Nutrition and Addiction – Behavioral Rehabilitation Services
Something which is of utmost importance, yet too often neglected in rehab facilities is nutrition and addiction treatment. Behavioral Rehabilitation Services’ addiction treatment program incorporates a whole-person wellness model, which seeks to heal the mind, body, and spirit from the damage caused by addiction. In order to accomplish this, we’ve developed a nutritional program to supplement our main treatment programs.
At BRS, our comprehensive Nutrition Program includes:
Substance abuse, whether long-term or short-term, has lasting negative impacts on your physical and mental health. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug abuse has been shown to alter brain circuitry and gene expression, which has direct consequences on human behavior and decision-making. These changes in the brain interfere with an individual’s ability to make decisions, which allows the cycle of addiction to continue.
Additional health consequences of substance abuse include:
Cardiovascular diseases (like heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure)
In addition to the bodily damage directly caused by substance abuse, malnutrition is also a concern for those struggling with addiction. Oftentimes, individuals in the throes of addiction neglect to take care of themselves, spending most of their time and energy on sustaining their substance abuse. As such, proper nutrition is not usually a priority when drugs are involved, and many addicts suffer from key nutritional deficits.
Addiction holds an individual’s mental and physical health hostage, and the cycle of abuse further compounds the addiction and health consequences. Nutrition and addiction are two words which are not usually mentioned together.
How We Help with Nutrition and Addiction
At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, we provide clients with the time, space, and resources that their bodies need in order to heal from the damage caused by their substance abuse. Nutrition and addiction treatment measures are taken seriously at our rehabilitation facility.
Through our extensive treatment experience and research, we’ve uncovered the value in a healthy approach to addiction rehabilitation. Rather than replacing our clients’ addictions with another chemical substance, we equip them with the tools they need to achieve a natural recovery, free from any unnecessary chemical substances. Other addiction treatment centers fail to recognize the importance of natural healing and choose to continue prescribing their clients medications that are easily replaced with nutritional supplements and healthy treatment methods. At BRS, we actively choose to provide our clients with only the best nutrition and addiction treatment options available.
Our nutritional program helps clients feel both physically and mentally better. When clients feel better, the pull of addiction weakens, and a sustainable, long-term recovery becomes possible. There are many benefits of proper nutrition and addiction treatment which counteract the negative effects of substance abuse,including:
Increases energy, builds and repairs organ tissues, and strengthens the immune system.
Our treatment professionals work with clients in identifying their unique nutritional needs and deficits. We then devise an individualized dietary and nutrition and addiction treatment plan that seeks to correct any deficit. Our chef and dietitian continue to work with clients throughout their stay, and constantly reassess clients’ nutritional and dietary needs. Through this process, our clients learn how to make healthy choices that promote whole-person wellness and recovery. Once clients are invested in their health and well-being, they can achieve a successful recovery and choose to abstain from alcohol and drugs. Our nutritional counseling program ensures clients are equipped with the knowledge, resources, and skills they need to make healthy decisions well beyond their time at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.
Nutrition and Addiction Treatment Methods
There are countless ways to promote health and well-being through nutrition. In healing from addiction, nutrition becomes even more important to one’s overall health. We incorporate nutrition into our addiction treatment program by:
Emphasizing the importance of a well-balanced diet that includes daily consumption of raw fruits and vegetables. According to the USDA, vegetables are an important source of many key nutrients. Each of these nutrients is vital to a more natural recovery from addiction and substance abuse. (https://www.choosemyplate.gov/vegetables-nutrients-health)
Restoring the biochemical balance of the brain from the damage caused by substance abuse through identifying and remedying nutritional deficits in clients.
Employing a private chef who hand-crafts well-balanced, nutritious meals. Our chef works hard to provide meals that help clients heal from their addictions. Our meals are intentionally rich in nutritional value to make up for the malnutrition and damage caused by substance abuse.
Encouraging clients to stick to a regular mealtime and sleep schedule. Daily routines and consistency are important components to a more natural recovery from addiction.
Teaching clients to listen to their bodies, especially when drug or alcohol cravings arise. Our addiction specialists help clients identify their bodies’ needs. If a drug craving hits, it’s important for clients to take a step back and assess their body’s condition – do they need food? water? sleep? When the body is well-nourished, well-rested, and well-hydrated, and the mind is free from substances, the temptation of addiction weakens and the ability to make healthy choices strengthens.
Discouraging overeating. Oftentimes, clients arrive for addiction rehabilitation treatment expecting to indulge in whatever makes them feel better as long as it isn’t drugs or alcohol. It is also common for individuals to overeat when in recovery, especially for those who are recovering from stimulant abuse. Overeating, like addiction, causes nutritional imbalances and health complications. Our holistic model of addiction treatment recognizes the importance of a well-balanced diet, not an overindulgent one.
Advising against the consumption of caffeine and other substances in clients’ daily diets. At BRS, we promote a natural recovery free from mind-altering substances. Our nutritional program discourages the consumption of substances, like caffeine, that can negatively impact our clients’ recovery processes.
Customized Nutrition Treatment for Specific Addictions
We customize our nutritional treatment plans to fit the needs of each client. Depending upon an individual’s drug of choice, nutritional treatment needs and methods will vary. Our model of addiction treatment recognizes that each client is affected differently by drugs, and how clients are affected largely depends upon the types of substances they were abusing.
Opiates: individuals who abuse opiates often struggle with gastrointestinal health complications, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. This may lead to nutritional deficits and electrolyte imbalance (chloride, sodium, potassium). To correct this, our addiction specialists work with clients to create a nutritional regimen that targets any imbalances. Our chef prepares meals high in fiber with healthy amounts of complex carbohydrates in order to restore nutritional balance in clients who abused opiates.
Alcohol: The most common nutritional deficits in clients who abuse alcohol are vitamin B deficiencies. This can cause severe health complications, including neurological problems and anemia. We provide a nutritional treatment plan that includes vitamin B supplements for clients who abuse alcohol.
Stimulants: For clients who abuse stimulants, dehydration and malnutrition are serious concerns. Because stimulants reduce appetite, individuals who abuse them often go for lengthy periods of time without eating or sleeping. In order to restore balance to their electrolytes, hydration, and overall nutrient levels, we work with clients to return them to a well-balanced diet.