functional medicine

Treating Addiction With Functional Medicine

Addiction is a complex, highly stigmatized disease, which can make it challenging to find effective treatment. Contrary to outdated misconceptions, substance abuse doesn’t arise from a lack of willpower. Instead, it has roots in genetics, biology, mental health and socialization.

Functional medicine is a novel approach to addiction recovery because it is person-centric and evidence-based. Addressing the underlying cause of substance use disorders requires a detailed understanding of the unique hereditary, environmental and lifestyle factors contributing to your illness. Since addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions can manifest differently in each person, functional medicine practitioners create personalized plans to ensure effective treatment.

How Does Functional Medicine Treat Addiction?

After years of relying on maladaptive coping mechanisms and engaging in self-destructive behavior, functional medicine can help you regain your quality of life. It’s a holistic approach that accounts for these variables in your daily routine.


Irregular sleep patterns and substance use disorders go hand in hand. Alcohol and drugs can play havoc with your brain chemistry, making it more difficult to get the full seven to nine hours of restful sleep needed to restore your body and mind. Chronic sleep deprivation can affect your mood and make existing conditions like depression and anxiety worse. You may also make poor decisions when trying to get through the day without enough sleep.

Functional medicine for addiction treatment focuses on improving your sleep hygiene habits by establishing a healthy routine, including going to bed and waking up at consistent times every day. It will take time to undo bad habits like sleeping in because you went to bed late, but you’ll see a difference in your daily energy levels and ability to carry out your responsibilities at work and home.


Consistent exercise can improve almost every facet of your life, including decreasing your stress levels and helping you put your emotions on a more even keel. In addiction recovery, it can also be an essential part of your relapse prevention strategies. Even small steps like going outside for a daily walk can combat a sedentary lifestyle and become an enjoyable part of your routine.


Many people who enter addiction treatment are malnourished due to years of eating an imbalanced diet full of empty calories instead of the nutrient-rich foods that fuel your body and mind toward peak performance. Addictive substances can suppress your appetite, cause you to make impulsive eating decisions and impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. Focusing on nutrition is another vital element of functional medicine.

Functional Medicine for Addiction

Recovery Without Walls is a confidential medical practice that treats addiction, co-occurring mental health disorders and chronic pain with leading-edge methods. Under the guidance of founder and director Howard Kornfeld, M.D., our skilled recovery team guides patients to discover their internal healing pathways using advanced treatment options.

Our Mill Valley outpatient center provides comprehensive, evidence-based treatment to each person who walks through our doors. To learn more about what we offer, contact us at Recovery Without Walls today. We look forward to meeting you and providing support on your journey to holistic healing.