Addiction Treatment Services: Now There’s Prehab and Posthab

The relatively new science of Epigenetics is revealing some wonderful news for people who are interested in getting and staying well, particularly in addiction recovery. In the words of the Institute of HeartMath’s Director of Research, Dr. Rollin McCraty states, “We’ve had this revolutionary finding that we’re not locked in necessarily to our genetic code.” This is good news for addiction treatment services.

What this good news means is that instead of thinking that we’re born with a, “luck of the draw” set of genes that predisposes us to good or bad health, all of us can actually and profoundly affect our genetic makeup by paying closer attention to the environments in which we live and the chosen lifestyles we practice.

On the contrary, and by virtue of the evidence based studies in evolutionary biology and ancestral health principles, we have been affecting our genetic blueprint in many deleterious ways since the advent of the agricultural, industrial and technological revolutions–all beginning about 10,000 years ago. It was at that time that we began to see the steadily increasing rise of nutritionally deficient, chronic stress and sedentary lifestyle related illnesses come onto the scene, including addiction.

Well here we are, 10,000 years later coming to the evidence based conclusion that we can indeed reverse these unhealthy trends by something called, “up and down regulating”–or reprogramming/recalibrating our own genes! That’s right, the chronic illnesses we’re all dying of in this culture–including addiction–are just expressions of what we’re feeding our genetic blueprint. Our genes get “up and down regulated” directly proportional to the input they’re receiving. If they’re receiving information to create chronic illness because of poor nutrition, lack of exercise and stinkin’ thinkin’, that’s the physiological adaptation and reflection we’ll see. And, we’re seeing a lot of it, aren’t we?

Good to know, yeah?

So THAT’S what the “healthcare crisis” has been trying to tell us! We must grab the reins of our own healthcare practices and reprogram our health back to its optimal expression. And we do it by paying close attention to the food we’re eating, the exercise we’re getting and the thoughts we’re thinking. It seems to fly in the face of what we’ve been hearing from the mainstream/consumer media for the last 40 years, but it is irrefutably true as confirmed with consensus by scientists and experts on the issue all over the world.

In practicality then, and to contextualize this good news into the addiction recovery community, let’s frame it like this: I read an interesting email article from Tommy Rosen, the developer of Recovery 2.0 which is a global effort to revision things addiction and recovery in a wonderfully integrated and holistic way. In the article, Tommy talks about “Prehab” instead of “Rehab”–or another way of saying, “Hey, lets up regulate our pristine genetic blueprint for the good health we are programmed for instead of waiting to reverse engineer it via “Rehab.” I’m down with Tommy.

For those of us who missed “Prehab” and who have done the “Rehab” shuffle, Recovery Health Care is at your addiction recovery service as a, “Posthab” in an effort to continue to “feed” those life giving, life affirming genes of ours the lifestyle skills and practices they crave by providing them with the essential nutrients of eating well, moving well and thinking well, one day at a time–for a lifetime.

As it turns out, the science of Epigenetics is just another way of understanding how all things are interconnected and interdependent.

What a great time it is to be alive when and where we’re getting a better grasp on the importance of “Prehab”, but have the options of “Rehab” and now, “Posthab” to rejoin the circle of a thriving life in addiction recovery.

Very good to know.

Dr. Herby Bell is a Recovery and Wellness Coach and owner of Recovery Health Care, an integrated approach to wellness and addiction recovery in Saratoga, California. For more information please call 650 474 9411 or Email:  Connect with me online too:  Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Another empowering post, Herby. I especially liked this line, “Our genes get ‘up and down regulated’ directly proportional to the input they’re receiving. If they’re receiving information to create chronic illness because of poor nutrition, lack of exercise and stinkin’ thinkin’, that’s the physiological adaptation and reflection we’ll see.” For anyone seeking long-term addiction recovery, I urge them to check out you and your work because you can help them reprogram to “eat well, move well, think well, one day at a time for a lifetime.” (a Herby Bell quote, BTW).

  • HerbyBell says:


    Thank you for your comment and kindness in reinforcing this “species saving”, good news. I truly value and appreciate your feedback support as an exemplary addiction professional who knows her stuff like nobody else.

  • Breaking the genetic code to stop addiction-awesome! Sounds like Epigenetics could be the future for treatment. It seems kind of simple, eat well, exercise and you will stay healthy.

    • HerbyBell says:

      Thanks, Jake. It was not simple for our genetic blueprint to be forged over 2.6 million years having every selective pressure on Earth thrown at it to perfect it. As a result, we KNOW what to do now. What IS simple as you point out, is feeding it the essential nutrients of nutrient dense food, functional movement and evolving emotional and cognitive skills. It’s about brain health, truly a no-brainer. Now let’s…Go Brainer!
      HerbyBell Wants You To Read…Emotional Intelligence, Feeling Better and RecoveryMy Profile

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