Diet and Substance Abuse Recovery

Use of drugs damages the body in two ways:

  • The body is affected by the drug itself
  • It results in detrimental lifestyle changes like erratic eating and a bad diet

The healing process can be aided by good nutrition. They give the body the building blocks it needs to develop, sustain, and fight against illness. Rehabilitation from substance abuse has a variety of effects on the body, including how it processes energy, how its organs work, and how it influences mental health.

Alcohol and opioids

Opiates and opioids (including codeine, oxycodone, heroin, and morphine) impact the gastrointestinal system. The following signs and symptoms of withdrawal are frequent:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and diarrhea

These signs could indicate a deficiency in essential nutrients and an electrolyte imbalance (such as sodium, potassium, and chloride). Consuming balanced meals may lessen the severity of these symptoms though eating can be difficult, due to nausea. It is advised to eat a diet high in fiber and complex carbs including whole grains, veggies, peas, and beans.


One of the main factors contributing to nutritional deficiencies in the US is alcohol use. The B vitamins like B1, B6, and folic acid are the most frequently deficient. Anemia and issues with the nervous system are brought on by a shortage of these nutrients.

The liver and pancreas, two important organs involved in metabolism and nourishment, are also harmed by alcohol consumption. An unbalanced intake of fluids, calories, protein, and electrolytes comes from damage to these two organs. Other issues include:

  • Diabetes
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Irreversible liver damage or cirrhosis
  • Seizures
  • Extreme undernutrition
  • Reduction in life expectancy

A pregnant woman’s bad diet, particularly if she consumes alcohol, can be detrimental to the baby’s growth and development within the womb. Physical and mental issues are frequently seen in newborns who were exposed to alcohol while still in the womb. The newborn may have withdrawal symptoms like symptoms of alcohol withdrawal after birth.