Recent research indicates that as the intake of alcohol and other drugs increases, the quality of meals declines. According to the National Health and Nutrition Survey, both male and female alcoholics made worse food choices the more they used.
This is important to people in detox and early recovery, because, in addition to the issues of food selection, drugs (especially alcohol) can prevent the body from properly absorbing and processing nutrients from whatever food does get eaten. Almost by definition, alcoholics and addicts suffer from malnutrition, and often from other related disorders.
In the first few months of recovery, we are subject to a variety of symptoms known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) that can make it extremely difficult to cope emotionally and physically. Proper nutrition, rest and exercise are critical during this period to lessen the likelihood of relapse. If we keep in mind that we start off “in the hole” when it comes to nutrition, it may give us a bit of motivation to pay attention to our diets after we leave treatment.