Addiction Recovery: A Healthy Diet

Addiction Recovery

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Substance abuse can harm the body in negative ways by promoting bad habits, including a poor diet and eating disorders.  Addiction recovery can affect the body’s metabolism, mental stability, and organ functioning.  A good diet may help the healing process. Nutrients provide the body with energy, and the substances required to keep the organs healthy and fight infection. Different drugs such as opiates, alcohol, stimulants, and marijuana have an impact on nutrition.

Addiction recovery is an amazing journey that leads the recovering addict to the destination they chose. The purpose during addiction recovery is to maintain sobriety. The right nutrition during addiction recovery, combined with other types of treatment, will supply the body with the necessary energy and alertness to deal with withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse.

Let’s take a look at the impact of some specific drug categories on nutrition:

Opioids

Some common examples of opioids are heroin, codeine, opium, and morphine.  These drugs can affect the digestive system. Constipation, for example, is common in patients with substance abuse problems. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with the use of these drugs may include:

  • Unsettled stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Faintness

All of these symptoms reduce the amount of nutrients the body needs and electrolytes such as potassium, chlorine and sodium are imbalanced.  Having the right nutrition can alleviate these symptoms. Nevertheless, due to nausea, eating can be a little difficult for patients during the early periods of recovery. Eating foods high in fiber such as grains, vegetables and legumes can be very beneficial. Beans are a good choice because of their protein content. Combining protein and fiber can also help burn off fat and make patients feel fuller with fewer calories. To find a substance abuse treatment facility with holistic treatment options, call 520-686-5024.

Alcohol

Alcohol use damages two major organs involved in metabolism and nutrition: the liver and the pancreas. The liver eliminates contaminating substances. The pancreas adjusts blood sugar levels and fat absorption. Damage to these two organs results in an imbalance of fluids, calories, protein, and electrolytes.

Other problems may include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Cirrhosis
  • Seizures
  • Eating disorders

Stimulants

Some stimulants such as meth and crack/cocaine may suppress appetite and lead to weight loss and a poor diet. Individuals abusing these drugs spend days without eating.  They may also be dehydrated. Users abusing these drugs for long periods of time may experience more severe symptoms such as memory problems.

Marijuana

Marijuana may increase appetite in some users. These users may need to go on a strict diet and cut down on sugar, fat and calorie intake. Some long-term users experience less appetite when they quit. According to research done by American Journal of Epidemiology, marijuana is linked to body weight. In this study, rates of obesity seem to be lower in heavy users. Body weight may be affected depending on the user’s metabolism.

Diet and Recovery

A balanced diet can help improve the attitude towards recovery and overall health. People who feel great tend to think less about drugs.  This may be difficult during the first stages of recovery since the user has just given up a habit and source of pleasure. It might take some time finding pleasure in a healthy habit. Recovering addicts think more often about relapsing or returning to drug abuse during the earlier phases of recovery.

To begin your recovery safely, contact 520-686-5024. Individuals who take part in a variety of treatment programs have a higher degree of success in achieving a lasting and maintainable recovery than those who attend programs that use just one method of treatment.

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