Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious problem that requires treatment to overcome. By learning the facts about addiction and treatment options, it is easier to understand the role of nutrition and exercise in fighting the dependence on drugs or alcohol.
Addiction treatment is constantly changing as new information comes out about ways to improve the rate of success, which includes holistic measures like nutrition therapy. Addiction Facts The statistical information about addiction is often surprising, particularly when it relates to children and young adults. As many as one in nine youths are abusing prescription medications, which are showing a growth in drug abuse. Beyond the facts about increasing rates of prescription drug abuse, around 22.6 million Americans are using illicit drugs. That high number accounts for almost 9 percent of the population, which is a very high rate of illegal drug use.
The most commonly abused substances are marijuana and alcohol. While alcohol is a legal substance for adults, as many as 10 million children between ages 12 and 20 have admitted to heavy drinking or binge drinking. The disturbing fact about addiction is that it remains a major problem even after years of programs designed to prevent or fight the development of drug abuse. When the use of substances develops into physical and mental dependence, it is time to seek treatment and a solution.
Treatment Options While the facts about drug and alcohol abuse are disturbing, treatment options are available. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs are available and offer a wide range of treatment solutions based on the individual and the causes of drug usage. Programs include in-patient treatment, out-patient treatment, 12-step programs and individual counseling services. Regardless of the selected program, the treatment includes counseling, group therapy and family therapy to provide the appropriate support individuals need to move past the addiction.
In many programs, treatment will also include nutrition therapy, exercise programs and activities that can help improve physical health, reduce the withdrawal symptoms and provide a distraction from the temptation to use the substance. Nutrition in Treatment Nutrition plays a key role in addiction recovery because it helps rebalance and heal the body after the damage caused by drug or alcohol abuse. Depending on the particular substance, the use of nutrition therapy will vary.
Nutrition is an excellent way to heal the damage of alcohol and drug addiction. To begin the process, eliminate foods that can cause a change in mood such as sugar and caffeine. Next, flood the body with clean, pure water to fully hydrate the system. Then, travel to a local Farmer’s Market or a health food store and buy many brightly colored fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes, eggs, lean proteins, and assorted dairy items. Include sea vegetables in the diet for high iron count and seafood for high levels of zinc. The focus needs to be to replenish the vitamins and minerals that have been lost to the abuses of alcohol and drugs.
Be sure to pay close attention to the care of the liver. The liver remains highly taxed after abuse of alcohol and drugs because it serves as the body’s filter for contaminants. Garlic, grapefruit, leafy green vegetables, lemons, limes, cabbage, and broccoli work to detoxify the liver. Spices such as turmeric and herbs such as milk thistle seed are essential to restoring liver health.
Fill your grocery cart with these nutritional foods, herbs, and spices to begin the path to recovery. In some substances, a diet that is high in fiber and whole grains is recommended because it reduces the withdrawal symptoms and makes it a little easier to handle during initial detoxification and treatment. This is particularly useful when treating addictions to prescription opiates. Other substances will require the addiction of particular nutrients, such as calcium and iron. The nutrients are necessary because the substance has reduced the rate of absorption and flushed out the nutrient during abuse. Alcohol addiction will require the addition of calcium, thiamine, B vitamins and folic acid.
Nutrition and exercise are vital for good overall health, but also play a role in addiction recovery. Programs to fight addiction include nutrition therapy because it can help the body heal and avoid some complications related to withdrawal symptoms. References: University of Maryland Medical Center http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/002149.htm National Institute on Drug Abuse http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics Michael’s House http://www.michaelshouse.com/drug-addiction/drug-addiction-statistics/ – Alex Kerwin works closely with Treatment Centers to help raise awareness of the dangers of addiction. He has helped many Americans battle addiction and strives to provide treatment options for those in need.