Nutritional therapy is nothing new, certainly in the context of wider health. It is founded on the scientific and philosophical notion that nutrition’s healing power can be used in a multitude of ways to cure common human ailments and has various applications. However, its emphasis on minimizing or eliminating the use of chemical medicines as part of the wider self-healing process has obvious relevance to the objectives of drug and alcohol use programs.
The nutritional medicine movement has been espoused by many important figures throughout history, from Carl Pfeiffer and Linus Pauling to Frederick Klenner and Irwin Stone. All of these highly regarded doctors realized how useful nutrition could be in the treatment of disease, as did eminent psychiatrist Adam Hoffer, whose belief that such conditions as schizophrenia could be helped by significant doses of nutrients was met with skepticism at first. Today, however, nutritional therapy best practices are founded on his initial research.
Nutritional therapy has become prominent today among drug and alcohol addiction programs due to the holistic approach to client wellbeing. A good treatment program will be formulated by those who realize the importance of supporting the client’s all-round physical, emotional and mental health, not merely providing direct addiction intervention.
Not only do young adults with substance use issues benefit from being in a setting that promotes a healthy relationship to food, but a better diet also helps to repair the damage that addictions can cause. Substance use often causes malnutrition and dehydration in the body, which the best nutritional therapy program will always work to address.
For example, a good program may give access to fruit orchards, producing apples, pears, grapes, cherries, raspberries and blueberries, alongside gardens producing tomatoes, peppers, sweet and dry corn, okra, lettuce, carrots, beets, kale, collards and spinach. There may even be an animal husbandry program that includes egg laying chickens and honey bees.
These are certainly all characteristics of the Red Oak Recovery® nutritional therapy program, which takes a holistic approach to food and eating and includes teaching horticulture skills and cooking techniques. Enjoying the fruits of their labors is a very rewarding experience for clients. Entrenching good health and eating habits helps support genuinely long-lasting recovery.