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The Lasting Effects of Addiction

by Ana

While the actual process of achieving sobriety may last only a short time, the ongoing process of rehabilitating your body, mind, heart, and relationships can last a lifetime. The good news is there are many things you can do to help your body recover from drug addiction. Utilize the techniquews listed in this article every day of the rest of your life to achieve fulfillment that doesn’t include drugs. Learn methods of combating the lasting effects of addiction and recover not just your will to live, but your zest for life as well.

Image by : Alan Cleaver

Source by : flickr

Eat Well

Because different drugs affect the body in different ways, you may want to schedule an appointment with a dietitian or nutritionist to get the recommendations most closely suited to your body’s healing process as you achieve and maintain sobriety. Some drugs will cause your appetite and digestive system to shut down, while others may stimulate an appetite that is not really there. Whatever path your unique recovery process takes, learning how to feed your body the appropriate amount of nutrients each day, including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and hydration, will help you maintain your physical and emotional health, balance your blood sugar, even out mood swings, and promote restful sleep, all of which can contribute to successfully maintaining your recovery.

Get Adequate Rest and Relaxation

Because the use of drugs can artificially stimulate or shut down the body’s systems, enhance or minimize brain function, and boost or flatten emotional response, part of combatting these lasting effects revolves around re-establishing healthy rest and relaxation patterns. It can be helpful to stop throughout the day for short periods of meditation, when you deliberately steady your breathing, still your mind, and tune in to your inner sensations and state. In the same way, setting up a regular daily schedule where you allot a certain number of hours each day to sleep can help regulate your systems after they have been artificially disrupted by the ingestion of chemicals. While at first you may find it a challenge to break up your day in this way, a concerted effort to adhere to this new routine over time can greatly aid in re-regulating your body to normal activity and rest cycles.

Get Physical Exercise

Not only does drug use build up toxins in your system that can take time to flush out, it restructures your energy levels and often makes it difficult to access your available energy or get enough rest. Adding physical exercise to your daily schedule can help to flush out these toxins (be sure to drink plenty of water and electrolyte fluid so you stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise) and balance your natural energy rhythms. Exercise can also help to burn off the effects of stress and contribute to deep sleep at night. Exercise is also a great way to combat some of the emotional and mental after effects of addiction. You can make new friends, enjoy nature, challenge your body and find out what you are made of, which makes new neural connections in the brain and helps you to stay strong and focused.

Plan to Smile

Whether it is buying books from your favorite comic series, watching funny movies at night, or giggling with a friend at comedy night, planning to smile can greatly contribute to your sense of personal wellbeing and give you a will to fight and live. There is much truth to the old adage: “laughter is the best medicine,” but what that adage doesn’t tell us is that laughter doesn’t always seek us out. Sometimes we have to seek it out. Luckily, there are lots of funny books, movies, television programs and comedy clubs we can seek out to add in our recommended daily dose of laughter, just as the recovery doctor ordered.

Tiffany Lenois helped a younger sister battle cocaine addiction and she has seen firsthand how loving support combined with a treatment program can combat some of the lingering physical effects of drug use. Tiffany suggests visiting sites like drug-rehab for more information and resources for finding help for yourself or a loved one.

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Corrine September 27, 2012 - 3:56 pm

As a recovering addict, these tips sound simple and intuitive to maintain but you’d be surprised. Good info here!

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