Addiction can come in many forms. These can include, but are not limited to, addiction to narcotics, alcohol, nicotine, illegal substances, sugar, food, etc. At Tri-Cities Functional Medicine, we believe addiction is primarily a chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. The brain is a fluid network of connected cells. With every thought and experience new connections form as others dissolve, some strengthen while others weaken. As with a river, the brain is always changing, it is not the same brain today as it was yesterday, nor will be tomorrow. Navigating this brain evolution with deliberate changes in behavior, thinking, and environment, is what a successful recovery is all about. Treatment medications, support, counseling and health coaching are simply tools for realizing these changes.
If the process of addiction recovery could be summed-up in one word, it would be change. After all, it is changes to the brain which produce addiction cravings, and recovery is essentially reversing those changes through changes in behavior and lifestyle choices. Without change, there is no recovery. In order to enable this change, we must identify the root causes of what is keeping someone in an addicted state.
So, how do we get to the root causes? We look at each individual’s story through the functional medicine lens. As a Functional Medicine/Integrated Addiction practice, we spend time with our patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and sustained addiction recovery. In this way, our approach supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual as a whole. We not only address and treat addiction itself, but the other chronic health challenges a client is facing. Most addiction medicine physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients. The focus of our functional/integrated addiction medicine approach is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of addiction.
We look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to addiction and illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both the internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning and successful addiction recovery.
At Tri-Cities Functional Medicine we integrate traditional medical assisted therapy, with what are sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on recovery and prevention through lifestyle changes like nutrition, diet, increased movement, and better sleep habits; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques. The goal of our program is for you to make a full recovery from addiction and other chronic illnesses where you are no longer dependent on medications and have restored your health.
Dr. Radawi and staff are here to support you every step of the way as you progress through your recovery and beyond. As a member of our practice, you will experience one-on-one visits with the doctor and our health coach, group classes with educational materials focusing on our five pillars of health, and group meetings focused on relapse prevention.