There are many layers to drug addiction and its effects. On a physical level, addiction does more than saturate cells with dangerous toxins--it leaches vital nutrients, leaving a recovering addict drained, parched and gasping for vitality. In today's current food culture, it is nearly impossible to fully recover from drug addiction with supplementing the diet. Adding essential nutrients to the diet can aid recovery and be the make or break point between rehabilitation and relapse.
Bandaids, or Full Recovery?
Conventional methods of treatment for drug addiction involve methadone--in other words, replacing one narcotic with another. Not only does this continue addiction, it creates a number of health problems and side effects including depressed breathing, wheezing, low blood pressure, severe constipation, vomiting, cloudy thinking, sedation and death.
While this method of treatment may be ideal for physicians and administrators who make their living on addiction, it is not the optimum solution for addicts. In fact, it is not even a solution.
The Importance of Vitamins
The role of vitamins in the human system was discovered in the search for a remedy for scurvy. With so many seamen returning from their journeys suffering from gum disease, anemia, weakness and even death, research began as to the cause of the problem. What was discovered was the value of a nutrient found in fresh fruits and vegetables: vitamin C.
Vitamin C is not produced naturally by the human body. It must be obtained from diet. Nowadays, however, the American diet consists mostly of processed foods, which are lacking in vitamins and minerals. If one does eat fresh fruits and vegetables, they come from such depleted soil that even this is not sufficient to maintain health.
Add years of drug addiction to the equation, and you have a body that is severely drained. Not only does it lack vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient that must be continually replaced, it is deficient in a number of other vitamins and also minerals, which are necessary for the body to absorb vitamins. This is why withdrawal and recovery can be so difficult. Body pains, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, sleep problems, delirium tremens, and various other withdrawal symptoms can be greatly eased by supplementing the diet with the nutrients it has been robbed of.
Vitamin C plays an essential role in the body's management of stress. All mammals besides primates, guinea pigs and humans convert glucose to ascorbate (vitamin C) when they are under stress. As drugs place serious stress on the body, vitamin C supplementation can greatly aid a recovering addict's ability to cope with it. It helps tissue heal, increases appetite, aids sleep, and increases mental alertness.
B vitamins are also known as the "anti-stress" vitamins. They promote a feeling of wellbeing, help convert food to energy, form healthy red blood cells, and reduce the risk of heart disease. B vitamins are severely lacking in drug addicts, which is why supplementation is key.
Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies contribute to painful withdrawal symptoms. By replacing the nutrients lacking through diet and supplementation, an addict can have a much easier time in rehab.