Substance abuse takes a toll on people’s physical and mental health, inflicting multifaceted damage on organs and tissues. Maintaining a drug habit can be costly in more ways than one, including the loss of your health and well-being.
When you finally decide to start recovery, you may be surprised to learn that nutrition counseling plays a central role in the process. The reasons for this are twofold: Most people who enroll in treatment are malnourished, and the foods you eat can help your body heal.
Addiction and Malnutrition
Long-term drug use causes malnutrition by preventing your body from absorbing essential nutrients from the foods you eat. Also, when using drugs takes precedence in your life, your other priorities and responsibilities will start to fall by the wayside. For instance, if you lose your job due to your drug habit, you may experience food insecurity, which will limit your access to healthy foods.
When taking drugs, you might skip meals, and the food choices you make will likely be unhealthy, consisting primarily of processed foods instead of fresh fruits and vegetables. Opioids like heroin can cause constipation, weight loss, digestive issues, and metabolic changes.
Drug abuse also increases your body’s dopamine levels, which can suppress your appetite and cause a diminished interest in food. Without your body sending you the appropriate signals, you might forget to eat. As a result, you will probably develop other severe health issues alongside the disease of addiction.
The Consequences of Malnutrition
Malnourished people usually have nutrient deficiencies that affect their bodies in various ways. For example, a vitamin D deficiency can cause mood disorders, while an iron deficiency can make people anemic and lead to impaired brain function. The long-term effects of malnutrition include a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
You can start reversing some of the effects of undernourishment by eating a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. However, after years of heroin abuse, you will likely lack the resources to solve your nutritional issues alone. That’s why it’s essential to find a heroin addiction treatment program that emphasizes the importance of eating healthy foods in recovery.
Nutrition’s Role in Substance Abuse Treatment
At The Last Resort, we believe food choices play a critical role in our clients’ overall wellness plan. Nutritional issues caused by years of substance misuse can be complex, but eating a diet built on 45% carbs, 30% fat, and 25% protein will give you the best chance of making a complete recovery.
Nutrition counseling at TLR helps our clients manage drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms during medical detox, ensuring you are stable enough to move through the next stages of your treatment plan. While you are learning about the value of a balanced diet, we will also teach you how to prepare meals that adhere to our proven dietary guidelines. Along the way, you will discover new, healthy foods you love to eat and cook, while gaining a hobby you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
At The Last Resort, we provide comprehensive addiction treatment for men that will give you the support you need in the vulnerable early days of treatment and beyond. To learn more about the rehab experience we offer, including our nutrition counseling program, connect with us today.