specialized treatment, and follow-up care.

In addition, support for harm reduction programs, such as needle-exchange programs and opioid substitution therapy, is crucial. These programs can reduce the spread of infectious diseases, decrease overdose deaths, and help connect people with treatment resources.

Finally, addressing the social determinants of health can prevent substance abuse and addiction. This means working on broader societal issues, such as reducing poverty, improving education, and providing stable housing, which can contribute to a decrease in substance abuse rates.

In conclusion, substance abuse and addiction pose significant challenges to society, affecting public health, safety, and economic prosperity. However, by focusing on prevention, improving access to treatment, supporting harm reduction, and addressing social determinants of health, we can reduce the burden of addiction on society, promote health and well-being, and create more resilient, sober-minded communities and humanity.

Sobriety is almost never an easy choice, and a hard bottom is usually where most addicts need to find themselves before they can look up from the mess they have landed themselves in. As someone who was once at that hard bottom that it is possible to recover and rejoin society as a healthy, sober-minded, contributing individual. There are many pathways back. For me, Alcoholics Anonymous was the easier, softer way to find my way back.

Welcome to the World of Addiction

Reading Time: 4-5 Minutes – Why Instant Gratification is Killing Us All. Welcome to the World of Addiction. Now go home.


Is it easy to eat a whole-food/plant-based diet?

YES and NO.

It’s even harder to eat one that is completely uncooked. It takes a lot of discipline, although it can be done. I speak from experience.

I have more than 5 years of sobriety and am very thankful for A.A. as a support program that helped me attain that goal. After much reflection on what it means to be an addict driven by compulsive behaviors and less-than-stellar decisions, it has become very clear to me that alcohol was not the only thing I was addicted to. And I have a feeling we, as humans, are all addicts to one degree or another.

I discovered this as I moved away from eating foods made with animals. Not during the transition, but once they were gone. Cooked foods followed shortly thereafter. And with those things off the table added salt pretty much disappeared. There was nothing to put it on…LoL! Everything now was already full of flavor and didn’t need any help.

This…THIS is when I found out just how much of an addict I had been all of my life and what the true source of my many addictions was. Anything processed by the hands of man.

I have yet to look for scientific data to back me up, but I am pretty certain it has everything to do with the bacterial colonies that our body has to build up in our gut to deal with, ‘ALL THINGS PROCESSED.’ And the reason it must employ this additional digestive process is that OUR body is not meant to consume processed foods by nature, design, or evolution, whichever creative paradigm you believe in.

According to our best understanding, the human microbiome may weigh as much as five pounds. The microbiome is what some would refer to as our ‘gut buddies.’ And some people have more than others.

It is my suggestion that the combination of this biological process along with the introduction to processed foods in the last 200 years that we have all become creatures of habit or addicts. Not addicted to any specific foods really, but the reward one gets from eating processed foods. The instant gratification we get from putting anything processed in our body is the problem because we are taking a shortcut directly to the reward. We are skipping past all of the hard work of growing and harvesting our foods. We are skipping past all of the hard work chewing every last bite to a dehydrated, flavorless pulp before swallowing. And this is the problem.

Instant gratification by removing the risk and hard work that was part and parcel of human development over many thousands of years. And this is where an uncooked whole-food/plant-based diet is hard. At least at first because we have to get used to not being rewarded instantly, and that is a hard thing to walk away from.


And this is where 5+ years of sobriety and understanding addiction to alcohol really helped me out. It made it very clear that consuming anything processed results in addiction and compulsive behaviors. We literally CRAVE the stuff. And I have a feeling processed food manufacturers know this.

All that to say…If you choose this lifestyle, it won’t be an easy transition. No easier than quitting smoking, alcohol, drugs, you name it. It is all addiction, plain and simple and it is not you craving those foods but the gut buddies(bacteria) inside of you that our processed/cooked food diets planted deep inside of our gut.

Michael J. Loomis | Editor at Chew Digest | Scribe at Terrain Wiki