Nutritional Therapy Services for Substance Abuse in the United States
Nutrition plays an important role in the treatment of any type of drug or alcohol addiction. Proper nutrition and hydration will not only help improve the outcome of treatment but will also improve the physical and mental well-being of the patient. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to low energy, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and an array of other health problems. Addict's abuse drugs for so long, they have ultimately depleted their body of all the nutrients it produces to stay healthy. An addict is also not eating a healthy diet, and will often consume large amounts of sugar, and other substances that the body can do nothing with. Substance abuse does generally lead to a lack of proper nutrition, and certain types of drugs such as cocaine, for example, will suppress your appetite. The majority of all drug and alcohol treatment services across the United States will incorporate some type of nutritional therapy within their program to promote a healthy mind and body. Some drug rehab facilities may also incorporate individualized nutrition counseling, and nutrition education programs.
The goals of nutrition therapy and nutrition education should heal and nourish the body, which has been damaged by alcohol and drugs. Nutritional therapy should also stabilize the mood of the patient and help to reduce stress and anxiety, along with reducing cravings for drugs and alcohol. Any type of nutritional therapy will address medical conditions that are co-occurring, or, which have come about because of the addiction. Doing all of this will eventually encourage the addict to take more care of their diet and health and start thinking about a healthy lifestyle. Nutritional therapy, when incorporated into treatment will start to help the addict have a better attitude towards his or her treatment. It is amazing how effective a well-balanced diet, exercise and vitamin supplementation will be, after doing so much damage to the body. Drugs and alcohol deplete the body of all its nutrients, and an addict will then begin to feel the effects physically and mentally.
Drug and alcohol abuse will lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, will damage the organs and the nervous system, will decrease the bodies' ability to fight off infection and disease, along with significant impacts on the mental-well being. To help addict's recover from the physical damage done, drug treatment centers will incorporate nutritional therapy. This will include providing balanced calorically appropriate meals on a regular schedule, along with properly supervised vitamin and mineral intake. Proper diet and vitamin and mineral intake will also normalizeand mood, because without the proper nutrients, the brain cannot function properly, blood sugar becomes unstable, and neurotransmitters become disrupted. For example, carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy, and unstable blood sugar can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety, and cravings for drugs and alcohol. Such things as amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein are a strong foundation for neurotransmitters. Having low levels of neurotransmitters such as can trigger an addict to return back to drugs and alcohol to supplement those low levels. Staying hydrated along with a proper diet will contribute to a successful outcome for the addict.
Nutritional therapy does help reduce cravings, eliminate anxiety and irritability, as well as increase energy levels improving the mood, as all of this when it is doing poorly will cause cravings for drugs and alcohol. When there are anxiety, irritability, poor mood, and depression, it can all be symptoms of low blood sugar, dehydration, high levels of caffeine, and an unbalanced diet. Balanced meals with regular eating times will decrease the cravings someone has for drugs and alcohol. Typically, most drug rehab centers who incorporate nutritional therapy will utilize a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fats and sugars. The problem with high-protein diets for addicts is that an excess of protein will strain an already damaged liver. It is not uncommon for addicts early on in treatment to not be able to differentiate an increased hunger from cravings. This is because most addicts will forget what it is like to feel hungry and have a healthy diet. Having a healthy appetite is all part to the recovery process, and addicts who are working with nutritional therapists will contribute to more success with his or her treatment.
In 2016, the addiction rates in the United States began to increase drastically, and at that time roughly 8% of the population who was over the age of 12, required some type of drug rehabilitation. The increase in opiate use within recent years has also contributed to this problem, such as the rise in heroin addiction. Unfortunately, throughout the United States, there is regularly accessible and highly palatable food, that does not always promote health living. Poor nutrition will cause feelings of anxiety, depression, and other emotions, which many people cope with by using drugs and alcohol. Along with this, many people become addicted to these un-healthy foods, and will later see rapid weight gain, and a shortened life. Nutritional therapy is an important process not only for drug addiction, but for any type of mental-health problem that someone may be struggling with. This is why most drug and alcohol treatment programs and mental health facilities will incorporate nutritional therapy as part to the treatment process. Anyone battling addiction or mental-health problems will benefit from an improved diet, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and regular exercise.
Extended Recovery Care
- Addiction Extended Care Services in the United States
- Addiction Meetings in the United States
- Aftercare Programs in the United States
- Halfway Houses in the United States
- Relapse Prevention Programs in the United States
- Sober Living Communities in the United States
- Transitional Housing in the United States