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    • 07 JAN 15
    The Role Healthy Nutrition Plays in Healing from Addiction

    The Role Healthy Nutrition Plays in Healing from Addiction

    A drug addiction doesn’t just affect the person who is addicted. It puts pressure on that person’s family, friends, coworkers, and even their community. For those who don’t have firsthand knowledge, it is hard to understand why a person cannot simply stop using that drug, especially when they know that their addiction is harmful to themselves and those around them. But drug addiction recovery is far from simple, and it requires finding a drug addiction treatment program that goes beyond addiction counseling, and will support the patient as a whole person.

    There are several different types of Georgia drug treatment centers that offer different focuses, but only a select few that treat the person as a whole. Often, inpatient drug rehab centers in Georgia are the first to come to mind, once medical treatment has been administered. One important thing that can help increase the rate of success is incorporating good nutrition into that person’s diet.

    For some people, giving up common addictions, such as drugs or alcohol puts them in the mindset that they should be allowed to “reward” themselves in other ways, and eating “junk food” is often the reward of choice. But choosing the “lesser of the evils” doesn’t do them any good. In fact, it can reinforce the addictive behavior that they are trying to escape from. In many cases, it is only a matter of time before that person goes back to their drug of choice. Many rehab facilities in Georgia neglect to give nutrition the attention it deserves as part of their program.

    Why Nutrition is Especially Important for Those Struggling with Addiction
    Different drugs affect nutrition differently, and never in a positive way. If alcohol is the problem, the nutrients that are entering the body are not being broken down correctly, leaving heavy drinkers with nutritional deficiencies. Alcohol consumption also adds a lot of empty calories. Those who are conscious of their weight often make up for the calories in alcohol by not eating, or eating very little. In some cases, alcohol may account for half of a person’s caloric intake.

    Other drugs take a toll on nutritional health as well. Opiates such as heroine, morphine and codeine wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal system. Going through a withdrawal of these types of drugs can be especially difficult, bringing on severe diarrhea or vomiting, furthering nutrient depletion.

    Regardless of which substance or substances are the sources of addiction, it is common for addicts to enter Georgia rehabilitation centers with a very poor nutritional baseline. It is important for rehabilitation centers in Georgia to stay aware of this, and make proper nutrition a significant component of their treatment program.

    Good Nutrition is Good For Everyone
    When you eat better, you feel better. By consuming the right nutrients in sufficient amounts you soon find that you have more energy, and it is easier to fight off disease due to a strengthened immune system. Addictive substances damage vital organs such as the heart or liver, and eating well can fast forward the healing process by repairing and even rebuilding organ tissue.

    What you eat not only affects you physically, but it plays an important role in your mental and emotional health as well. By changing your diet to become more nutritionally sound the chemical and physiological structure of your brain can actually improve. Some foods even help the brain manufacture serotonin, which is key to enhancing mood. Read more here, written by Dr. Blum of Malibu Beach Recovery Centers.

    Conversely, junk food is detrimental to a person’s mood. Ironically, junk food is often referred to as “comfort food” but a 2012 study in the journal of Public Health and Nutrition showed that those who ate junk food were far more likely to experience signs of depression. Consuming junk food can also affect memory and concentration, and lead to general lethargy and fatigue. These are all feelings that can increase an addict to return to their addiction in an attempt to remedy these feelings. The more a person is able to stay away from these foods, the better their chances of remaining sober or drug-free.

    Nutrition is just one of the areas where RiverMend Health Centers (formerly Georgia Detox and Recovery Centers) offers support for those who are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Rather than only offering an inpatient program that is over after a set amount of time, we offer both an intensive outpatient program and a partial hospitalization program. We are able to take on addiction treatment from a variety of angles. Our affiliation with the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University helps us handle situations ranging from detoxification to helping with the recovery of pain medication abuse. Addiction affects every client differently, and our methods are tailored to the individual and their needs, rather than trying to get patients to fit into a “one size fits all” program. At both our Atlanta and Augusta,  offices we offer innovative treatment options led by renowned experts in addiction medicine. Contact us to find out how we can help.