Incorporating Wellness Activities into Treatment
Research indicates that nutritional
counseling and education can be an important part of recovery for individuals who are receiving
treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD). Substance use or misuse can cause nutritional
deficiencies and imbalances, affect appetite and mood, and impact the digestive system. Studies have
found that providing nutrition education
improves outcomes for those receiving SUD treatment, especially when provided in a group setting.
Several nutrition and diet resources may benefit individuals with SUDs. In particular, some individuals in rural
SUD treatment programs may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides financial assistance for access to food. Program planners may
also choose to provide information about SNAP Education
(SNAP-Ed), a program that provides information to SNAP beneficiaries about healthy food choices.
Weight Management and Physical Activity
As substance use and related health conditions can
lead to issues with excess weight,
program planners may also be interested in providing information about physical activity and weight
management. Studies indicate that physical
also help increase the likelihood of abstaining from substance use and decrease depression
symptoms among those in treatment for SUDs.
Complementary and Integrative Medicine
Some SUD treatment programs incorporate aspects of complementary medicine,
which is defined as a non-mainstream medical practice that is used in addition to more conventional healthcare.
medicine coordinates complementary and conventional treatments in an effort to address a health
condition using a holistic approach. Complementary approaches to traditional SUD treatments may include
mindfulness-based approaches, like meditation,
yoga, and tai chi, which are intended to
impact both physical and psychological aspects of recovery. Research indicates that meditation may be a promising approach to
support recovery. Additional research
needs to be conducted to understand the types of meditation and yoga that are most helpful to people
with different SUDs. The National Center for Complementary
and Integrative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health provides additional information
about current research on non-conventional approaches to medicine.