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Importance Of Dietary Health During Drug Detoxification
When an addict is in active use, they do not eat properly. They survive on Hot Pockets, Pop Tarts, Fast Food and whatever else is quick and easy, if they eat at all. One of the big parts of a Sober Coach’s duties is to teach a recovering addict how to eat. Not just eat, but how to pick and chose healthy fruits and vegetables and what will make them feel better with less post acute withdrawal symptoms.
A Snickers bar does not really satisfy, but to someone detoxing off heroin (with almost the same chemical make up as sugar), it will seem as though it does. Drug use is a huge problem; we are a drug culture, and literally thousands of substances are used extensively. Western medicine is likewise a drug-oriented system. We consume billions of pills yearly and spend many billions of dollars on them. These figures do not even include the everyday use of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
Some preliminary concepts can help us prepare for drug detoxification. Most important is the relationship between states of being, symptoms, and our use of drugs. If we are slow or hyper, we may stimulate or sedate ourselves chemically. If we view a symptom as a problem, we may want to correct it with a drug. Although for immediate relief this may seem very practical, it is theoretically ludicrous and shows a complete misunderstanding of the design of the human body. Drug use and drug therapy rarely fix anything. Our symptoms are a warning sign of something wrong for which we must work to determine the cause. Symptoms are not the real problem, but results of deeper processes and causes. They are not an error on the part of our body; our body rarely errs. It responds to how we treat it. We must correct our internal imbalance by listening to our body and avoiding dietary and lifestyle abuses, which means limiting drug use.
Addiction is a tremendous personal, social, and economic problem in our culture. It both supports and drains our total economy. Our society and advertising world promote addiction. It begins with sugar, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and many foods, such as milk products. Our behavior regarding foods, particularly sweet ones, is conditioned very early and is very difficult to change.
Later, the coffee break becomes a reward, a refueling and rest stop in the intense workday. The caffeine and sugar stimulants are the prime mind/nerve provocateurs to continue to work more. Nervousness and hyperactivity are often associated with productivity, though they are really not comparable to steady, healthful energy; trying to perpetuate that artificially stimulated productivity eventually leads to reduced capacity, time lost from work, wasted money, and increased illness.
All drugs have some toxicity. Most have both physiological and psychological actions and addictive potential, with accumulated toxicity and some withdrawal symptoms when we try to give them up. Before going through any drug or chemical detoxification, it is wise to prepare and plan for it before we proceed. This is important both physically and psychologically. It is definitely helpful to have the aid of a physician, therapist, family member, or good friend for support. The withdrawal phase can be the most difficult time, and this can vary from a day or two to a week or more. It is often hard to differentiate the physical sensations from the underlying psychological involvement. The withdrawal phase is tied fairly closely to the drug addiction – the worse the withdrawal, the more likely we are to continue to use the chemical to prevent withdrawal. A psychological dependency easily develops.
After initial withdrawal, which is often tied to detoxification – that is, the natural release of the stored chemicals from the body – we need willpower and commitment to our original plan for eliminating the particular substance from our life. We also need to work on new behavior patterns, avoiding exposure, such as the people and places associated with our previous problem substances, at least for a while, until we develop more deep-seated new habits so that we have the strength to say no when we are exposed again. Behavior modification therapy can be very helpful.
Drug problems are common, and there are really no stereotypical drug addicts; they can be the affluent businessman, the housewife, the down-and-out “street” person, or anyone under pressure or with unmet psychological needs. Drug and substance abuse are an individual, family, and worldwide problem that can affect young and old, men and women.
In addition to a decisive plan and the necessary psychological support, a wholesome, well-balanced diet and nutritional supplements can be very helpful. During the transition, fasting or at least a cleansing diet is helpful to enhance purification and lessen the severity and length of the withdrawal period. I have seen people make incredible lifestyle changes with a week-long cleanse. It is very empowering and allows them to clarify their plan and goals while strengthening their willpower.
The key to dietary detox support is in increasing alkalinity and reducing acidity. Cravings and withdrawal are more intense with an acid state generated from an intake of acid-forming foods such as meats, milk products, and refined flours and sugars. All the fruits and vegetables are alkaline-forming in the body. A fruit and vegetable diet, juices and soups, or even water can be used temporarily.
Call The addictions coach www.theaddictionscoach.com 1.800.706.0318 for further assistance