Nutrition Counseling for Addiction Recovery
Nutrition counseling has shown to significantly enhance recovery rates for those who participate in long-term treatment programs. It is an integrated part of addiction recovery. According to research, the most effective treatment programs would lose their efficacy without some tangible form of nutrition advice. Living an addictive lifestyle often means destructive, self-harming behaviors. Typically, these behaviors are unintentional, and using drugs or alcohol becomes the sole focus of the individual. However, persistent, self-inflicting behaviors can take their toll on the body and mind of a person. Often, one of the patterns of self-harming behaviors is over or under-eating. While malnourishment is common for the individual struggling with addiction, it’s important that these behaviors be identified and addressed during Florida drug rehab. Being healthy means understanding what nutrition is and how it can help repair addiction harm.
Malnutrition and Substance Abuse Cause Great Harm
Meaningless calories are the core cause of malnutrition in people experiencing substance abuse. When someone is drinking or using, they tend to eat things that are riddled with unhealthy carbs or high saturated fats. At the same time, many drugs like cocaine, crack and meth suppress appetite completely, creating serious health risks for addicts in active addiction. It is a vicious cycle that is hard to break.
As a result, people end up eating little food with any real nutritional value. Not only do drugs and alcohol fill the body with bare calories, but they also obliterate the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and expel toxins, resulting in gastrointestinal problems.
Good Nutrition Will Heal Your Body From Substance Abuse
Everyone has heard the saying, “you are what you eat”. While you may not literally turn into a carrot or slice of pizza, your body does respond to what you eat. Undernourishment can affect sleep, disturb mood, and reduce the effectiveness of the immune system–leading to health issues. Typically, individuals develop unhealthy nutritional habits during their time using addictive substances and need to learn about the importance of nutrition. Once the importance of nutrition is understood, clients will be more open to learning and establishing new eating habits. Plus, implementation of nutritional habits and physical activity during treatment can help establish new and healthy lifestyles. It is here that clients are guided to not just learn about nutrition, but also to learn to shop effectively for healthy groceries and cook well-balanced meals within a budget.
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Negative Effects of Addiction on Nutrition and Health
Addiction leads to multiple health problems, both short- and long-term. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has identified several below:
- Alcohol: Alcohol damages several organs in the body. These predominantly include the liver, which flushes out toxins from the body, and the pancreas, which controls blood sugar levels and fat absorption. Alcohol addiction can cause diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, seizures, and malnutrition.
- Opiates: Common opiates, such as oxycontin, codeine, morphine and heroin, damage the gastrointestinal organs. This often causes constipation during use and diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea during withdrawal.
- Marijuana: The most common nutrition-related side effect of marijuana is an increase in appetite, making people addicted to marijuana more likely to be overweight.
- Stimulants: Common stimulants include methamphetamine and cocaine, which decrease a person’s appetite. This makes people with stimulant addictions more likely to be underweight.
Nutrition Counseling - Monthly Group Meals
Along with offering means to establish healthy nutritional lifestyles and fitness, we also offer group meals during treatment. Each week, we invite those enrolled in our treatment programs to share healthy, balanced meals with their peers in recovery. This helps maintain both healthy eating habits and healthy relationships with others in recovery. Moreover, we host a monthly BBQ in which current treatment residents and graduates may come to celebrate recovery accomplishments. Here at Simple Path Recovery, we know that nutrition is an important aspect of gaining true and lasting healing from addiction. That's why establishing healthy routines and feelings about eating are important parts of an individual’s time spent in treatment.