AddictionDual DiagnosisMental HealthRehaba doctor talking to their patient about nutrition and recovery

Substance abuse takes a considerable toll on a person’s physical and mental health. While the effects of addiction vary from person to person, many experience issues with normal body functions. Most individuals in the throes of addiction have poor nutritional habits, which leads to further problems. People working hard to get well should learn about the link between nutrition and recovery to give themselves the best chance at a good long-term health prognosis.

How Substance Abuse Affects Nutrition

When you abuse alcohol and drugs, it often leads to the body lacking essential minerals, vitamins, and other compounds necessary to function. That can eventually take a physical and emotional toll on a person, which may impair their ability to overcome addiction. That is why proper nutrition and recovery tend to go hand in hand.

Addiction can cause a person to ignore their basic human needs due to their focus being on the wrong things. Some of the ways that drugs and alcohol may interfere with a person’s diet and nutrition include:

  • A failure to eat regularly because they forget or experience a lack of appetite due to substance abuse
  • Making drugs and alcohol a priority over getting food needed for nourishment
  • Sustained damage to organs required to absorb food and break it down for nutrients like the liver and stomach lining
  • Issues with the gastrointestinal system like irritable bowel syndrome or leaky gut syndrome that prevents them from digesting food properly

People who suffer from an alcohol use disorder often experience deficiencies when it comes to vitamin B6, thiamine, and folic acid. A lack of these essential vitamins can lead to cognitive issues and anemia. Opioid abuse problems may provoke symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea that could lead to dehydration.

Developing Good Nutrition During Recovery

It is a good idea to seek out foods that boost the serotonin levels in the brain to help you relax. Look for items with complex carbohydrates like beans, peas, potatoes, pasta, bread, and carrots. You should try to combine these foods with the right balance of proteins like meat or fish for the best combination of nutrition and recovery.

Your body will find itself with higher nutritional needs during the first year of recovery. Make sure you are careful about the kind of foods you consume. Try to avoid lots of sugars or other foods that do not supply you with the nutrients required to keep you healthy.

If your system can handle them, try to include foods containing calcium. You can substitute foods like kale or tofu if you are trying to avoid dairy products. Try to include foods with good oils in your diet, like canola and flaxseed, to get the proper fat intake.

The Importance of a Strong Support System

It may be difficult for people to learn how to eat properly again once they decide to get sober. Serenity Light Recovery offers help to clients looking for tips on making sure they get it right when it comes to nutrition and recovery. In addition to helping you take control of your diet and nutrition, we offer a number of therapy treatment options to help you make a full recovery. Some of these programs include:

The facility provides programs aimed at helping people dealing with mental health issues, substance abuse problems, and addiction disorders. Learn more about the therapies and services offered at Serenity Light Recovery by calling us at 855.658.6109. Change your life by admitting yourself to one of our programs. Make the call today.