The Importance Of Good Nutrition During Detox and Recovery From Addiction

Pathways-- The Importance Of Good Nutrition During Detox and Recovery From Addiction -- 08-23-16Proper Nutrition During Drug And Alcohol Detox

The majority of people entering into a drug and alcohol detox program are suffering from poor nutrition which unless corrected will make their drug and alcohol detox harder than it needs to be, and the difficult side effects of withdrawals during drug and alcohol detox are one of the primary causes that people decide to quit their drug and alcohol detox program early and go back to using or drinking.  In fact it is becoming apparent that proper nutrition during drug and alcohol detox can drastically reduce the withdrawal symptoms and therefore allow for a better likelihood that the person undergoing drug and alcohol detox will complete their addiction treatment and continue to pursue a clean and sober lifestyle.

Alcoholic Vitamin Deficiency

Alcoholics, for instance, are typically low on thiamine (Vitamin B1) in their system as a result of their drinking, and if this deficiency is left untreated it can lead to wet brain syndrome.  This lack of thiamine is usually due to a poor diet, damage to the digestive system from drinking, and the fact that alcohol prevents the absorption of thiamine in the brain.  Therefore, it has been shown that providing large doses of thiamine during drug and alcohol detox can prevent the onset of wet brain syndrome, or at least shorten the time that the person needs to suffer the symptoms of wet brain syndrome during their drug and alcohol detox.

Opiate Addiction Nutritional Deficiencies

Opiate users, on the other hand, are known to suffer from a wide variety of nutritional deficiencies due to poor eating habits during their addiction as well as the physical side effects of heavy opiate abuse, and providing vitamins and supplements during drug and alcohol detox has been shown to lessen the withdrawal symptoms during opiate detox.  This is especially true for methadone addicts.  Methadone is one of the harshest forms of drug and alcohol detox and providing a well-balanced diet as wells as nutritional supplements during the drug and alcohol detox has been shown to shorten the duration of the side effects associated with methadone detox and therefore improve the odds that the person will complete their drug and alcohol detox and pursue further addiction treatment to remain clean and sober.

A Holistic Approach to Treating Addiction Through Nutrition

Addiction is a mind, body, and spiritual disease.  If we can reduce the anxiety and stress during drug and alcohol detox through the use of proper nutrition as well as nutritional supplements, then the person’s mind will be in a better place to cope with the behavioral changes that will be necessary for pursuing a clean and sober lifestyle after their drug and alcohol detox.  Of course, we also need to bring the body along for the ride during drug and alcohol detox or we are setting ourselves up for failure.  By providing proper nutrition as well as nutritional supplements during drug and alcohol detox, we can restore the proper balance to someone’s body chemistry which will reduce many of the physical symptoms associated with drug and alcohol detox and therefore improve someone’s overall feeling of well-being.

As for the spiritual side, it is critical that proper counseling be provided during drug and alcohol detox otherwise treating the mind and the body with proper nutrition will be useless.  Low self-esteem, for instance, is a common factor amongst addicts and alcoholics and it is important to start to identify the issues behind this during drug and alcohol detox.  If the spiritual side is not treated during drug and alcohol detox, then treating the mind and the body with proper nutrition will be fruitless.

At Pathways, we believe in an holistic approach to addiction recovery, and stress the importance of nutritional rehabilitation in the process.