-By A. Scott Roberts
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling, Addiction Specialist
The unfortunate thing about common addiction recovery programs is the lack of key evidence-based practices. But it's not necessarily their fault, people often do not know about the research behind simple practices that dramatically boost results. The most popular treatment options are “acute” and requires an addict to spend a few days or weeks in a facility.
Acute methods seldom produce long-term success.
In one commonly cited study, addicts were followed for years after using traditional acute addiction treatments, only 5 percent abstained.1
As mentioned in other articles, nutrition is one of these key components and is backed by many lines of research. Key nutrients are important because it can restore and re-balance those neurotransmitters in the brain that are thrown off by addiction. This is because neurotransmitters are synthesized by nutrition. When neurotransmitters are “out of whack” it causes mixed signals that are manifested as cravings and urges.
Researchers have examined the effect nutrition has on animals. In one study, researchers placed animals in a cage and they were given the option of choosing a bowl of water or a bowl of alcohol to drink from. When the animals were healthy, they didn’t touch the alcohol, but when they had a nutritional deficiency, the animals chose alcohol over the water every single time.
This is because when brain chemicals are malfunctioning we desire substances that quickly make us feel better, even if only temporarily. When researchers restored the nutrients back to the animals, the animals avoided the alcohol completely. Researchers were able to shift the consumption of alcohol over the water by the deliberate increase or decrease of certain nutrients in the animal’s diet. These tests were repeated several times and revealed the same results.2
This study was mentioned here in the video presentation if you missed it.
The lesser-known recovery programs that include nutrition have been found to have HUGE success. In fact, recovery programs that integrate certain nutrients in an addicts diet show a 92% success rate.3 Compare that to to 5-15% success rates of common 12-Step programs. Many doctors and researchers have noted that an addict’s recovery is enhanced when using good/proper nutrition.
Some research also indicates that addictions are harder to manage when you are eating “junk food”5 and may actually put yourself at greater risk for relapse.3 Most addicts eat very poorly because their brain has been switched to desire highly processed and refined sugars because of the repeated chemical over-stimulation the addict's brain experiences.
Adding foods high in essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids has shown to improve recovery.6 The Truth Of Addiction Program shows you why they work and what the best sources are for these key nutrients. Proper foods not only correct biochemical imbalances, but improve mood and increase sustained energy throughout the day.