Cocaine addiction recovery has several stages. At different times along the way, you may be confused, have trouble concentrating or be easily irritated by others. Your physical or sexual energy may feel depleted. You may struggle with depression, insomnia or anxiety. These changes are tough to grapple with, especially when your body still craves the cocaine you’ve given up.
Cocaine addiction recovery doesn’t just call for abstinence—it calls for change. In order to change addictive behavior you must also change some aspects of your lifestyle.
There are three physical disciplines that will not only help your body to heal, but will help round out your mental and emotional healing:
Studies show that people who eat poorly while in cocaine addiction treatment are at much greater risk of relapse. You’ll also have to address bad food habits, and it’s crucial that you do so as soon as possible.
Since stimulants suppress the appetite, you will probably be low on nutrients and calories. Gastrointestinal problems are common with cocaine addiction, and the detox process may involve severe headaches, diarrhea and vomiting. All of these can deplete your supply of nutrients.
That’s why many treatment programs integrate nutritional education. Science says that a proper diet can significantly increase your chance of success. Eating well produces much-needed energy, strengthens your immune system, and helps repair and rebuild damaged organ tissues. Proper nutrition also alters brain structure. Good foods ramp up production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in your brain that helps keep you in a good mood.
Your regular doctor or a nutritionist can recommend a better food plan, but in general, add protein, grains, plenty of vegetables and fruit. Anti-oxidants like berries and apples accelerate the body’s ability to get rid of chemicals. Sources of protein, like meat, eggs or beans, should be eaten in small portions throughout the day. Light meals and snacks every three or four hours are better than large, heavy meals.
Lay off the sugar.
Sugar is no help at all in resisting relapse, so it’s surprising how many people in treatment replace their cocaine habits with sugar addictions.
Extreme blood sugar highs and lows are disastrous to an already fragile system, and can interfere with your ability to resist cravings. After binging on sugar-heavy snacks, a “crash” is inevitable and your body will crave sugar more than ever. But this craving is so similar to a desire for cocaine that the brain will misinterpret it. What you think is a craving for cocaine—and a step backward in recovery—might really be a craving for sugar.
For addicts, sugar is dangerous and can make your mind play tricks on you. Avoid it.
Did you know that exercise boosts your brain’s capacity for resistance to temptation? This makes it a valuable tool throughout recovery.
Since exercise increases the presence of dopamine, you’ll find your mood greatly improved. Researchers have long advocated exercise for relieving stress, softening irritability and lifting depression.
Gyms offer a wide variety of choices like treadmills, stationary bikes, and yoga classes. Swimming is an excellent workout and a great stress-reliever. Outdoor sports like tennis, running or even a brisk daily walk have the added benefit of natural Vitamin D from sunshine, the best mood enhancer there is.
Call our helpline for more information about these and other ways to help you recover and heal: 800-890-3586.