Monday, February 29, 2016

Healthy Habits: Substance Abuse and Nutrition

Millions are spent annually on substance abuse programs. The number of Americans who have been in such a program or have had a family member in one is staggering. Yet the number of individuals who relapse after being released from such a program is staggering. Between 90% to 95%of people who participate in substance abuse rehab programs fail. Why is the failure rate so high? Can it be prevented or alleviated? 
I had a chance to interview Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist, author, addictions counselor, and founder of the NAMED program. Dr. Kantor says that one of the leading causes of relapses is a poor diet and nutrition. He says that many people actually fall into substance abuse because of a poor diet and nutrition. He can discuss in detail how to prevent such relapses. He has appeared on numerous shows for his expertise.

Why is it so common for a person who's been through substance abuse treatment to relapse?
Studies have shown that 60% to 85%+ of individuals experience a relapse during their recovery. These specific occurrences listed below are some of the common reasons why individuals relapse.
- Stress, fear, frustration, depression, anxiety,
- Exhaustion — they allow themselves to become overly tired, and over committed not prioritizing health, fitness and nutrition.
- A Negative emotion or experience resulting in stress, fear, frustration, depression, and/or anxiety.
- Excuse making. Telling those around them and themselves lies while making excuses.
- Impatience/ Frustration — They let themselves get frustrated when something isn’t happening fast enough, or become impatient with people. Finding small, unimportant things that set them off.
- Self-Pity — they feel like a victim and refuse to acknowledge responsibilities.
- Arrogance — they think they have conquered addiction and put themselves in tempting situations.
- Complacency/ Boredom — they give up working with programs and fall short on commitment.
- Expecting too much — they can’t understand why everyone isn’t changing when they have put forth so much effort in their recovery.

What is the link between diet and substance abuse?
Substance abuse recovery requires a support team of counselors, therapist and numerous other health professionals. In addition to that support team adhering to a nutrition plan that suppresses opiate receptors, reduces inflammation, and supports optimal pH balance will also decrease the relapse rate. This nutrition plan is low in natural sugar, free of processed sugars, gluten and most dairy, it is rich in vegetables, some fruits, quality protein, heart healthy anti-inflammatory fats, and stable alkaline- based water. You can get a free week's worth of menus at

How can family members support loved ones who struggle with substance abuse?
 Family members should be educated on substance abuse, recovery and relapse signs and symptoms. They can show support to their loved one by getting involved in support groups and therapy sessions, and helping that family member avoid temptation in social situations. They can come up with a plan of action to prioritize their health through exercise, nutrition, and stress management.

No comments:

Post a Comment