Nutrition in Addiction Recovery Study
In May of 2010, Many Hands Sustainability Center prepared a paper on Nutrition in Addiction Recovery as a part of it’s Nutritional Education and Job-Training Program. This program offered former prisoners recovering from drug and alcohol addiction an opportunity to develop job skills, learn about all aspects of organic farming, and become educated about proper nutrition and healthier lifestyle choices. This paper was written by Rebecca Place Miller, Science Writer.
This document has been prepared to educate people about how drugs and alcohol can disrupt the normal functioning of the body and how better nutrition can help diminish some of these biochemical and digestive problems. This document only focuses on one specific component of a comprehensive recovery treatment program—better nutrition. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for a doctor’s advice or as a recovery treatment program.
While research indicates that vitamin supplementation (e.g., amino acids, vitamins) may also be used successfully to support addiction recovery efforts, especially at the start of a recovery program when biochemical imbalances are at their highest, this document primarily focuses on how to get the proper nutrients from food. Although the information contained herein was specifically compiled to help recovering drug and alcohol addicts, it may be useful to a wide range of people who work or live with recovering addicts or for people who consume a “typical American diet” heavy in carbohydrates, sugar, and caffeine.
“Although we all eat, few really think about what we are eating and what it can do to our bodies. We rely on very incomplete, simplistic, and often incorrect bits of nutritional “knowledge” in making our food choices, and we expect our bodies to cope with whatever we give them. In recovery, this kind of behavior simply doesn’t cut it” (Beasley and Knightly, 1994).
Numerous resources relating to nutrition and addiction were consulted in the creation of this document, many of which are listed in the Section VII. List of Resources at the end of it.