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Opioid Addiction Recovery and Nutrition: Improved Health, Social Functioning, and More


Helathy eating

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), an estimated 23% of heroin users develop opioid addiction, which affects nerve cells in the brain and central nervous system to produce feelings of happiness and relaxation along with reducing pain. Many Americans suffer from chronic pain associated with injuries, medical conditions such as diseases, car accidents and more – pain in the back, neck, arms, legs, and more can greatly affect a person’s daily life, making some functions nearly impossible to pursue. If you’ve been struggling with opioid addiction, you may consider your recovery to be primarily focused on detoxification and therapy – there’s much more to this, however.

Nutrition is crucial for any type of addiction or mental illness recovery, as the body is often deficient in several nutrients – which could greatly be contributing to the pain you are experiencing. For example, previous research has shown that eating a lot of sugary foods can trigger the release of neurotransmitters that can make your body particularly sensitive – meaning you are much more likely to feel little pricks or feelings of numbness than you would if you cut back. Additionally, caffeine and carbs can directly affect metabolism, which could develop into a serious health issue later on.

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy sought to explore the ways in which nutritional therapy assisted those with opioid addiction. Ten participants were in the study, with another 10 participants serving as a comparison group. Nutrition interventions were conducted amongst one group, with nutrition therapists assessing the current needs of each participant and guiding them towards a healthy diet with healthy eating behaviors. Those with opioid addiction often experience organ damage, hormone imbalance, cancer, decreased pain tolerance, depression, anxiety, mood swings and more; proper nutrition can help alleviate some of these symptoms, thus working to restore a person’s health. Results from the study found that the group who engaged in nutrition therapy not only experienced an increase in their nutritional levels, but also experienced improved social functioning and quality of life compared to the group that did not receive nutrition therapy.

Make nutrition a crucial part of your journey to recovery. Speak with a nutrition therapist today.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.