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Does Nutrition Make a Difference in a Successful Recovery?


Malnutrition almost always accompanies long-term substance abuse, yet most programs don’t incorporate nutrition into their treatment plans. Your body has been terribly depleted during your period of substance abuse. You need to rebuild those nutrient stores in order to heal.

Face it: you haven’t been kind to your body, and it’s paying the price. When your body is malnourished, it changes the way it works in order to survive. Poor nutrition hits your brain hard, too. Memory, thinking processes, and moods all go downhill.

Spring Gardens Recovery Prioritizes Nutrition

We want you to have the strongest foundation you possibly can through your detox and recovery. Everyone here at our treatment center in Tampa is laser-focused on that goal–including our chefs.

Spring Garden Recovery chefs are amazing. They work hard to make sure you get mouth-watering meals that nourish your body so that you have the energy you need for your recovery (Check out our Chefs of Spring Gardens Recovery Facebook Page for a glimpse).

When You Abuse Substances, You’re Abusing Your Body

When you start drinking or taking drugs, they make you feel good. Eventually you take them because you can’t function without them. That’s called “tolerance.”  You’re body’s gotten used to your substance(s) of choice and now you feel sick without it.

But the other reason you’re feeling bad is that you’re attacking your digestive system from both sides. You’re eating junk. You’re tearing apart your stomach and intestines, as well as battering your liver, pancreas, and brain. You’re not giving your body what it needs, and your organs lose the ability to absorb what you’re giving it.

Why You’re Not Getting the Nutrients You Need

1. You’re eating less and eating badly

Whether it’s because your money is devoted to buying alcohol or drugs or you’re putting those into your body instead of food, you’re just not eating as much. And when you do eat, it’s probably cheap processed foods that are devoid of nutrients.

Stimulants like cocaine suppress your appetite, opiates make you too relaxed to eat, and while alcohol is super-high in calories, it has absolutely no nutrients (zip, zero, nada)–so you might get a beer belly and diabetes, but you’re not giving your body anything it can work with.

2. Your metabolism increases

Some drugs make your body burn energy like crazy. Amphetamines, methamphetamine, and other stimulant drugs can make it seem like you’re wasting away in front of everyone’s eyes.

3. Vomiting and Diarrhea send nutrients hurling away

If you’re not retaining food, you’re not retaining nutrients. And the stomach acids can eat up your esophagus, too.

4. All of these factors damage your gut and the rest of your digestive system

“The gut” is all over the news lately. We’ve discovered that it’s connected to the brain, is a storehouse of neurons (sometimes it’s being referred to as “a second brain”), and serves as a key defense in the immune system.

Alcohol and medications damage the gut, destroying the biome of beneficial bacteria living within it. The stomach and intestinal lining gets destroyed. When the intestinal lining is damaged, it doesn’t matter what you eat; your body isn’t able to access the nutrients in your food.

Low Nutrition Means Low Function

Here’s some of the problems you face as your nutrition stores are depleted:

  • Fatigue
  • Getting sick easily
  • Dental problems
  • Digestive problems–vomiting, diarrhea, constipation (especially with opioids)
  • Bad skin
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Memory issues
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog/can’t think clearly

And so a vicious cycle begins. When you feel bad, you turn to what makes you feel better–drugs or alcohol–and things keep spiraling down.

These are all signs that your body is struggling. But over a longer period of time, you’re more vulnerable to serious conditions with long-lasting repercussions, including putting your life in jeopardy:

  • Nerve damage
  • Brain damage
  • Liver disease
  • Heart and pancreas issues
  • Some types of cancer

Nutrition in Recovery at Spring Gardens Recovery

The beauty of checking into an inpatient treatment center in South Florida is that the warm sun, the sea air, and the tropical breezes all work together to revive your senses. They make your brain and body wake up–you just come alive.

We magnify this effect with good food. Even as you’re detoxing–when you don’t feel like eating much–we flood your body with nutrients through our amazing detox soup. We’ve had guests sample it, and they literally licked the bowl clean.

This soup bathes your insides in essential amino acids, encouraging healing in your gut brain. Essential amino acids are also precursors to neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that help increase your brain function and boost your mood–naturally.

Our chefs prepare sumptuous meals that reawaken your tastebuds, and you’ll forget they’re nutritious. We plan our meals to deliver vitamins and essential minerals that will give you the best foundation for the recovery work you’re doing here.

Eating Right is Part of Learning to Take Care of Yourself

Spring Gardens Recovery is a different kind of treatment center. When you’re here, you’re family, and we’re going to feed you like family. As you grow in your recovery, you’ll learn how to do the same for yourself.

Everything we do is about helping you get better in a loving, supportive environment. We want you to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You’ll grow stronger in each of these areas–and as you do, you’ll learn how to be kind to yourself in so many ways.

Give Spring Gardens Recovery a call at (866) 244-9556 now or fill out our contact form. We’ll walk with you through the whole enrollment process and answer any questions that you have. We’re waiting… And so are our chefs.





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8213 Cessna Drive Spring Hill FL 34606
2902 West Columbus Drive Tampa FL 33607