nutritious food

While many people focus on the major effects of a substance abuse problem on the heart, lungs, or brain, many neglect to talk about the harmful secondary effects of addiction on their health.

For many drug addicts and alcoholics, addiction not only comes with the threat of these alarming health problems but they also neglect healthy habits like regular exercise and a good diet. Although eating your vegetables may seem like an afterthought of overcoming a drug addiction, our drug rehab in Chicago wants to prove to you the importance of nutrition in recovery.

Nutrition in Recovery from Substance Abuse

At Banyan Chicago, we believe in a comprehensive approach to treatment because addiction can be so destructive on a person’s mind, body, and soul. Because of this idea, as a part of our partial hospitalization program in Chicago, patients will participate in a nutrition education program and here is why:
  1. Nutrient Deficiencies Many people struggle to get all of the right nutrients and vitamins they need but addicts especially have issues with nutrition. When someone is so focused on getting high, they are not thinking about eating healthy. In fact, research shows that most heavy drug and alcohol users suffer from nutrient deficiencies that can lead to more serious health issues later on like osteoporosis and alcoholic myopathy if left untreated.1 Drug or alcohol addiction treatment should address these deficiencies and focus on nutrition in addiction recovery to correct them.
  2. Weight Issues For many, the need to get their next high is more powerful than their desire to eat. Along with many drugs causing nausea as a side effect, the result can be drastic, unhealthy weight loss. Recovering addicts will want to regain some weight but do so in a healthy manner. Stuffing your body with fast food and desserts is not the best way to do this. Recovering addicts need healthy fats and good high-caloric food that will get them there without sacrificing necessary nutrients.
  3. Eating Disorders Along with weight problems, up to 35% of addicts have also struggled with eating disorders.2 Because those with eating disorders are often malnourished, eating disorders are extremely dangerous to a person’s health and can even be life-threatening. While addressing the mental implications of an eating disorder is important, the nutrition and diet for these patients are also vital to their healing process in order to avoid even more damage to their health.
  4. Creating Healthy Habits Not only does the body need to heal physically from addiction, but there are also many mental aspects of drug addiction as well. Before recovery, drug addiction can overtake a person’s entire life. When the addiction stops, many recovering addicts need to fill their free time and that empty void with something else. Promoting good diet and exercise habits can ensure that a new routine is created that has the recovering addict’s best interests in mind for the future.
Nutrition in recovery should not be ignored. Some treatment centers neglect to take this important aspect of health into account during the recovery process, and the result may lead to serious problems later on.

Sometimes the hardest part is taking that first step to recovery, but at Banyan Treatment Center Chicago, we are here to help you take that first step and every step after. Call 888-280-4763 now to learn more and let us help you.


  1. NCBI - The importance of nutrition in aiding recovery from substance use disorders: A review.
  2. NEDA - Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.