Nutrition is an important part of recovery for people with addiction and mental health issues. Many people who suffer from addictions and mental health issues suffer from poor nutritional habits, which can further complicate their mental health and physical states. The negative impacts outweigh the positive side of learning how to eat better for overall health.
Having an addiction can lead to multiple health problems. Some of the following are just a few:
- Alcohol: damages the organs in the body, which flushes out toxins, and the pancreas, which controls blood sugar and fat absorption are impacted leading to cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, seizures, and malnutrition
- Opiates: common opiates like oxycontin, codeine, morphine, and heroin damage the gastrointestinal organs, causing constipation or diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea during withdrawal
- Marijuana: the most common nutrition-related effect of marijuana is an increase in appetite, making people addicted to marijuana more likely to struggle with weight issues and obesity
- Stimulants: common issues include being underweight, higher energy and staying awake long periods which causes dehydration and electrolyte imbalance for the body
Nutrition in Recovery
When you decide to get help for addiction, there is a long process of recovery. Often the first stages of recovery involves detox where the person gets all drugs out of the system and goes through withdrawal while under medical supervision. Medical professionals actively monitor the person’s overall health and nutritional intake to support their overall recovery. The next stage of recovery is rehabilitation. The goal is to help the person learn how his addiction developed and how to manage it and other issues in the future. Many addiction centers realize nutrition is important but their focus may be different depending on the center. Nutritional counseling is offered as a pathway to recovery alongside other therapeutic models. Healthy eating therapy includes:
- Building healthy habits in aftercare
- Importance of hydration
- What to avoid (sugar, carbs, caffeine, etc)
- How to keep body healthy and strong with fruit and veggies
The more a person can learn in recovery about healthy eating, the better off their mental health and physical well-being will become. Eating poorly only serves to harm a person’s mental health and physical well-being over the course of their life and into recovery.
Oceanfront believes in the power of nutrition to impact health in rehab and beyond. We are founded on the principle of providing the best in care and services at affordable prices. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 877-279-1777