information on nutrition and addiction

Nutritional deficiencies in addiction

Studies on addictive disorders have demonstrated severe nutritional deficiencies in opioid abusers with behavioral, physiological, and cognitive symptoms.  In opioid addiction, unhealthy eating behaviors due to lack of nutritional knowledge, food preparation skills, and environment are frequently noted.

Research indicates persons addicted to opioids consume less than the minimum amount of vegetables, fruits and grains recommended by the food pyramid and are more eager to consume sweets.

Many opioid and alcohol addicts have calcium and magnesium deficiencies due to poor diet and inadequate intake of calcium. Calcium and magnesium deficiencies are major factors in pain, nervous system, and muscular disorders among addicts and alcohol consumers, according to some studies.

Malnutrition is a major consequence due to the use of addictive substances not only by replacing nutrients, but by interfering with the metabolism of nutrients. In chronic opioid abuse, B vitamin  or folate deficiency occurs, and has a disastrous effect on the digestive system.     


Cunningham, P. (2016).  The Use of Sobriety Nutritional Therapy in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction,  Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, 7(3).  doi: 10.4172/2155-6105.1000282