Eating a diet chock full o’ vitamins and nutrients has always been important, but now research shows that there could be a link between drug addiction and dietary deficiencies. Carolyn Reuben, a nutrition expert (and the executive director of the Community Addiction Recovery Association in Sacramento, CA) says that the human body can react to certain dietary deficiencies in a manner that can ultimately lead to mood disorders and/or addiction. She and other nutritionists view omega-3 deficiency as part of the problem.
Based on an individual’s drug of choice or chief complaints, Reuben says researchers can pinpoint which amino acids, vitamins and nutrients are missing. People struggling with drug addiction often do not eat a healthy diet.
Furthermore, drugs deplete vitamins and nutrients from the addict’s body, so replacing and maintaining them are an important part of recovery.
Reuben says, “There’s such an intimate connection between our behavior and our nourishment, a direct relationship between our diet and how happy and satisfied we are. When someone starts drinking or taking drugs and their response is, “I don’t feel high, I feel normal,” that’s the key that says they came into life with a bio-chemical abnormality. They are deficient in something and we can fix that with our diet, sometimes with amino acids, fish oil, vitamin C or B”.
Much of this approach is based on research by Professor Stephen Schoenthaler, PhD, who discovered a link between high sugar intake, low vitamin intake and violence, in 1985. He found that prison inmates who were given daily vitamin/mineral supplements had as much as a 43% drop in violence, which led researchers to begin exploring the association between nutrition and addiction. More recent studies have also found that giving prisoners omega-3 supplements also decreases aggression.
The CARA program suggests that individuals (in conjunction with their doctor) begin a regimen of eating 3 meals a day, each containing at least 20 grams of protein, at least 4 cups of vegetables, 2000 mg of vitamin C, a multivitamin, 1000-3000 mg of omega-3 fish oil, 500 mg of L-glutamine, and 2-3 mcg of chromium. It also suggests avoiding white sugar and flour, which might deplete the body of vitamin B.
Although many factors play a role in drug and alcohol abuse, eating a diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fish oil is definitely a key part of the successful road to recovery and a drug-free life! For more information on how to help a drug or alcohol addict you can call 1-877-782-7409 or visit Addicthelp.org.