The Right Nutrition Can Aid Drug Addiction Recovery Efforts

Nutrition and Drug Rehab

Nutrition and Drug Rehab

Think of your brain as the Internet. Every brain cell is a different PC that needs a modem (or, in this case, a synapse) to connect to all the other cells on the neurologic network. But as any IT expert can tell you, plugging in the right wires is only half the battle. Power has to be turned on for the machine to be able to function.

Chemical messengers called neurotransmitters must be running at peak performance for information in the brain to be processed correctly. Four specific neurotransmitters handle all communications relating to our emotional well being and tranquility: serotonin, endorphins, GABA, and dopamine.

Genetic Mutations Set the Stage for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

When the synapses or neurotransmitters fail to function like they should, transmission gets garbled and we begin to feel intense loneliness, stress, anxiety, and depression. Most often this malfunction happens because of genetics. In fact, an estimated 33 percent of people have some type of genetic predisposition to addiction.

Drugs and alcohol make us feel good because they stimulate neurotransmitter functioning, which is why we keep going back for more. It is a false sense of euphoria, however, because addictive substances eventually deplete the neurotransmitters necessary for healthy functioning.

What’s more, drug and alcohol addiction impedes on the uptake of vital nutrients our body needs to stay alive. When drugs take over, changes in appetite bring malnutrition which exacerbates the awful symptoms we try to avoid. We can’t get enough because we never actually feel good anymore.

Prime the Mind for Successful Drug Addiction Recovery

If you could jump-start your body into feeling good again without the need for addictive substances, you could essentially erase all cravings and free the mind to focus on behavioral and cognitive improvements.

Amino acids have been found to be the stuff neurotransmitters are made of. Supplying the body with an abundance of specific amino acids can help restore their functioning, reduce cravings, increase sensations of wellbeing, and minimize relapse.

Brain Food for Drug Addiction Recovery

Amino acids are found in foods high in protein. Below is a list of specific amino acids that have been shown to alleviate symptoms of addiction, and the most commonly available food sources from which they come:

L-tryptophan – Egg whites, spirulina, atlantic cod, raw soybeans, parmesan cheese
L-5 hydroxytryptophan chromium salts – Minute traces in turkey and cheese, supplements derived from the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia
L-Glutamine – Meat and dairy products, beans, beats, spinach, parsley, and cabbage
L-phenylalanine – Cow milk, goat milk, aspartame sugar substitutes
L-tyrosine – Cheeses, spirulina, soy protein, egg whites, salmon
Phenylalanine – Meat, poultry, fish, soybeans, dairy products, nuts and seeds

The body is a sucker for sweets and carbohydrates when it’s lacking other vital nutrients. Replacing sugar and refined starches with just some of the foods listed here can help restore balance and emotional integrity to an otherwise stressful situation.

Along with psychological and spiritual therapies for overcoming addiction, nutritional support and dietary supplements are quite literally the food our brain needs for enhanced recovery.

Tell Us: What’s your favorite recipe using some of the foods mentioned above?

Wendy Lee Nentwig

By Wendy Lee Nentwig
Guest Contributor

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Dear Friends,

On November 10, 2018, the Woolsey Fire destroyed The Canyon at Peace Park’s treatment facility. At this time, The Canyon at Peace Park is not accepting patients for any services. We arranged for the safe and seamless discharge or transition of all patients when we were forced to evacuate due to the fire.

For over 12 years, The Canyon at Peace Park has been privileged to provide integrated treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders to patients across the nation. Our main focus has always been on our patients and their success. We have served hundreds of patients and their families, providing exclusive treatment and services for a wide range of behavioral health and addiction issues.

Our trained, compassionate staff has been committed to delivering quality patient care with dignity and respect, with the goal of helping our patients return to their communities as healthier individuals. We are extremely proud of the sacrifices of those who worked every day, often under challenging circumstances, to positively impact our patients’ lives.

We thank the physicians and staff for their expertise and dedication in providing high quality, compassionate treatment and care to the patients we have served.

We look forward to carrying on The Canyon at Peace Park’s legacy through our outpatient locations in Santa Monica and Encino. Foundations Recovery Network also has other residential and outpatient facilities around the country offering the same high quality of service you’ve come to expect from us.

If you need help finding treatment, please visit or call for more information.

To request medical records please contact UHS-NRO Records Department. Fax a copy of the completed/signed ROI form to FAX# (615)-997-1200 or it can be emailed to [email protected] If you need additional guidance on medical records, please call (615) 312-5834


The Canyon at Peace Park Leadership Team