Withdrawal Symptom Management at CHRC
by Deborah Payne, B.Sc., RNCP, ROHP, CCN, Orthomolecular Nutritionist
3 June 2016
The intensity of withdrawal symptoms can vary greatly depending on the length and amount of substance use, the extent of physical and metabolic damage, as well as the individual’s body and brain chemistry balance.
Those recovering from an addiction are commonly depleted in particular amino acids as a result substance abuse. This causes the symptoms of withdrawal to increase – especially cravings for the substance of choice. As the drugs and alcohol clear the body, our goal in this stage is to nutritionally support the body and brain to minimize withdrawal discomfort.
In double-blind research, those in recovery treated with amino acid therapy, plus other targeted nutrients, had reduced withdrawal symptoms and overall stress.
Another important consideration is that addiction leads to adrenal exhaustion from chronically producing excess cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. Drug, alcohol, carbohydrate and stimulant cravings like caffeine and nicotine, are signs of the body’s need for energy to relieve adrenal fatigue. Customized adrenal support lessens the severity of withdrawal and promotes long-term abstinence success.
Detoxification strategies in CHRC recovery program:
Detoxification capacity is addressed with each client, ensuring that the liver and kidneys are supported for ease of detox. Key nutrients are required for optimal function of detoxification pathways and these assist in a smoother, more comfortable detox process in early recovery. Protein and healthy fat-rich meals with plenty of colourful fresh vegetables enhance body and brain chemistry health. We use a targeted diet that works to stabilize blood sugar throughout the day leading to a stable mood, behavior, improved energy and a reduction in cravings. High-quality nutritional shakes are provided between meals to assist in blood sugar balance and detoxification. Fresh-squeezed lemon in water is given to cleanse the liver and alkalinize the body.