Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Learn all about the importance of health and nutrition in addiction recovery.

One of the biggest issues that addicts face, whether they are suffering from an alcohol addiction or another type of drug addiction, is the problem of nutritional deficiencies. As such, nutrition in addiction recovery is a vitally important component of any addiction treatment programs. Nutrition for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts can make all the difference in the world when it comes to being successful in addiction treatment and recovery. Get to know some of the important facts about nutrition in addiction recovery so that you can be sure you are taking the best possible care of yourself as you go through the addiction treatment and recovery process.

Addiction’s Effect on the Body and Nutrition in Recovery

In order to understand the importance of nutrition in addiction recovery, it is also important to get an understanding of addictions effect on the body. When a person develops an addiction to drugs or alcohol, their body and brain shifts and changes. As a person’s brain becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug in the system, the priorities for the brain and the rest of the body shift. The brain will become overly preoccupied with its need for the drug and if that drug is denied, it is the only thing that the brain and the body will want and crave.

This means that food and other nutrients that the body actually needs will not be what the person actually wants. And because they will be so focused upon their next fix, food, drink, and nutrition will be far from their focus. Due to these issues, when a person goes into addiction treatment and recovery, nutrition needs to be one of the areas of emphasis in order for the body to bounce back and recover.

Drug Abuse and Addiction Can Cause Chronic Physical Issues

On top of an addicted person’s tendency to neglect their dietary and hydration needs, drug abuse and addiction can cause significant chronic physical problems including heart damage, liver problems, kidney problems, and other health problems. Proper nutrition and a balanced healthy diet can help to prevent further organ damage and health issues and may even help a person recover from at least some of the symptoms of those issues.

Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

Now that you have some idea of the importance of nutrition in addiction recovery, it is important to get to know what to do about nutrition for recovering alcoholics and addicts of all kinds. Oftentimes, the primary concern is that the person gets and remains hydrated. During detox, when the drug or alcohol is getting out of a person’s system, one of the common withdrawal symptoms is dehydration. As such, the focus will be on getting plenty of fluids and even IV fluids if necessary.

Once a person is hydrated and gets through the detox process, then the overall nutrition issues are addressed. Many addiction treatment centers offer sessions with dietitians or nutritionists to help recovering addicts learn how to better treat their bodies and to recover from the malnutrition they suffered while abusing drugs or alcohol. It can be a good idea for a person to get a medical examination while they are in recovery as well. Having blood nutrient levels like iron tested can help a person and their nutritionist come up with a customized nutrition plan.

Continued Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

Even after rehab and treatment, the cannot be overstated. It is a good idea to find a good dietitian to work with on a continued basis as your body bounces back from substance abuse and addiction. Getting nutrients from fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains can do a great deal to helping a person gain weight in healthy ways if they lost an excessive amount of weight while abusing drugs or simply give their brain and internal organs everything they need to become healthy once again.

Now that you now a bit more about nutrition in addiction recovery, you can be sure that you make your health and nutrition a priority as you recover from your drug or alcohol addiction