Addiction, Recovery and the Five Spirits

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Substance abuse and drug addiction are often approached in Chinese medicine via theories that describe the
damage caused by drugs to the qi of the zangfu. The Chinese medical theory of addiction tends to generalise
about disharmony affecting the Heart, Kidney and Liver, while treatment focuses on repairing the damage caused
by drugs to specific internal organs. This article introduces a way of viewing addiction through the five spirits of
the hun, po, zhi, yi and shen, and makes some tentative associations with the 12 Step Programme.
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Author Douglas Eisenstark
JCM Issue JCM 94-20
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