Contributor: The Refuge – A Healing Pace’s clinical team member Heather Wilk, MA, NCC
Individuals who put forth the effort to live a healthy lifestyle are often of the belief that good health involves eating well, exercising, and abstaining from substances or other lifestyle choices that are widely known to be harmful to the body. Living this type of lifestyle may mean restricting the frequency of indulging in unhealthy foods, setting time aside to engage in physical activity, wearing sunscreen to avoid the harm caused by the sun, or refraining from drugs and/or alcohol.
How Recovery Motivates People to Get Healthy
And while those who partake in this lifestyle do so in order to live a life free from health complications or minimizing the risk for certain health concerns, it does not mean that others who do not regularly go the distance to live in a healthy manner do not share the same ambition at some point in life.
One population that often desires to live a healthier lifestyle are those who are going through the process of recovering from an addiction.
Learning and Refining Healthy Lifestyles in Recovery
Individuals who are recovering from addiction or those who are working to remain sober partake in a variety of therapeutic interventions to help them learn and refine the skills needed to remain substance-free. In addition to the number of therapies and/or support groups, these people engage in, learning how to live a healthy lifestyle with regards to good nutrition is also an important piece of living a healthy recovery life.
When a person develops an addiction to substances, that person’s drug of choice oftentimes becomes the center of his or her universe, and falling to the bottom of the totem pole of priorities for that individual is often good nutrition. Therefore, when an individual makes the choice to become sober, the process of adjusting to a life without substances is frequently coupled with learning how to consume the foods needed to sustain a healthy life.
How Drugs and Alcohol Rob People of Nutrition
The abuse of drugs and alcohol are known to rob a person of many elements of life that others without chemical dependency concerns may take for granted. One of these things is the ability to make good food and drink choices.
Individual not under the influence of drugs often realize the importance of getting an adequate amount of nutrients and vitamins that aid in the healthy function of one’s organs and other bodily functions. When non-substance using people do not get the nutrients they need via their food and drink, consuming vitamins is a great way to supplement the nutrition that is lacking.
Addicts in recovery can also benefit from taking vitamins when trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle, as vitamins can replenish nutritional needs not being met by the foods eaten and drinks ingested.
Multivitamins and Other Supplements in Recovery
Many nutrition experts recommend a daily multivitamin to help meet the body’s nutritional needs. For those in recovery, additional vitamin supplements may be helpful as the regular abuse of certain substances can help repair the damage done by the presence of drugs and/or alcohol.
In fact, certain vitamins, such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, can assist in helping a person’s brain functioning and other vital organs in the body. And while the benefits of incorporating vitamin supplements poses many advantages for those in the recovery process, medical professionals recommend that an individual consult with his or her healthcare provider before beginning a vitamin regimen.
Talking with one’s doctor about the risks and benefits of consuming vitamins can assist a person in discovering the best methods for living a healthy and nutritious lifestyle.
Eating Healthy Meals
Another important part, of incorporating vitamins into one’s diet that is good to know is that the consumption of vitamin supplements should supplement missing nutrients and not serve as the only way to get the nutrition one needs.
Eating meals that are well-balanced, rich in low-fat proteins, fruits, vegetables, and good carbohydrates is the best way to give one’s body the fuel it needs to live. Additionally, those who are seeking to recover from a substance abuse problem should consider a treatment option that includes nutrition education in order to learn what makes for healthy food choices and what vitamin can be most helpful in the recovery process.
Consulting with a Doctor on Nutrition
With regards to individuals who have already gone through treatment, there is much to be gained by consulting with one’s doctor, a dietitian, or other nutrition expert to learn the many ways in which a person can help him or herself in getting the nutrients and vitamins needed to further enhance the recovery process.
Effective chemical dependency treatment in conjunction with good nutrition can ultimately set the stage for lasting recovery and sobriety.
About the Author:
This blog was written by The Refuge – A Healing Pace’s clinical team member Heather Wilk, MA, NCC. Heather has several years of experience working in the field of mental health as a psychotherapist and has her Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Concordia University – Chicago.
With an awareness that addiction and trauma are closely linked, The Refuge – A Healing Place offers superior care for those who wish to recover from chemical dependency concerns and overcome trauma from the past.
The approach to treatment featured at this exemplary center is holistic in nature, with care focused on healing the whole person and not just the strife occurring in that individual’s life. The staff of caring professionals employed at The Refuge are expertly-trained to care for every need of every client who receives these beneficial and life-changing services.
At The Refuge, true healing and lasting recovery are achieved because of the attention paid to each person’s mind, body, and spirit.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from multiple physical, emotional, environmental, and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Published on February 28, 2015
Reviewed and Updated by Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 11, 2021
Published on AddictionHope.com