Fruits and Vegetables
Drug Addiction

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How Food is Used to Treat Addiction

Diet and nutrition are important components during various stages of treatment (detox, recovery, post-recovery, etc.) for drug and alcohol addiction. Because side effects and withdrawal symptoms — which can be affected by certain foods — vary from substance to substance, diets change during each phase of professional treatment. The following are three examples of addictions that incorporate specific foods during treatment:

  • Heroin addiction: Individuals who are addicted to heroin or other opiates benefit from fiber-rich, organic fruits and vegetables as well as animal products. These foods help reduce the amount of toxicity that the liver must process.
  • Alcohol addiction: Heavy alcohol use can cause nutritional deficiencies, especially in Vitamin B1, B6 and folic acid, which can cause anemia and problems with the nervous system. Therefore, a diet for someone being treated for alcoholism will likely contain more foods with these nutrients than a diet for another disorder.
  • Meth addiction: Meth can take a toll on the mind and body, resulting in nutritional deficiencies, malnutrition, and dehydration which can cause liver damage. As a result, monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids (found in grains, oily fish, fat-free dairy products and nuts) are common ingredients used in diets during treatment to detox the liver, improve brain functions and repair damaged tissue.
Supplemental Wellness Strategies

Trying to balance a healthy diet and exercise for optimum mental health can be challenging at times, especially if you’re not used to eating healthy or exercising. The recovery process can also make it challenging. But it’s not impossible, and careful wellness planning and maintenance can make the process easier. Consider the following wellness strategies to improve and maintain your mind and body while combining diet and exercise:

Find a support network: This can include sober friends, support groups and family members. Having a support network can not only keep you mentally healthy and sober; it can create a sense of belonging as well.

Stay positive: To stay positive, you have to first choose to be positive. If you struggle with negative thoughts, which then become your words, change your thinking. Be positive in the words you speak to yourself and others.

Lend a helping hand: Volunteering at an animal shelter, hospital or any other place can give you a sense of purpose. If you’re in recovery from alcoholism, attending an AA meeting with the purpose of helping others struggling with alcohol can also be rewarding.

Get help when you need it: If you’re struggling with a weight, mental health, general health or substance use issue, don’t be afraid to seek or ask for help. There are thousands of resources available all over the country to help you with whatever you’re struggling with.

Get plenty of rest: Getting enough sleep every night is important for your mind and your body. Some benefits include improved memory, reduced fatigue, sharpened attention, healthy weight and reduced stress.

Join a hobby group: Whether you like sports, art or something else, there’s a group for you. Check out to find activities that interest you. There are thousands of groups all over the country centered around different hobbies, ranging from sports to writing to painting. By attending a group, you can make friends while doing something you enjoy.

Combining effective wellness strategies with exercise and a balanced diet can create the perfect concoction for a healthy life.

Copyright 2019 by City of Tyler