By the time someone has developed a drug dependency to the point that they start considering treatment, their systems are out of whack in a number of ways, and a coordinated effort to realign brain function and metabolic function is necessary in order to establish a foundation for recovery. An appropriate diet during drug detox is critical.
As addicts give more and more priority to feeding their addiction, they give correspondingly less priority to life basics like showing up for work, grooming, and physical care. Nutrition often takes a back seat to convenience. Studies indicate that a malnourished body is more sensitive to drug cravings and to the negative effects of withdrawal, thus making the detox experience more difficult to endure.
Well-balanced meals, with regular scheduling, and nutritional supplements are recommended for any drug detox regimen. Properly nourished, the newly recovering addict is more likely to tolerate the ordeal presented by withdrawal symptoms, increasing his or her odds of completing treatment.
A good drug detox diet will include foods rich in protein, essential vitamins, and fatty acids, as well as complex carbohydrates and fresh vegetables. Although sugar cravings are common during the detox phase, experience clearly indicates that yielding to the desire to consume sugar (and caffeine) is counterproductive in the pursuit of early recovery. Part of this is because addicts by their very nature are not good at moderation, and sugar and caffeine in excess are disruptive to healthy brain function.
Also critical during detox is ample intake of fluids. Opiate withdrawals are known to cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, among other highly unpleasant effects, and loss of body fluids results. Although drug detox at home is not recommended, if it is attempted, hydration is critical, and Gatorade—despite its sugar content—might be a useful way to maintain body fluids and electrolytes.
Again, adhering to a planned and healthy drug detox diet significantly improves the odds of safely and effectively surviving the ordeal of withdrawal. Furthermore, it can help establish nutritional habits that will promote the kind of wellbeing that makes recovery feel worthwhile and worth maintaining.
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