Treatment for Addiction with Vitamins
People who are addicted to either drugs or alcohol generally lose their appetite for food. This can result in severe malnutrition, a deficiency of essential micronutrients – such as vitamins and minerals.
The consumption of drugs and alcohol places a greater strain on the body’s detoxification system than on the body of a person who does not consume these substances. The body uses vitamins and minerals to get rid of the foreign chemicals found in these substances. This compounds the deficiencies usually associated with drug use and alcoholism.
A prolonged deficiency can lead to various health problems, some of which may be of a chronic nature. Treatment for addiction therefore often incorporates high dosages of vitamins, minerals, and pre-digested proteins. It has been found that the use of vitamins for addiction leads to better treatment retention rates, less intense withdrawal symptoms and better health overall.
Vitamin Deficiency From Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholism is often associated with a lack of vitamin B1 or thiamine. This would normally be found in foods such as wheat, milk, beef, and cereals which the average person would get enough of by following a healthy diet. Vitamin B1 is essential for the healthy functioning of the brain and the nervous system. It also assists in the flow of electrolytes, digestion and the nervous system.
Alcoholism is also responsible for the poor absorption of a multitude of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, D, and E. A lack of vitamin A can lead to liver damage, while a vitamin D deficiency disturbs the body’s absorption of calcium, leading to a loss of bone mass and density.
Vitamin Deficiency From Drugs
Drug addicts are often found to suffer from deficiencies of Vitamin B1, B5, B6, C, and E as well as calcium, magnesium and niacin. These nutrients are essential for the body and as such, a lack of any one could result in a multitude of health-related concerns. They are, therefore, vital during the process of recovery. Vitamin C is especially advised for individuals recovering from opiate addictions, as it is a natural anti-oxidant and helps alleviate painful withdrawal symptoms.
Vitamins for Recovering Addicts
As mentioned throughout this article, drugs and alcohol can cause several nutrient deficiencies that are key to helping the body function regularly. With that in mind, you may seek out supplements to help replace nutrients you aren’t getting from your diet alone.
In general, taking a multivitamin daily can help keep your levels normal. However, there are some supplements for individuals in recovery that may be recommended by your doctor. Take a look:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Omega 3 can be found in foods like salmon and nuts, but many people take fish oil or krill oil as a supplement. Concentrated Omega 3 Fatty Acids supplements can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Vitamin D – Chronic vitamin D deficiency is common in drug users and can be helpful in recovering methamphetamine addicts, opiate addicts, and alcoholics. You can get more vitamin D by taking a daily supplement.
Vitamin C – Foods that contain vitamin C include green peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. If you aren’t consuming these foods regularly, you may try adding a vitamin C supplement.
B Vitamins – B vitamin supplements are readily available everywhere. By consuming the right amount of B vitamins, you may be able to reduce cravings during early recovery and can help to improve health in your brain and your mental health, too.
Magnesium – Healthy adult men should generally consume 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium daily and women should consume 310 to 320 mg. Supplementing with magnesium diminishes withdrawal complications, reduces the severity of their withdrawal symptoms
Zinc – Alcohol can deplete zinc levels in the body, and that can lead to increased anxiety. Outside of supplements, it can be found in oysters, grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds, cashews, mushrooms, and spinach. Having recommended levels of zinc in the blood is important for optimal mental health.
It is essential that during recovery you are consuming the right amount of vitamins and nutrients. Proper health is crucial in recovery and it’s helpful to know how supplements and vitamins can play a role in your journey.