Can a Healthy Diet Help Your Recovery from Ritalin Addiction?

Can a Healthy Diet Help Your Recovery from Ritalin Addiction?

Ritalin is a medication prescribed for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It stimulates the brain to increase concentration, impulse control and decision-making abilities. Ritalin is highly addictive and mimics the effects of cocaine when crushed and snorted. Recreational abuse typically follows a “binge and crash” cycle during which time the drug’s euphoric high disappears before the substance leaves an individual’s system. To maintain the high, users often ingest greater doses of Ritalin. This heightens the roller-coaster effect. Tolerance of Ritalin can develop quickly. Symptoms of Ritalin addiction include the following:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Flushing
  • High blood pressure
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

Some people become addicted to Ritalin accidentally; they incorrectly believe prescription drugs are not as dangerous as street drugs. Another misconception that enables individuals to deny Ritalin abuse is the notion that they must hit bottom before getting sober. In truth, people who seek help quickly – before physical and psychological dependence become severe — are more likely to recover and avoid relapse.

Nutrition and Recovery

Addiction and poor nutrition often go hand-in-hand. One reason for this is that most addictive substances change the brain’s pleasure response. Drug-induced artificial euphoria overrides normal cravings, so food no longer holds the same appeal. Dietary imbalances of vitamins, healthy fats, good carbs and proteins lead to deficiencies in particular nutrients. For instance, chronic alcohol abuse inhibits the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, E, and D), even if an alcoholic is eating properly.

Simultaneously, many drugs of abuse cause changes in sleep patterns. They may prevent a deep, healthy sleep, or even keep us awake for days at a time. Together, this double attack of using up stored resources and not allowing for proper recovery with sleep and a good diet eventually leads to the obvious changes associated with addiction such as the extreme weight-loss seen in meth and cocaine users, and the weight gain common among marijuana users.

Many professional treatment centers include nutritional counseling as part of their recovery programs. To maintain energy levels and mood, individuals are advised to consider making changes that include the following:

  • Eat small, regular meals
  • Eat three meals and three snacks per day
  • Include fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole-grain foods
  • Avoid caffeine and sugar
  • Decrease consumption of red meat

When people feel better, they are less likely to start using alcohol and drugs again. Because balanced nutrition helps improve mood and health, it is important to encourage a healthy diet in people recovering from alcohol and other drug problems.

Recovery from Ritalin Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with Ritalin abuse, you are not alone. Admissions coordinators at our toll free, 24-hour support line can guide you to wellness. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call. Start your recovery today.