Healing the body in addiction recovery is an important aspect of treatment and ongoing recovery efforts. The body takes a beating in active addiction. Nutrition is poor, healthcare maintenance has suffered, immunity is low, dehydration is common and, of course, one’s system is full of toxins from the substances uses.
Detox is the first step in healing the body during addiction recovery. It is necessary to stop the use of substances and to detoxify the system, allowing the toxic chemicals used to rinse out of the body. This allows a baseline for building health; the debilitating intake ceases and repair can begin. Proper nutrition and hydration are very important. The body needs both to heal and to function daily at its best. It is not uncommon for addicts to be underweight and so a period of time is needed to correct eating habits and get back to a healthy weight. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are also common. Healthcare providers may recommend supplements to remedy that. Drinking plenty of water is also something you will want to do to repair dehydration and keep yourself well hydrated and feeling good through detox and after.
Movement gets the aches and pains of your body worked out and maintaining a regular routine of moving through the day helps you continue to repair the body. It’s not uncommon to feel easily fatigued at first, but exercise will soon build your strength. It doesn’t have to be very vigorous exercise either. Walking is good. Stretching is also. Even light movement gets things flowing again and is reviving.
Sleep is very restorative and most people in active addiction have very disturbed patterns of sleeping. Often, ‘sleep’ is more of a passing out or substance induced sedation. full, natural and restful sleep may have been disturbed for very long periods of time. This doesn’t allow the body to restore itself as a normal sleep cycle would. Sleep is often one of the last things to regulate after detox and often people find themselves beginning to sleep more than they think they should. This is nature’s way of continuing to repair at a deep level. Keeping a good regular schedule is helpful so that sleep issues do not interfere with other activities and scheduling.
Active addiction commonly causes neglect of other health issues. You may find that you have some catching up to do in self-care. Dental work, for example, has often been forgotten in addiction. Other issues that need ongoing care may also have been put on the back burner. Establishing a good working relationship with a primary care person and a dentist can help you continue to heal your body in recovery.