How Your Body Heals Following Addiction

Rebalancing Brain Chemistry

Being sober has a noticeable impact on the improvement of brain chemistry. Pleasure centres of the brain, hijacked until recently by uppers and downers, start to regulate themselves and normalise brain chemistry when a person with an addiction embraces sobriety. Unfortunately, pathways in the brain that associate a substance with pleasure do remain, but a quality rehab program with a diverse approach to treatment can go a long way in training the brain to break patterns of dependency.

Importance of Nutrition in Substance Recovery

A comprehensive recovery plan for substance abuse requires a detailed plan involving proper intake of nutrients and minerals.

After the use of alcohol and drugs is stopped completely, a detox program under guidance is the first step. In order to heal the damage done by substance abuse, an after-care program is initiated. It is important that this treatment involve not only ways to stay sober, but also a proactive nutritional plan designed to heal the body. Recent studies show that the correct intake of calories, nutrients and vitamins not only promote healing, but also help control craving for the abused substance.

Micronutrients, which are made up of 13 essential vitamins, support the immune system and promote bone density. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium are important for blood pressure, oxygen transfer and prevention of tooth decay.

Macronutrients are made up of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and water. These are required by the body daily and in larger amounts than micronutrients. They play a critical role in improving neuroplasticity, especially after prolonged drug abuse.

Using Nutrition to Improve Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to build new connections and change old ones. It is affected by injury, disease or changes in the environment. Addiction is caused by neuroplasticity as a result of changes in neural pathways created by substances.

Studies show that proper nutrition can improve neuroplasticity by helping the brain replenish damaged neurotransmitters. Here’s how macronutrients can help restore plasticity to the brain:

Carbohydrates: These help the brain produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for stabilising mood, regulating sleep, and reducing cravings for substances.

Amino acids: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced with the help of amino acids. Dopamine deficiency can result in severe cravings, negative mood disorders and aggression.

Dietary fat: Fat plays a beneficial role in neuroplasticity by reducing inflammation and protecting cell membranes in the brain.

Omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and help the brain take in more neurotransmitters.

Omega-6s: When balanced with omega-3 fatty acids, these increase the function of neurotransmitter receptors, increasing the levels of activity in the brain.

Personalised Nutritional Plan for Drug Abuse Recovery

Recovering addicts may worry that there’s no coming back from years of substance abuse. At Rehab Melbourne, our highly qualified nutritionists have the expertise you need to not only stay sober, but also improve your mind and body through all-encompassing dietary guidance.

Call 1800 954 749 or use the online enquiry form for more information about the path to recovery.

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This is to all of you who have reached out and messaged us since our last post! You know who you are and we are proud of you! 
Proud of you for asking more questions, proud of you for looking into a holistic approach, for not waiting until rock bottom to ask for help and for not settling for a lifetime of prescription medication as the only answer. 

If you or a loved one are seeking help for addiction, give us a call on 1800 422 711 and one of our caring staff will be able to help you begin your journey to recovery. 

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Your battle against depression can be won and it can be won without the need for a lifetime prescription of medication. 
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Physical therapy is an effective and complementary treatment we provide during your stay at HARP. Through building an exercise routine in the gym, getting outdoors in nature and improving your daily habits, we can help you regain the physiological function of your body as well as improve your mood and energy levels. Our physical therapists will work with you one-on-one to create an individualized plan that meets your needs, goals and lifestyle.

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Here is just a small snippet from what is taught in our patented 5i Curriculum. Our curriculum consists of the most up to date information and science in the field of AOD and Mental Health. Developed by our team of counsellors and clinicians, the 5i® Recovery Process draws upon the globally recognised principles of the best abstinence based programs and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, combining them into a five-module process that can be effectively applied to anyone’s life - no matter the severity of their addiction.

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Our HARP Day Spa provides a range of Therapeutic Massages to help our clients relieve stress, anxiety and pain and find a sense of calmness to better reconnect during their recovery at HARP. 

Reduces Pain and Agitation:
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When we strengthen the logical and emotional areas of our brain through mindfulness practices, we become more aware of and attuned to our emotions. Mindfulness practices help us to develop a “wise mind.” This is a state of balance and equanimity that allows us to see, accept and respond appropriately to our emotions. As a result, we have more control over our thoughts and actions. This can help us avoid acting impulsively and making decisions out of fear or anger.

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