Drug addiction is becoming an epidemic in our country, including Asheville, NC. However, people are starting to learn more each day about how best to approach the idea of addiction recovery. Drug rehabilitation centers are opening up in parts of the country that never had them before. More people are seeking their drug and alcohol counselor certifications than ever before.
Experts are learning that good nutrition is a large part of addiction recovery. The type of nutrition necessary depends on the drug of choice and length of addiction. Some addicts have gotten to the point where they hardly eat. This means that their bodies have been deprived of proper nutrients for quite some time.
Drug addiction affects the mind, body, and spirit. Good nutrition and improved diet are just one part of recovery. However, it is an important part. Proper nutrition and hydration can help support the body and foster an environment for recovery.
How Drug Addiction Affects Nutrition
When someone is an addict, they neglect even the most primal needs including eating. They don’t take care of themselves. They are really only worried about getting their next fix and they certainly aren’t worried about proper nutrition.
Depending on the addict’s drug of choice, they neglect their body in different ways. Stimulants suppress the appetite so addicts who use meth or cocaine rarely eat. Their bodies lose the ability to recognize when they are truly hungry. People who are addicted to opiates may crave certain foods. However, they would rather spend money on drugs.
Because drugs send mixed messages to our brains, we are no longer able to function normally. The body either doesn’t send the message to eat to our bodies or we just don’t receive the message. Stimulants and opiates cause the messages in our brains to misfire.
How Drug Rehab Centers Utilize Good Nutrition to Foster Recovery
One aim of detox centers and drug rehab centers is to get the body to start functioning properly again. They work hard to get the addict to learn how to sleep, eat, and drink properly. Over time, an addict’s body and brain stop working right. Once they get into rehab, the staff work hard to get them back to normal. They try to find the body’s homeostasis.
Good nutrition is a building block of drug recovery since it:
- Helps the body repair some of the damage caused by drug addiction
- Works as a mood stabilizer
- Helps the body reduce cravings for drugs and alcohol
- Gets the body functioning well and allows doctors to properly diagnose underlying mental issues
- Makes addicts want to take better care of themselves going forward
While counselors in Asheville, NC work hard to help the drug addict stay clean, nutritionists help keep their bodies healthy. You have to remember it has been quite some time since most addicts ate properly. They learned how to ignore feelings of hunger. They no longer know how to appreciate a good, balanced meal. Rehab can teach them to appreciate these things all over again.
Drug Treatment in Asheville, North Carolina
While treating a drug addiction is challenging, there are some keys that can make it easier. One way is to use a healthy diet to foster an atmosphere of recovery. Eating meals together and on a regular schedule can help an addict get accustomed to normal living again. Learning the importance of eating healthy food and snacks can help an addict feel a sense of control. For the first time in a long time, they do not allow drugs to control every aspect of their life.
Good nutrition is thought to help the body in many ways including:
- Increasing the production of serotonin. This is the feel-good chemical in our brain. When we have the right amount of carbs, it helps cut the drug cravings.
- Curbing aggression and anger due to proteins and other foods high in amino acids
- Reducing the intake of fatty foods. This can help elevate mood.
- Reducing depression and help the brain function properly thanks to proteins and other foods high in amino acids
- Helping the addict to sleep soundly and feel refreshed
Drug addicts are already facing an uphill battle. This is why it is so important for rehab centers to address all aspects of recovery. Proper nutrition can help in recovery in many ways. Most, if not all, drug rehabilitation centers have dietitians on staff. They help create patient menus and address individual nutrition issues.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a drug addiction, it is never too late to get help. Contact a drug rehabilitation program in Asheville, NC today. Professionals will work hard to get you the help you need. The time to recover is now. You just have to be ready to accept it.