Omega-3 Aids in Drug Addiction Recovery

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Omega-3 Aids in Drug Addiction Recovery


You’ve probably heard about how a diet rich in minerals and vitamins is the key to mental health and stable emotions, but now research shows that there could be a relationship between substance abuse and a deficiency in important nutrients. According to nutrition expert Carolyn Reuben, the human body responds to nutritional deficiencies in ways that eventually lead to behavior problems or drug addiction. In fact, she and many nutritionists believe that a deficiency in omega-3 fats is the real root of the problem. Taking an omega-3 supplement could help those recovering from drug addiction.

Omega-3 fatty acids and drug addiction

According to Reuben, a person’s drug of choice or symptoms can help experts identify if a nutrient deficiency is the cause. Often, a person who takes drugs or alcohol in order to feel “normal” is suffering from a bio-chemical anomaly that can be corrected by that substance. However, these deficiencies can be easily corrected by good nutrition and diet, sometimes with a multivitamin supplement and omega-3 fish oil. For instance, a person experiencing chronic depression might crave alcohol or other comforting foods because they suffer from a lack of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of reward. When we have enough dopamine in our brains, or if our neurons can communicate dopamine well, we feel comfortable. When we have a dopamine deficiency, we look for relief from other sources – gambling, drugs, alcohol, and other potentially dangerous behaviors. In other words, the need for a drug is a sign that you do not have enough dopamine, or that the neurons are unable to transmit or receive dopamine signals.

Taking a fish oil pill provides a person with enough levels of omega-3 fats, which form the structure of neuron cell membranes. This keeps the membranes supple and flexible enough to receive and send out chemical messengers (neurotransmitters). A diet low on omega-3s and high in other types of fat will make cell membranes stiff, causing the brain to behave as if there is a neurotransmitter deficiency when in fact, the neurons just aren’t receiving the messages or misfiring the messages.

A comprehensive drug recovery program

While there are other environmental and lifestyle factors that can aggravate substance abuse, poor diet and nutritional deficiencies may be one of the key causes behind the increase in alcohol and drug use among students. If you know someone who think can benefit from a drug rehabilitation program, make sure that the regimen involves a full meal three times a day. Each meal must contain at least 20 grams of protein (for the amino acids), 4 cups of raw/lightly cooked vegetables, 500mg of L-glutamine, and 1,000-3,000mg of omega-3 fish oil. Caffeine, refined sugar, white flour, and other processed foods should be avoided because this might deplete the body of vitamins.

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