An often-overlooked component of successful addiction rehab and recovery is based on reestablishing, and then maintaining, proper diet and nutrition. Chemical and behavioral dependencies can lead to poor eating habits. This leaves users deficient in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, contributing to metabolic imbalances, malnourishment and general declines in mental and physical well-being.
Such dysfunctional or irregular food intake can result in a greatly weakened immune system. In fact, the most substantial burden arising from drug addiction lies not in the direct effects of the misuse or abuse, but in the secondary effects. An increasing amount of evidence(pdf) (1,2,3) shows nutrition interventions in substance abuse treatment can lead to improved outcomes.
As one recent study, “Nutrition in Addiction Treatment” (April 2017), concluded:
Functional medicine, part of the integrative medicine whole person approach, supports a nutritional assessment, and personalized laboratory testing to assess the nutrient deficiencies contributing to addiction. The research continues to show the neurobiological and neuropsychological connections to optimum health regarding brain circuitry, food, memory, and mood [30,31]. The etiology of addiction and years of data support the relationship between the optimization and balancing of key neurotransmitters manufactured in the brain’s neuronal activity. These key homodynamic pathways that include dopamine, serotonin, opiods, GABA, and other neurotransmitter receptor sites, can be addressed with food, diet, and nutraceuticals functional medicine evaluation.
A key aspect of WholeHealth Recovery’s 3 Step Program, following an accurate diagnosis, initial detox and stabilization (via Amino Acid Therapy, both IV and oral), is personalized nutritional coaching and guidance provided by a health professional.
The overriding goal of our recovery efforts is to help patients transition to healthy, addiction-free, living, where a person’s mind and body have been brought back into balance.