Physical and Body Factors

Factors of Relapse: Physical / Body

man with shoulder pain

It is obvious to a family that by the time a loved one arrives at rehab, he (or she) has suffered serious damage to health and strength. This damage may not be visible to the addicted person, despite it being obvious to the family or anyone else.

What are the main physical factors that can stand in the way of a person’s recovery?

  • Aches and pains
  • Unresolved illness or injuries
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Toxicity and drug residues in the body

Aches and Pains—Unresolved Illness or Injuries

As a person starts to come off the drugs they were abusing, all the aches and pains that were being blocked by drugs or alcohol are going to rise to the surface, no longer suppressed by pills or other drugs. Initially, these pains may be part of the withdrawal process. Especially when a person has been abusing opiates, muscle aches, spasms, and generalized pain are symptoms of withdrawal. As these drugs are detoxed from the body, the withdrawal pains, sickness, and other discomforts will subside.

If there are old injuries or illnesses that the drugs were covering up, there may need to be medical treatment or physical therapy to alleviate this pain. If the pain is not alleviated and the person thinks he (or she) will always have to ‘live in pain,’ he may see no reason to stay sober. For as long as he was heavily abusing drugs or alcohol, illness, injury, and the pain was camouflaged, negated, and anesthetized.

Drugs prevent a person from perceiving physical discomforts in different ways. For example, a stimulant like cocaine or methamphetamine will simply override the body’s tiredness and provide a false surge of energy. Opiates and alcohol act as painkillers, suppressing one’s awareness of pain or any bodily sensation.

dull person with no feelings

Marijuana dulls one’s awareness of physical and mental or emotional problems. One’s physical problems still exist, but as long as drugs are poured into the body, they are hidden from the person who normally would be aware of them.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Most people arriving for rehab are in poor physical condition. They have been abusing toxic drugs or drinking to highly toxic levels, often doing that instead of eating properly, often for long periods. Alcoholics and other addicted people never have healthy lifestyles. As the Mayo Clinic commented, after addiction, a person can develop physical complications or deterioration.

man with nutritional deficiencies due to drug abuse

As addiction destroys one’s nutritional resources, pain, confusion, depression and other mental states that have been tied to nutritional deficiencies can make life miserable.

It may surprise some people that the nutritional support and one-on-one work by staff that is provided in the early steps of the Narconon program can go a long way toward reducing aches and pains and making the road back to sobriety remarkably tolerable. As soon as a person arrives at a Narconon center, he will start receiving nutritional supplements designed to support detoxification.

As noted by the National Institute of Health, boosting a person’s nutritional status helps lift his mood as well as his energy as he or she start toward recovery.

Residual Toxicity from Old Drug Residues

There is an additional physical factor involved in triggering relapses. Drugs tend to lodge in the fatty tissues of the body rather than being eliminated completely at the time they were taken. Residues of past drug use may trigger cravings for more drugs even months or longer after active drug use has ceased.

Scientific articles note the presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana) in fat tissues long after drug use ends, and it is well known that LSD and other hallucinogens can cause flashbacks of old drug experiences even years later, as verified by the National Institutes of Health. Unless these toxic residues are cleared out, a person may be negatively affected by them. Based on decades of experience at Narconon rehabilitation centers, the effects of toxic residuals can include cloudy thinking, poor outlook on life, and persistent cravings, as well as many other indicators of diminished capacity.

How Does the Narconon Program Address Physical/Body Factors?

Early in the Narconon rehab program, each newly enrolled person goes through a process of moderate daily exercise, taking a strictly controlled dosage of nutritional supplements, and spending supervised time in a dry, moderate heat sauna. This step is called the Narconon New Life Detoxification.

Narconon New Life Detoxification — Sauna

Each person goes into the sauna to sweat and comes out as often as needed to shower, cool down, and take replacement minerals and salt. This precise regimen helps the body to flush out old drug toxins through sweat, urine, and excretion. The reducing drug residues in participants’ sweat has actually been measured, day by day.

At the end of this process, it is common for participants to say that they ‘can think more clearly’ and that their outlook on life is much brighter. Many people also state that their cravings for drugs have reduced. This is a big, bright step forward for every person seeking a sober future.

This innovative detoxification program was a gift to the Narconon network of drug rehab centers by L. Ron Hubbard. In his humanitarian research, he had found that after a heavy drug-using history, these toxic drug residues could hold a person back in many ways—mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Realizing the need for a recovering addict to rid himself of these remnants, he provided this technology of body detoxification to the Narconon centers.

Contents of Factors of Relapse