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Tag Archive: addiction recovery

The Importance of a Healthy Diet in Addiction Recovery

When a recovering drug user seeks treatment for their problem, they are generally prepared to participate in the standard methods of treatment: detox, therapy, group sessions, and the like. One thing that is not often addressed is the importance of having a healthy diet.

 

A healthy diet can bring a user’s energy levels back to normal, help to stabilize their emotions, and can help ensure longevity by reducing any damage that might have been done by using drugs. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of a healthy diet in addiction recovery.

 

What Is a Healthy Diet?

A healthy diet differs for different people. While the standard dietary guidelines in America seem cut in stone, diet goes much deeper. However, there are some basics that every individual need to attend to.

 

  • Vitamins and minerals. The body needs a varied amount of vitamins and minerals for it to run properly. These vitamins and minerals are best obtained from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Processed foods are often low in vitamins and minerals and provide little benefit aside from calories.
  • Protein is necessary for the development of healthy muscle tissue and skin. If you’re recovering from a drug addiction, protein can help you build back any muscles that you may have lost.
  • Carbs provide the body with energy. However, refined carbs, like breads and sugars, are actually bad for your health. Look for complex carbs like those found in sweet potatoes and whole grains.

Different people require different amounts of the nutrients listed above. The best way to figure out your own particular nutritional needs is to talk to a nutritionist.

 

Why a Healthy Diet Is Important for Recovering Addicts

There are many reasons that a recovering addict would want to take care of their diet. Some of the more serious reasons include:

 

  • A good diet provides energy, which recovering addicts are often in need of.
  • A healthy diet can help to reduce levels of anxiety, which can be a triggering factor for people struggling with addiction. In fact, some nutritional deficiencies can even cause anxiety, which may make someone more likely to use drugs.
  • A diet rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients can help reduce damage to tissues and organs and can enhance longevity.
  • A healthy diet encourages a stable, positive mind state and can reduce emotional problems.

 

Following a healthy diet plan can also provide recovering drug users with a new fixation. Granted, it is possible to become too fixated on developing an ideal diet plan – however, if this is only a temporary fixation that helps to draw focus away from cravings and addiction, then it can be considered beneficial in the long run.

 

Conclusion

Psychotherapy, detoxification, and group meetings are staples for addicts in recovery. However, one oft-overlooked facet of a complete recovery is a healthy diet.

 

A healthy diet can bring recovering drug users back to baseline by providing them with energy and overall good health. If you or a loved one are going through addiction treatment, don’t forget to address the important issue of diet!

 

Written by Nigel Ford

Keys to Successful Drug Addiction Recovery

Drug addiction recovery will look different for each person because all people are unique. Some people may need a stronger emphasis on certain parts of the recovery, and some people may struggle more with other parts. While drug addiction recovery is unique for each person, there are a few key factors that can benefit all people undergoing drug addiction recovery.

First off, typically the longer a treatment program is, the more successful it will be. This especially applies to those addicts who are deep in their addiction. Addiction occurs because neuro pathways in the brain have changed to make the addict need a drug. Every time the addict uses his or her substance of choice, those pathways are reinforced and become even harder to change. Therefore, a person who has been suffering from addiction for many years may benefit from a more extended treatment program than someone who is a new user. Some research has found that programs over 90 days offer the best chance for success.

It is also important for the person undergoing recovery treatment to have a strong network of people who understand their struggle. While healthy family and friend relationships are key to help an addict’s recovery last, it is equally as important for an addict to feel they have a network of people who understand what they have been through. Treatment programs that encompass a full lifestyle change versus solely focusing on no longer using typically have the best results.

While outside influences and support groups are important, at the end of the day, the addict is the most important part of drug addiction recovery. Patients need to be willing to put themselves first, to show up to all meetings, get a sponsor, go to family and individual therapy, re-learn how to manage money and be a productive member of society, and ultimately forgive themselves. Many patients end up relapsing because the guilt and shame they feel are just too much to bear. A key part of drug addiction recovery success is rooted in forgiveness. Forgiveness allows the addict to put themselves first and take the necessary steps to maintain their recovery and avoiding relapse.

There is no shortcut to a successful drug recovery. Patients and families must be willing to put in the work, both in the short term and the long term, to ensure the person suffering from addiction can stay sober. The most important thing is for an addict to undergo recovery for themselves. They need to remember it is ok to prioritize their recovery process, whether that means meetings every day, or therapy, or getting a whole new group of friends. Following the recovery process without taking any shortcuts is key to remaining sober.

Drug addiction recovery is not a one size fits all. Some people may stay in a treatment program for a few months, while others may remain for a year. Each person’s circumstance and needs are different. It is key to find a recovery program that focuses on creating a customized treatment plan. For this reason, it is also important for addicts not to compare themselves to others and to never lose hope. While recovery will not be the same for everyone, having a strong support system, sticking to the program, and forgiving oneself are all necessary keys for an addict to have a successful recovery.