-By A. Scott Roberts
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling, Addiction Specialist
Onlookers may only see the addict’s behavior, while researchers examine what is going on inside the brain. Researchers know that the addicted brain has malfunctioning and depleted neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the basis of how we think, act and behave. Once corrected, addicts will think, act and behave differently.
Dr Charles Grant, physician and psychiatric consultant stated, “unless the biochemical imbalances which are the true causes of substance problems are corrected, the benefits of psychological counseling will be marginal for most people.”1
The first step in addiction treatment is to restore the brain and body through proper nutrients to help correct the biochemcial imbalances in the brain and body. This will result in less withdrawal symptoms and deceased cravings and urges.
According to one researcher, addicts that used nutrients during their recovery showed a 92 percent success rate.2 Addicts in recovery often crave another drug: sugar. Sugar boosts dopamine in the brain (as well as causes dramatic blood-glucose levels to fluctuate).3
Most addicts eat very poorly because their brain has been switched to desire highly processed and refined sugars and may actually put them at greater risk for relapse.5 But addicts that replaced highly processed and refined sugars with key nutrients, recovered more quickly, had fewer withdrawal symptoms and were able to manage their addiction long-term.”6
If you missed it, I explained why nutrients is vitally important in the video (click to watch).
(Video will open up in a larger window for better viewing)
Cigarettes, coffee or snack foods and sweets are often overlooked as addictive substances.
All addictions are chemically-based in the brain, it doesn’t really matter what the addiction is. Restoring the brain through proper nutrition is vitally important in addiction recovery.
-A. Scott Roberts
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling
1. Gant, Charles, M.D., Ph.D. and Greg Lewis, Ph.D. End Your Addiction Now. (NY, NY: Warner Books, Inc.), 2002
2. Potatoes Not Prozac (1998) by Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD, (NY, NY: Warner Books, Inc.), 2002.
3. Grant L.P., et al. “Nutrition Education is Positively Associated with Substance Abuse Treatment Program Outcomes.”Journal of the American Dietetic Association; 104(4):604-10. April 2004.
4. Milam, James R. Ph.D. and Katherine Ketcham. Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism, 2nd edition. (Bantam Books), 1983.
5. Grant L.P., et al. “Nutrition Education is Positively Associated with Substance Abuse Treatment Program Outcomes.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association; 104(4):604-10. April 2004.
6. Feinman, L. “Absorption and Utilization of Nutrients in Alcoholism.” Alcohol Health & Research World; 13(3):207-210. 1989 as cited in Public Health Service, Institute of Health