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Understanding and treating addiction requires an understanding of what cravings are and how they work. Helping someone overcome and recovery from addiction is not about helping them stop using. I believe it is important to help our clients understand the difference between wants, desires, and cravings. This is a great article addressing this issue.
12 Steps; support groups; counseling; do-this-not-that…all this is important during substance abuse recovery but, what about a good nutrition?
Have you noticed that most people get angry, moody, or depressed when they are hungry and don’t eat for several hours? This is a natural response when our body is being deprived from the nutrients it needs. A good nutrition is especially important during recovery from substance abuse. Feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, and hunger can be triggers for a potential relapse. We don’t think about it this way but when we are hungry our body is needing something, is asking for something. Many times people get rid of these sensations by using alcohol or drugs, so they don’t have to feel hungry anymore. During recovery, the body continues to crave not only basic things such as food, water, and sex (basic needs) but also the cravings for the drug of choice.
Your recovery plan. We don’t have to be dietitians or nutritionists,
nor do we want to pretend to be one, to advice our clients that a proper nutrition is key during recovery from addiction. Just as we advice them to go to 12 Step-meetings, support groups, and counseling, we can also advice them to add an exercise routine and a proper nutritious diet to their recovery plan.
Break the cycle. Keep in mind that the brains of substance abusers have been conditioned to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The pleasure seeking behavior is the craving for the drug. If your diet is based on junk food, sodas, and sweets, you are only feeding the cycle of addiction, not your body!
Anyone, whether they suffer from addiction or not, experiences a form of depression, weakness, and lack of motivation when they are deprived from food. People in recovery can prevent a relapse by paying attention to HALT: avoid getting too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, because these could be triggers.
Here is an article from my blog about recovery and wellness coaching. Thanks for reading!