An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or


Discussion in 'Low Cost and Free Treatment' started by remnant, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    Fasting is a good method of treating addiction. This is because it redirects or redistributes the cravings from the limbic centres of the brain involved in cravings and excites other reward areas. This makes the person to desire the drugs less. After a certain period, the person losses the desire to satisfy his or her cravings. This is why religious people find it easier to quit.
  2. darkrebelchild

    darkrebelchild Community Champion

    I have heard of few people who have recovered with the use of fasting but they have confessed to the difficulty of the exercise; though effective, it takes a lot of discipline and self-will to overcome.
    It is best for everyone to adapt fasting once or twice a week in order to learn to control what we take into the body at certain timings.
  3. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    When you fast, your center of attraction will move from substance cravings to food cravings. Sine people need food to keep alive, an addict will wanting food more than the drugs he is using. Therefore, fasting can be a help in quitting addiction.
  4. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    That's an interesting point. I do think there is a place for fasting, especially as it detoxes the body. I do have some questions and concerns coming to mind though.

    Some drugs already cause the addict to under eat, due to loss of appetite. Would fasting make things worse for them? Are there specific types of addictions that fasting helps, while others that it is not appropriate for?

    With regards to detox, fasting can cause a very rapid and intense detox. Couldn't this be potentially dangerous for an addict who used a drug that is very highly toxic, and/or used for quite a long time, as the build up of toxins in their body could be really substancial, and way too much could end up in the blood stream all at one time, causing headaches, nausea, flu-like symptoms, and perhaps even more serious issues like overtaxing the kidneys or liver, depending on what is going on with their body?
  5. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Well this topic has come up before, in general people need strenght and nutrients to fight addcitions. I was reading some reports though that intermittent fasting can help people lose weight, and can be a helpful technique for those who have a lot of weight to lose. It may be helpful in fighting a food addiction. I plan to give it a try.
  6. Dilof

    Dilof Member

    Highly unlikely that someone who has tried previous methods of preventing their addicion and failed being able to carry out and be committed to fasting. Food is one of the best comforts for people due to the release of feel-good hormones. Periodic fasting requires sticking to a tight schedule, which is generally pretty hard for addicts. Fasting definitely has benefits in curbing addiction, but addicts need to be able to get to the point of commitment to be able to fast in the first place.
  7. Bozz

    Bozz Active Contributor

    Fasting is easier if you start the period apon waking.
    During sleep your body has already gone past the hungry stage and now you're beyond hungry (like if you leave eating until too late you're just not hungry anymore).

    Fasting doesn't have to be for a whole day - you could fast until mid-day, stop eating at 8pm, this means you'll have 16 hours of fasting every day (so many benefits of this can be found on Google).
  8. danjon

    danjon Senior Contributor

    Every human culture that has ever existed has utilized fasting in some form or another. It is extremely therapeutic, and can aid in the meditative process. It's really good to see some people realizing that this could be a way treating addicts.
  9. Bozz

    Bozz Active Contributor

    Seems to be a way with a lot of old methods.
    They get discarded as being out of date or not up with science.
    Then are re-discovered and found to have quite and solid scientific grounding as an aid.

    I suppose just another cycle of how everything works :)
    danjon likes this.
  10. GettingBetter

    GettingBetter Senior Contributor

    I can't imagine trying to fast right after giving up drugs. Actually, I am pretty terrible at fasting any time, but I think most addicts need a healthy diet during early recovery. It can provide a distraction from cravings and help the mind and body heal. However, I think fasting would have a place for some people later on as an aid in the meditative process.
  11. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I share the same opinion as some of the people here. You're not supposed to fast until you're clean. The reason? Fasting can have serious health consequences when conducted at the wrong time using the wrong methods. First, make sure you're well enough to fast. Second, do your research. Find fasting methods that won't starve or dehydrate you. Be healthy before trying it out.
  12. CarolinaV

    CarolinaV Member

    This seems very counterproductive. Eventually you'll have to eat, and what happens then? Also, if you use fasting as a way to control an addiction aren't you at a greater risk to develop an eating disorder? Why not try to find comfort in something such as food while working on your sobriety? I am an alcoholic and what really helped me take my mind off my addiction was baking. But if it works for some people, than that's great and I have no right to criticize it.
  13. danjon

    danjon Senior Contributor

    Indeed. Everything that is old becomes new again, as they say. Practices that have survived the ages tend to do so because they have some utility or function. Nassim Taleb of "Black Swan" and "Antifragile" fame argues this is the case with religion also; discard it at your peril.
  14. ChloeDawn

    ChloeDawn Active Contributor

    I can see how the need for drugs would be replaced with the need for food when fasting. However, it also seems to me that the person would be even more miserable because they would be suddenly having withdrawal from drugs and not having anything to to take their mind off that by not being able to eat regularly. From what I have heard fasting is difficult enough if you are not giving up a drug addiction. I would think it would be even worse if you were.