Nutrition and Cooking

NutritionProper nutrition, correct hydration, and a necessary ability to feed oneself are critical to the substance abuse healing process for any addict.  These tools, skills and knowledge help to restore physical and mental health and the conditions improve the overall odds of a lifetime of recovery for the individual. Nutritional deficiencies that go along with addiction lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low energy, just to name a few, all of which can lead someone to start using drugs or alcohol in the first place or trigger a relapse.  A person can get into an excellent rehabilitation program, but if he or she is not instilled with knowledge of nutrition and cooking then he or she will have a hard time of it in life after rehab, and it might lead to a relapse too.

Substance abuse leads to a lack of proper nutrition to one degree or another, either as a result of just not eating enough throughout the day or eating foods that are low in necessary nutrients for the body to thrive.

  • Certain substances, such as stimulants like meth or cocaine, may suppress appetite and disrupt the essential metabolic and neuroendocrine regulation process in the human body, leading to impaired nutrient processing.
  • Other substances that can be abused may lead to an increase in appetite, causing weight gain and overeating.
  • Finally, substance abuse drains the body of its natural supply of vital nutrients, creating deficiencies that severely impair the basic functioning of the body.

How Nutrition and Cooking is Used at Serenity

We have made a point here at Serenity to target substance abuse prevention in a way that also addresses basic human living skills like nutrition and the ability to cook for oneself.  We have found that because a healthy lifestyle can promote mental health, it was necessary to include nutrition and cooking education into our program so that our clients could live nutritious and relapse-free lifestyles after they complete our program. For those who are battling substance abuse, we have found that nutrition plays a key role in maintaining that person’s recovery while also improving and taking care of the resulting health conditions and deficiencies that come about with addiction.

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We have included individualized nutrition counseling and comprehensive nutrition education programs that have been integrated into our main program at Serenity.  These techniques and educational segments have been found to improve overall sobriety success rates significantly.  We’ve found that you can concentrate on the addiction itself as much as you want, but if you don’t address the person’s lifestyle from a health perspective, you are reducing their chances at sobriety quite a bit.

Finding Out What Was Being Done Wrong

For a long time, rehab for drug and alcohol addiction was about just that, rehabilitation of the addiction itself.  But then why did recovering addicts who had beaten their addiction so often go back to abusing drugs and alcohol?  Why were relapse rates more than fifty percent for so many decades?  What was being done wrong?

After close study and inspection in the late twentieth century, it was discovered that it wasn’t so much about what was being done wrong so much as what was not being done.  A lot of crucial elements to addiction recovery were discovered around this period that had been to date left out, and one of them was teaching recovering addicts about proper nutrition and simply how to take care of themselves and keep themselves well fed.  Once this and other missed aspects of successful recovery was introduced into rehabilitation programs, success rates finally started to go up.

The Benefits of Good Nutrition in Recovery

People with any other medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease receive nutrition education to manage their diseases and keep them in check.  Likewise, patients dealing with substance abuse should also have nutrition education.  It addresses their specific risk factors and increases their chances of recovery in the long run so that they can keep their sobriety going strong year after year thanks to living a healthier lifestyle.  Serenity is proud to include nutrition coaching and cooking classes as a part of our program to accomplish just this very goal.

Just as non-addicts need to know how to take proper care of themselves, how to eat right and how to cook nutritious meals, recovering addicts need to understand these principles too.  These are the basic, fundamental rules and data for healthy living and recovering addicts often do not know or do not follow them, hence the need that they are taught in rehab centers.  Serenity is proud to place itself amongst the ranks of rehab centers that include nutrition and cooking education as an intrinsic part of its program.

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