Kudzu, Addiction, and the Body’s Ecosystem

Kudzu is a perennial vine native to Japan and Southeast Asia. It was originally introduced to the United States in 1876 during the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, then it began being promoted as a great ornamental plant in the 1930’s through the 1950’s. The problem with kudzu is that it is an invasive species with vines that crawl and cover all other local plants, blocking them from reaching sunlight and massively affecting the entire ecosystem. Kudzu’s superficially beautiful blooms and sweet smell hide the fact that its roots and vines are overtaking all other plants in the area and stifling their ability to grow.
Addiction works much like an invasive species. Who we are at the core of our being is made up of countless different personality traits, talents, and quirks. Our minds are a vast ecosystem of blooming ideas and growing life goals and ambitions. When we introduce something external that alters the ecosystem of our bodies, we run the risk of greatly affecting our physical, mental, and spiritual balance.
Initially, our drug use may seem insignificant. We are not facing great consequences, our lives feel manageable, and we are not worried about losing our ability to regulate or moderate our use. However, our addiction, like kudzu, has other plans. Just as we can be taken in the beauty of the plant’s sweet smell and large leaves, we can be taken in by the feeling of peace and perceived happiness that we experience from intoxication. However, soon the vines begin to kill all neighboring plants and trees by “smothering them under a solid blanket of leaves, encircling woody stems and tree trunks, and breaking branches or uprooting entire trees and shrubs,” according to The Nature Conservancy.
It becomes clear that the vines are acting on the external ecosystem in the same way that addiction acts on our internal ecosystems. As the vines of addiction stamp out our true wants, desires, ambitions, and goals, soon all that remains is the powerful singular drive for alcohol and drugs.
Removing kudzu requires more than just cutting away the vines, it requires that we completely eradicate its extensive root system. In this manner, addiction is more than just not drinking or using drugs– we go through a process of entirely detoxifying our bodies of all traces of drugs and alcohol and begin to work on identifying and addressing all root causes that contributed to our problem.

Your life can become one of personal and spiritual growth in recovery. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future in sobriety. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with compassionate professionals who understand the disease of addiction from every angle and are dedicated to providing clients with all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777