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Diet and Nutrition in Rehab

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

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Addiction is a wholly devastating disease, one that ravages the mind, the spirit, and the physical body. It is not uncommon for those suffering from addiction to completely neglect their physical health, disregarding any type of physical exercise and rarely considering adequate nutrition. Drug addiction overwhelms the entire life of the afflicted individual, and obtaining and using chemical substance becomes, in most cases, the sole focus of the addict in question. Once an addict finally makes it to inpatient treatment, he or she is typically severely malnourished – eating nutritionally and self-care in general frequently falls by the wayside over the course of his or her addiction.

The Role of Diet and Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

Personal care is a skill that often needs to be entirely relearned. Because of this, the incorporation of nutrition courses is a crucial component of inpatient addiction treatment – one that is all too frequently overlooked. We at The Lighthouse Recovery Institute pay special attention to diet and nutrition, bringing in a nutritionist on a regular basis to teach our clients of the importance of nourishing the physical body with adequate sustenance and regular physical activity.

Treat Addiction with Proper Diet and Nutrition in Rehab

As soon as a client arrives at our inpatient treatment center, we will perform a comprehensive bio-psycho-social evaluation to determine whether or not special attention needs to be paid to his or her dietary patterns or potential eating issues. If a client is diagnosed as suffering from a co-occurring eating disorder, he or she will be partnered with a primary therapist who specializes in eating disorders and addiction, as well as with a nutritionist with whom the client will meet with one-on-one on a weekly basis. It is very common for addicts and alcoholics, especially if female, to suffer from eating disorders in conjunction with substance dependency.

Addiction and Eating Disorders

It has been estimated that nearly 50% of all individuals who suffer from an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia are simultaneously abusing drugs or alcohol – a rate of abuse nearly 5 times greater than seen amongst members of the general population. Sadly, those who suffer from eating disorders at a greater risk of death than those who provide their bodies with adequate nutrition – combine the abuse of chemical substance to the malnourishment and the risk of death increases even further. For this specific reason (increased fatality rates) amongst many others, it is essential that both disorders are treated concurrently, and that the individual afflicted with the eating disorder receives the specialized, nutrition-oriented attention he or she deserves while undergoing inpatient treatment.

Our Mission at Lighthouse Recovery Institute

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Eating disorders that involve restricting caloric intake or severely physically taxing binge-purge cycles are not the only food-centered issues that addicts and alcoholics face. Many individuals who struggle with substance dependency disorders will also engage in compulsive overeating. Overeating, like addiction, stimulates certain reward pathways in the brain that cause the afflicted individual to experience coveted feelings of comfort, pleasure, and satisfaction. Overeating in itself has recently been classified as an addictive disorder, and Overeaters Anonymous meetings have begun to pop up nationwide as prevalence and understanding of this specific disorder becomes more widespread and acceptable.

While compulsive overeaters are not necessarily at risk of malnutrition and dehydration the way that those suffering from restrictive disorders are, they are at risk of a number of other health-related complications. Many individuals who suffer from compulsive overeating will experience consequences such as high blood pressure, significant weight gain, heart attack, and stroke. Because food addiction is so exceedingly similar to drug and alcohol addiction, sufferers will undergo many of the same eventualities, such as the building of tolerance (greater amounts of food will be necessary in order to achieve the same level of emotional comfort), emotional distress, issues within interpersonal relationships, and high anxiety and stress during ‘clean’ periods.

Regardless of whether the addict in question is suffering from a restrictive eating disorder or from a compulsive food-related addiction, we at the Lighthouse Recovery Institute have thoroughly trained professionals on staff that are well-equipped to diagnose and treat all diet and nutrition-related disorders.

Nutritional Goals & Values

This is another reason why gender-specific treatment is so vitally important – eating disorders are significantly more common amongst female addicts and alcoholics. As part of our carefully designed female-exclusive treatment plan, we cover the role that eating disorders play in the lives of females struggling from drug addiction, and pay close attention to the eating habits of our female clients while they undergo inpatient treatment.

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While male eating disorders are still somewhat common, we focus our male-exclusive treatment plan more on the role that adequate nutrition plays in the lives of recovering addicts and alcoholics, teaching our male clients to cook healthy and nutritionally comprehensive meals for themselves. Of course, because addiction is such a highly personal disease, one that affects each individual differently, we treat each of our clients on an individualized basis – allotting them the nutritional courses they need as well as weekly meetings with a designated one-on-one dietary specialist if necessary.
If you or someone you love is battling a severe case of substance dependency and simultaneously dealing with an eating disorder of any kind, we are here to help. Call one of our trained representatives today for more information on how we incorporate diet and nutrition into our specialized program of addiction recovery.