Nutrition and Its Importance to Recovery
Few people in active addiction stop to consider the state of their health. While consumed with using and getting more, no one stops at the pharmacy for a multivitamin or gives much thought to any health issue that is less than critical.
Everyone who steps in the doors of an addiction treatment center is in need of nourishment and a focus on healthy habits. The deficiencies accumulated during active addiction can have a significant impact on your ability to fully function.
Vitamin deficiency can cause a host of serious health issues as well as less serious but detrimental physical symptoms. Symptoms can include mouth sores, bleeding gums, bruising, poor wound healing, fatigue, numbness, balance issues, memory problems, acne, dry skin, color-blindness, as well as a mood and mental issues such as depression.
The treatment for any of these conditions is simple—good nutrition. Vitamin supplements are usually necessary to get people who have deficiencies feeling better faster. Oral or IV vitamin therapy can help you get over a nutrition deficiency quickly; however, in the long run, you need to incorporate healthy foods into your diet, as well as regular vitamins, to stay healthy.
Healthy nutrition habits will do more than keep you from getting sick. They help you function at your best and prevent future illness and injury.
Healthy Habits Can Replace Unhealthy Ones
Drugs and Alcohol abuse the mind and body. Abuse of substances often leads to other types of unhealthy habits being formed.
In order to overcome bad habits, you need to learn what healthy ones should replace them. Unhealthy habits may have been involved in your routine to get high. For example, many people will purposely not eat before drinking. Skipping meals then going out and ingesting Alcohol will make the Alcohol work faster and more effectively. It also increases potential problems, such as Alcohol overdose, ulcers and injury due to intoxication.
Making the lifestyle shift from unhealthy to healthy habits—such as eating three meals a day consistently or exercising regularly—can be difficult at first. However, after a while these changes will become routine and the positive changes will enormous. You may wonder how you ever did without these things.
Changing to a healthy lifestyle is not just about stopping substance abuse but learning to take care of yourself. If you are malnourished, fatigued and sleep-deprived, the tendency is for people to rely on substances to overcome symptoms, whether it be caffeine or cocaine.
The longer and more effort you put into caring for yourself, the better you will feel.
Healing the Mind and Body
Substance abuse does enormous damage to the mind, body and spirit. Staying sober often requires healing from such abuse while you learn and grow in sobriety.
Some nutritional deficiencies have a significant impact on the mind. Depression, anxiety, roller coaster emotions and other similar problems could be the result of a vitamin deficiency. Such symptoms are dangerous for anyone in early sobriety. This is the time when you need to be most vigilant about your health and do everything possible to increase your chances of staying sober.
Physical problems can drag anyone down, not to mention, they can cause a whole new set of problems such as insomnia, depression and isolation. Anyone struggling with fatigue or pain has a great deal more to deal with on a daily basis than someone without any physical ailments.
Learning new habits or relearning old healthy ones is essential for long term health. Eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising and socializing are all core needs that everyone should balance their schedule around.
Addressing any sleep disorder, emotional regulation issue, and ensuring that you exercise regularly can be a life-changing experience. Learning sleep, nutrition and general hygiene habits allows your body to completely heal from the effects of substance abuse. You may even feel better than you did before you started using.
Healthy Lifestyle Can Lead to Other Life Improvements
The prospect of changing so many areas of your life is no doubt frightening. It can seem like a lot, maybe even too much, when you look at everything at once. There is no need to panic. Start with the most critical issues, such as dental hygiene, vitamin deficiencies and anything else that might elicit the aid of professional medical personnel.
Next, start with the things that are easy to change or areas where you would like to see improvement sooner rather than later. Start cooking meals ahead of time. This allows you to control what you eat and eliminates unnecessary ingredients like salt and preservatives. You may discover you find cooking to be fun and fulfilling.
If cooking isn’t your thing, try adding exercise. Many people who have never been big into exercise have an automatic aversion to the suggestion. However, exercise doesn’t mean running laps; it can be swimming, taking a long walk in the morning or night, yoga or bike riding. Whatever your interests, there is a form of exercise that will work for you.
In addition to providing your body with good nutrients and stimulation, such things as exercise, diet, sleep, meditation and relaxation techniques may introduce you to something you truly enjoy doing. These things, or some variation of them, may turn into hobbies or passions that help your body, mind and spirit heal from the trauma and abuse of addiction.