Most people know that drugs directly damage the body. However, some of them don’t think about the impact of adverse lifestyle changes. For example, many of those with substance use disorder have poor diets and eating habits. For these reasons, nutrition therapy is a vital part of addiction treatment.

How Drugs Affect Nutrition

It’s important for people to understand how drugs affect nutrition. Since there are various addictive drugs, each has different effects. These effects are the reason why a nutrition therapy program is important during addiction treatment.


nutrition therapy program

In the United States, alcohol is one of the biggest causes of nutrient deficiencies. The most common vitamins and minerals that it affects are vitamins B1 and B6 and folic acid. Not having enough of these nutrients can cause nervous system problems and anemia.

Also, alcohol directly damages the liver and pancreas. This damage leads to protein, electrolyte, calorie and fluid imbalances. It may also result in organ diseases.


Using cannabis increases appetite for the wrong types of foods. As a result, people eat more sugary and fatty foods than they should.

This kind of diet leads to weight gain and many health problems. Some examples include high cholesterol, heart disease, and kidney trouble. Only through addiction treatment and nutrition therapy can people learn how to eat healthier.


This class of drugs can damage the gastrointestinal system after long-term use. As a result, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting are common. These symptoms can lead to the depletion of electrolytes, including chloride, sodium, and potassium.


Meth and cocaine are stimulants that reduce appetite. Because of that, people who use these drugs don’t eat very often. They might not drink fluids either, which could lead to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.

Nutrition Therapy During Addiction Treatment

The body uses nutrients for energy, to fight infections and to maintain healthy organs. With proper nutrition, people who need to overcome addiction can stimulate the healing process.

During a nutrition therapy program, a therapist or dietitian evaluates people for nutrient deficiencies. Then, they work together to create a diet plan that addresses those needs. The plan will include balanced meals with complex carbs and healthy proteins and fats. The dietitian or counselor will also help them create a meal plan to follow after rehab.

However, people also face challenges with mental well-being, metabolism, and organ function during recovery. When they practice poor eating habits, for instance, they’re more likely to relapse. Because of that, learning how to eat a healthy diet can reduce the risk for relapse and cravings. A nutrition therapy program can help them face these obstacles.

Furthermore, they notice improvements in their energy levels and mood when they follow nutrition therapy guidelines. Eating a balanced diet stimulates organ and tissue damage and boosts the immune system as well.

The Importance of Exercise

Proper nutrition is only part of maintaining optimum health. People also need regular exercise. For this reason, a good rehab center offers exercise alongside nutrition therapy. This addition promotes positive body image and overall well-being while improving fitness.

Learn How to Eat Right at First Step Center of Arizona

Do you suffer from health problems because of a drug addiction? Get your health back on track when you visit First Step Center of Arizona for addiction treatment. We combine nutrition education with fitness therapy to address these issues. In fact, our luxury facility has a gym, tennis and basketball courts, and a pool.

In addition, First Step Center of Arizona is a disordered eating treatment center. If you suffer from co-occurring conditions, our staff can provide dual diagnosis treatment too. Some of our other programs and services include:

Don’t let your health deteriorate any further. Get the nutrition therapy that you need to achieve and maintain sobriety. Call 8668326398 today for more information about the services at First Step Center of Arizona.