As with anyone proper nutrition is important for a healthy life. However, if you suffer from addiction, nutrition is even more vital. It is one of the essential links to a successful and long-term recovery. During periods of addiction, many people develop poor nutritional habits and, in some cases, more severe health problems like eating disorders, health ailments etc. In order to achieve long-term recovery, you should understand the relationship between nutrition and substance abuse.
Basically, substance abuse has a major impact on long term health and nutrition. Many people may know the harsher effects of drugs and alcohol on the body, such as liver disease from alcoholism or visual dental etc. However, substance abuse extends well beyond this and can create a variety of impairments in physiological functions of the body, including the ability to absorb essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. All the things a person needs to function and maintain their immune system etc.
Some of the most common effects of substance abuse include:
Stages of Nutrition and Substance Abuse Recovery
It’s important to bear in mind, that everyone is unique so these are the basics. Having the right dietary tools for your healing process is key for a long term recovery.
During the detox phase
This can be one of the most physically demanding stages of recovery. Physical side effects of detoxification can include vomiting, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue. For this reason, it’s crucial to have a balanced nutritional strategy to boost energy and improve overall mood and health during the detox process as much as possible.
Post-Detox: Long Term Nutrition and Recovery
Once you finish detoxing whether in or out of a treatment program (preferably in a treatment program to maintain safety), you should learn some long-term recovery strategies. In the months after detox, you’ll work through the stages of your program by attending counseling sessions, learning new behaviors, and identifying triggers. A healthy diet can only help you sustain this process and avoid relapse.
Some essential dietary and nutritional guidelines for addiction recovery include:
Creating a Substance Abuse Recovery Nutritional Plan
Hopefully, you have had access to a nutritionist or dietitian either in 1:1 setting and/or in a group educational setting. During 1:1 sessions, they would be more beneficial because it will allow for more focused evaluation on your nutritional needs where a group educational session would be more general based information. However, if you have not been able to receive access to a nutritionist or dietitian then finding one that specializes in addictions would be beneficial for you in the long run.
They’ll help you recognize nutritional deficiencies and create plans to meet your dietary needs. The goal is to provide a healthy and well-balanced combination of vegetables, complex carbs, healthy fats, and other important nutrients. Much like other parts of your recovery process, you need to be honest with your nutritionist or dietitian. Tell them where you are struggling so they can help you find the right strategies for improvement.
They should also work be able to help you with creating an exercise program which could include yoga, pilates, and meditation as some options. This combination of diet and exercise can boost your mood and your self-esteem, repair organ damage, and help minimize your urges to return to alcohol or drugs.
Long-term recovery is a holistic whole person process that includes mental, spiritual, and emotional healing. In order to support your growth and development remember the program's steps and--
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