Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) alternatively called drug addiction has long kept the focus of scientists and other medical practitioners. Once a person has been become an addict, quitting addiction become s are really difficult decision to make. Surprisingly many of the drug addicts for once in their life time do gather the courage and will power to quit substance abuse. Once a decision is undertaken, choosing the right addiction option is really important. These individuals have mostly got only one shot at recovery because there is no guarantee that they will be able to have such high motivation to quit again ever in their life. Unfortunately it has been seen that people have tried quitting but they ended up with a treatment option that wasn’t suitable for their needs. That’s where Evidence based treatments come into play.
The foremost requirement for people in order to make the best choice for addiction treatment is their access to reliable information. Specifically they should be provided with some evidence that how a treatment performs, and how it had helped people having similar symptoms and severity of addiction. They also need to know if the treatment had worked for people who were addicted to one type of substance or multiple drugs. This is exactly what evidence based substance abuse treatment refers to. Every addict is different so are their treatment requirements, in evidence based treatment an addiction specialist tailors a treatment option to make sure that his client gets the best available resources present at their disposal. Despite noteworthy advancement in improving the evidence base for SUDs treatments, only a portion of the spectrum of care for SUDs is validated by the most thorough evidence in the current scientific literature.
Evidence for substance use treatment (SUD) can be divided into different levels which include:
- Level 1: The evidence that is gained through true experimental design such as clinical trials that includes some randomization.
- Level 2: This evidence comes from a quasi experimental design that does not include randomization.
- Level 3: This level indicates those treatments that have been decided on the basis of consensus between most of the professional community.
- Level 4: Evidence gained through literature reviews and publications.
- Level 5: The last level of evidence based treatment includes personal experiences by other addicts related to a certain treatment option.
Evidence based treatment is an integrative approach; it does not only rely on medication or only behavioral counseling. This integrates multiple aspects of medication, psychotherapy and even nutrition. It is a great misconception that medication and psychotherapy is enough of a treatment combination for substance use disorders neglecting the fact that how important a role nutrition plays in over all wellbeing of an individual. It is now stressed upon at most forums that evidence-based nutritional treatment interventions should be initiated for all patients referred to specialty care treatment of SUDs. It is important to get a nutritionist on the panel while treating SUDs and the role played by dietician in treating substance abuse is very important but often had been eliminated from the patient’s long term recovery process. Nutrition therapy is a complex procedure as the risks vary considering the substance of choice and some negative overall conditions such as poor support from the family, other co occurring mental disorders and sometimes financial instability.
Proper balanced diet and hydration are tantamount to the substance abuse healing process because they help in restoring physical and mental health and improve the chance of recovery. While a person is suffering from SUDs, their eating habits are usually disturbed, they often eat a lot or too less and even if they eat well enough, their diet lack certain nutrients that are required for proper functionality of human body. Another explanation for lack of these nutrients is that they are depleted from the body due to drug abuse. These macro- and micronutrient deficiencies can directly lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low energy, all of which can force someone who already has a tendency for addiction to start using drugs or alcohol or trigger a relapse.
There are multiple programs and courses that aim at substance abuse prevention and concentrate on nutrition as well because a healthful lifestyle can promote mental health and that too for people who have been involved in substance abuse over a number of years prior to treatment. For those who are fighting substance abuse, diet tends to play the same important role in sustaining recovery while also improving the resulting health conditions and deficiencies.
Nutrition can help an addict in many ways. Substance abuse leads to vitamin and other essential mineral deficiencies that damage physical and mental health, vital organs, nervous system, and also been known to decrease immunity. Drugs and other psychoactive substances have been found to have detrimental and toxic effects on brain’s chemistry; this toxicity could lead to psychiatric problems. Balanced diet having enough carbohydrates can greatly remediate the damage that has been done to the reward and survival pathway of the patient. A stable blood sugar can also help avoid craving and irritability.
There are innumerous other benefits an evidence based nutritional intervention can offer to a substance abuser. It is safe to say that excluding nutrition therapy from treatment options can greatly reduce the treatment efficiency. There are multiple other aspects of this integrative approach that require further discussion. We are proud to announce that we have tried to bring health professionals, psychologists, and other stake holder in this area over one platform through our “Integrative Addiction Conference”. If you are somehow affected by any of the consequences of the above mentioned addictions or you are an expert on evidence based treatments of addiction, we warmly invite you to register with us on the link below and share your valuable views with us thus helping us build an integrative approach towards addiction treatments. The link is as follows: http://integrativeaddictionconference.com/