Vitamins and minerals as well as herbs are a great supplement for the recovery process. During detox and withdrawal, the body is in need of essential acids, vitamins, and nutrients, to assist the body in releasing the toxicity caused by substance abuse. Symptoms of withdrawal and physical weakness can last up to two years in recovery due to a phenomena called PAWS. Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is the sudden recurrence of symptoms of withdrawal and early recovery which can include restlessness, cravings, agitation, and lack of sleep. Continuing to take vitamins throughout recovery helps the brain and body function at it’s greatest capacity. What vitamins should be taken and when should be treated like a prescription that has ongoing change. Generally, there are some vitamins that are helpful no matter the stage of recovery.
Vitamin C should be taken in the “ascorbate” form rather than “ascorbic” acid. Vitamin C is naturally found in citrus fruits like oranges. Not only is Vitamin C good for bone health and growth, it is especially effective in boosting the immune system. Many people turn to Emergen-C packets at the first hint of a cold to try and combat the development of being sick. Vitamin C helps the body process all of the toxins being released in the detox period. Substance abuse weakens the immune system. Often in early recovery, patients get sick over and over again, since their body is weakened. Taking Vitamin C can help ward off a continuing cycle of illness.
B-complex vitamins are great for energy. Used to treat depression, anxiety, and withdrawals, B-12 can be administered in pill form or even an injection. Vitamin B-12 can be taken multiple times throughout the day for energy. Since substance abuse often hyper stimulates the body for days on end due to overuse, the body is usually exhausted in the early months of recovery. In order to get the most out of treatment, the mind needs to be attentive and the body well rested. Vitamin B-12 will help naturally and subtly boost energy.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega acids are essential to brain function and have been linked to dementia and the development of alzheimer’s if levels are too low. While the brain needs omega acids and amino acids to survive, it only gets these nutrients from foods. Foods like fish, eggs, and avocados are natural sources of omega and amino acids. Supplements are available in varying level and source for omega oils and acids. Keeping the brain alert and well lubricated is essential to being able to focus during therapy sessions and truly grasp the life changing concepts being discussed every day in treatment.