food choices

Recovering from substance abuse and addiction requires that an individual address the many causes and effects of substance abuse and restructure their life environments, patterns and routines so that substance abuse does not occur again in their future. This can include learning how to communicate well with others and how to handle problems and difficulties in life, and it definitely includes restoring the health of one’s body.

How Substance Abuse Harms The Body

Drug substances, including alcohol, tobacco products, prescription medications and illicit drugs, produce effects in the human body by interacting with, interfering with or altering the basic functions of the brain, central nervous system and body organs and systems. By understanding the fact that drugs do not handle the problems for which they are taken, and only serve to temporarily suppress or numb unwanted sensations and heighten desirable sensations, and individual can better understand how this can be wearing on the body.

Initially, an individual has a specific reason for taking drugs or alcohol – it could be to deal with physical or emotional pain or a stressful situation. The individual chooses to take the drug in order to suppress these undesirable sensations and heighten desirable ones. Since drug use appears to handle the situation, even though only temporarily, the individual feels that continuing their drug use is a good solution for handling a continuing problem. Eventually, they may forget entirely about the problem they were trying to handle, and focus only on experiencing the relief and desirable effects provided by the drug.

Unfortunately, the human body can learn to tolerate drug substances, at which point the individual no longer experiences the same relief or desirable effects he once did. Most individuals solve this by taking greater quantities of the drug, and eventually find that they are dependent upon the drug, unable to do anything except think about obtaining and using more of the drug. Such an individual has absolutely no care or concern for their nutrition or diet habits, and can adhere to a terrible diet or eat practically nothing at all.

There is no doubt that a substance abuser’s body is in a state of very poor physical health as a result of drug use, and that full recovery requires addressing and handling this major problem. Proper nutrition can greatly help an individual through recovery, and certain foods and drinks can greatly impede an individual’s progress through recovery.

Foods and Drinks That Are Bad For Recovery

Depending on the recovering individual’s drug substance of choice, their physical health problems could be undereating, overeating, eating excessive amounts of fats or sweets, or any combination of the above. While allowing for the fact that each recovering individual may need their own specific diet plan, here are some foods and drinks everyone should stay away from during recovery:

● Foods that are high in fat. When attempting to rebuild the physical health of a body that has been inundated with drug substances, one must recognize that everything that goes into the body needs to have a helpful purpose. Foods that are high in fat are not going to assist the healing process.

● Foods that are low on protein. Protein is important brain food that a recovering individual must have while they work through recovery. It can help the body heal more quickly and comfortably as well.

● Foods that are simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates, like sweets and sugary foods, provide little nutritional value and energy, which is exactly what a recovering substance abuser needs most.

● Drinks that have an alcohol content in them. Even if the individual is recovering from methamphetamine use and never abused alcohol, they need to stay away from this drug substance. It too works by suppressing sensations, which will not allow the individual to effectively and fully recover.

● Drinks that have a caffeine content in them. Caffeine is stimulating, and is again a drug substance that affects the body. Individuals who are recovering from substance abuse need to avoid all drug substances entirely.

Some individuals who are working through recovery feel that they are having overpowering drug cravings, when actually they are experiencing hunger. They may have lost their appetite and their ability to tell when they are hungry, and need help to remember that good nutrition and physical exercise can greatly aid them in restoring a normal, healthy physical balance.

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