John Douillard interviews Dr. Adi Jaffe, founder of IGNTD Recovery and best-selling author on solutions for overcoming shame and addiction. (Trigger warning for graphic descriptions of self-harm.)
July 5, 2021 | 57 minutes, 08 seconds
Podcast Show Notes
In this episode of the Ayurveda Meets Modern Science podcast, host John Douillard, DC, CAP, talks with Dr. Adi Jaffe, founder of IGNTD Recovery, a program that helps people get to the root cause of addiction and make important life changes, and the best-selling author of The Abstinence Myth. (You can also find Jaffe on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.)
Adi’s Addiction Journey
For Jaffe, the road of addiction begun at a fairly young age. As a teen, he found comfort and confidence in drinking. Flash forward to college and Jaffe began experimenting with meth, as a study aid to help him with his ADHD.
This strategy to focus turned into a dependency. He was living a life surrounded by, affected by, and controlled by drugs that turned him into a “typical drug addict.”
Jaffe’s journey with rehab was rocky, as it did not provide him with the necessary resources to overcome his addiction and made him feel branded as an addict. After moving in and out of sobriety and addiction over and over again, Jaffe had an ah-hah moment. He realized that only he could make things better for himself, not anyone else. He went on to earn a PhD in psychology from UCLA.
Addiction and Ayurveda
For someone going through the ups and downs of addiction, they must be able to find the road to recovery that works for them. For some, this is traditional programs, for others it is alternative solutions, such as IGNTD. Through IGNTD, Jaffe intertwines Ayurvedic practices, such as pranayama, with implementing healthy habit in order to identifying and work with the root cause of addiction.
The Ayurvedic and Vedic philosophy of dhanurveda, or transformation, is related to the strength it takes to start and finish the journey with addiction. One must first ground themselves in their true calling and self before they can take transformational action.
Tools for Turning Around Addiction
Many times addiction is not crystal clear. Often, more than not, drinking, drugs, and sex, to name a few, are not the problem, but are instead masking a problem. The process to overcoming an addiction is never easy, but with the right tools it is possible.
Contrary to popular belief, some tools that work well for one human, don’t work at all for another. Each person has their own toolbox for a reason! As you find tools that are helpful to you, keep them, and vice versa, as you encounter tools that aren’t for you, discard them.
Studies have shown that getting people to do something, instead of stop something, is much more effective. Individuals with addiction can struggle with perfectionism and self-talk, and repeated failure causes them to give up on trying to recover.
A few tools that have worked for Jaffe: changing the negative self-talk to positive affirmations and repeating the affirmations aloud; performing random acts of kindness and finding purpose in the little things; and breathing exercises and meditations.
It is best to not blame the person with the addiction, label them, or shame them, as it can cause stigma and guilt. Instead, helping the individual see a brighter present and future can work wonders. By showing those facing addiction that they matter and the things they do matter, they too will believe it and want to better themselves.
Additional Resources for Shame and Addiction
- IGNTD HERO Program
- Psychology Today: What is Confirmation Bias?
- New York Times: The Science of Helping Out
- New York Times: Finding Purpose for a Good Life, but also a Healthy One
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Ayurveda Meets Modern Science is hosted by LifeSpa Founder John Douillard, DC, CAP, produced by Alanna Zelac, and edited by Kumara Etzel.