There are a lot of pieces that can make or break your experience as you work to regain your life and to recover from addiction. A big part of that is what your diet is like, in the nutrition that acts as a boon toward your bettering yourself. With rates of addiction in America as high as they are, we as a nation have to take all steps possible to alleviate the damage already done.
What Does Diet and Nutrition Have to Do with Addiction?
“There is increasing evidence to suggest that contemporary food (high in fat and sugar, low in fiber) is” playing a big role in a slew of issues throughout the U.S. these days. It leads to dangerous obesity, of course, but also to “metabolic disease” and a number of mental health concerns. However, if a particular diet is proven to lead to negative effects, then doesn’t it stand to reason that a different diet might improve a person’s situation and that it might lead to a positive outcome and help them to recover from addiction?
Interestingly, there have been a lot of comparisons drawn between a poor diet and the development of addictions to substances like drugs and alcohol. For example, a college student eats and drinks only what tastes good, mostly processed foods, and in doing so “rejects foods that do not stimulate the reward system.” In a similar way, he or she might opt for substances that stimulate this system rather than going without, which would obviously not offer the same “rewards.” In a lot of ways, poor nutritional habits are the stepping stones toward addictive practices.
After working through treatment for substance abuse, there is often an unaddressed piece that should follow rehabilitation for drugs and/or alcohol. There should be a “nutrition intervention” of sorts to help the individual shape a completely adjusted lifestyle and to consume a more balanced diet in order to help them stay away from more dangerous substances. This could include “group education, individual counseling,” and other forms of aid offered by professionals to the patient. “Shifting the patient towards a diet that is high in fiber and low in sugar can make a difference in recovery outcomes, although it is yet to be adequately described in the scientific literature.” Maybe if there were more of a focus on this subject, more people would have been helped more thoroughly as they try and recover from addiction.
Nutrition and general care for the body and its systems are huge parts of any physical and mental goal. If your body is better-equipped to face the temptation of addictive substances, then you will have a stronger chance for resistance. There is a direct correlation between people who eat an unhealthy diet (and who have higher levels of depression and anxiety) and who are more vulnerable to the lure of cravings. There needs to be more of a spotlight on nutrition development and maintenance before, during, and after treatment for addiction so that the patient can best combat temptation. Why make the struggle any more difficult than it has to be?
To learn more about how your diet can affect the rate at which you’re able to recover from addiction, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including medication management strategies. We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.
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About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]