Abusing drugs or alcohol has a negative impact on physical health and well-being. According to the National Institutes on Health (1), addiction impacts nutrition in two ways: it prevents healthy eating habits and it harms the physical body.
In some cases, substance abuse will leech nutrients from the body and cause a deficiency. Recognizing the importance of nutrition during recovery is essential for a realistic and healthy plan of action.
Drugs and the Body
Abusing drugs or alcohol has a negative impact on the physical body. Although the specific impact depends on the substance, the long-term impact of addiction has similarities among many different substances.
The impact of drugs on the body include:
- Increasing the risk of heart attacks or stroke
- Higher risk of various forms of cancer
- Higher risk of organ failure and damage
- Nutrient deficiencies that cause health concerns
How Nutrition Relates to the Recovery Process
Recovering from substance abuse reduces many of the risks associated with addiction; however, the recovery process requires the right combination of planning and execution.
An individual will not recover without a healthy body, and a healthy body is not possible without the proper balance of nutrients.
Psychology Today (2) suggests that nutrition, exercise and focusing on the health of the individual is essential for recovery. A healthy body provides a strong foundation for recovery that makes it possible to maintain personal goals. Poor health makes the substance tempting and causes cravings for the drug or alcohol.
Impact of Nutrition on Health and Cravings
Drug or alcohol abuse depletes certain nutrients in the body. In some situations, the nutrient deficiencies directly cause health concerns.
Poor nutrition has a negative impact on physical health. The State University of New York at Potsdam (3) points out that nutrition therapy is helpful when used with other treatment options.
The Importance of Eating Well
According to Psychology Today (2), a healthy body is essential if an individual is recovering because it allows the individual to focus on the spiritual, emotional or mental health complications that make substance abuse tempting.
Although nutrition therapy does not directly prevent cravings for a substance, it does balance out nutrients and prevent deficiencies. Since nutrient deficiencies contribute to cravings for the substance, eliminating those deficiencies also helps reduce the cravings.
Obtaining a Healthy Body
Nutrition plays a key role in the health of the human body. Without the proper combination of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the body does not have the building blocks that it requires for healing and recovery.
Psychology Today (2) says that proper nutrition is the first step toward loving yourself and thriving after recovery.
The National Institutes on Health (1) suggest that nutrition is particularly helpful when it relates to healing.
Incorporating Nutrition into a Treatment Program
The recovery process takes time, but a holistic plan of action will incorporate nutrition therapy in the program.
Physical and emotional health are essential for addiction recovery. An unhealthy body distracts individuals from their recovery goals and makes a substance tempting.
By including nutrition therapy in a treatment program, individuals will naturally heal and improve their physical well-being. As a result, the individual focuses on the underlying causes of addiction and has a lower risk of relapsing.
To learn more about nutritional therapy, give us a call at 877-466-0620.