Addiction is a destructive illness of the brain that affects hundreds of thousands of people around the UK. Most think of substances such as alcohol and drugs when they hear the word “addiction”, but it is possible to become addicted to almost anything, including food, sex, shopping, and gambling. These days, many youngsters are developing addictions to the internet, gaming, and even social media.
One thing that all addictions have in common is that they change the way the brain functions. Those with an addiction may become obsessed with whatever it is they are addicted to. They will get to a point where their addiction begins to take over their lives, and they can think of nothing else. They will neglect other people in their lives as well as their responsibilities. Some will even begin to neglect their health and personal hygiene.
Getting Back on Track in Recovery
The first step towards recovery from addiction is admitting that the problem exists. This may be followed by a programme of detoxification for those with substance abuse problems. Most addicts will require some form of rehabilitation to overcome their illness, regardless of what it is they are addicted to.
If you are now back at home after rehab, you will need to start getting your life back on track. If you did not take good care of your personal hygiene while you were suffering from addiction, it is time to start concentrating on this again. You will need to get back into the habit of bathing regularly; most people have a shower every day. You will also need to use deodorant, brush your teeth morning and night, and keep your fingernails trimmed and clean.
Eating Healthy in Recovery
As well as your personal hygiene, you will also need to think about your diet now that you are in recovery. For a long time, you probably survived on junk food, or very little food if you were an alcoholic. Now is the time to start concentrating on your health, and you can do this by trying to eat three healthy meals every day.
It may be difficult for you to begin with if you have been used to eating junk food and eating at odd times of the day. Nevertheless, by adopting the habit of eating three healthy meals at a similar time every day, you can avoid low blood sugar levels that can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression and confusion. These feelings can bring about a compulsion to drink or take drugs again so should be avoided if possible.
Dehydration is a common side effect of alcoholism, but during recovery, it is crucial that you stay hydrated. You will need to drink plenty of water, and an easy way to ensure this happens is to have a bottle of water with you at all times. Take a bottle to work and fill it up during the day. To check if you are dehydrated, look at the colour of your urine. If it appears to be quite dark, you could be dehydrated and should drink more water.
Get Enough Vitamins
Vitamins are important for those in recovery from addiction, especially if you have been neglecting your health for a long time. B vitamins are great for repairing the nervous system, and these can be found in wholegrain cereals and breads. They are also found in dairy products and some meats, so you should make a point of increasing your intake of these foods. Try to ensure you are getting enough calcium as well. If you had an alcohol addiction, this is even more important as alcohol can reduce the amount of calcium in the body, resulting in weakened bones. Drinking milk will ensure you are getting enough calcium.
By looking after your body and your diet now, you can help to improve your health and reduce the risk of various illnesses in later life.