Importance of Education and Nutrition Intervention on Drug Addiction Recovery

Soheir Fouad Nour, Ekram R Soliman, Samirah A Al-Humaidi , and Mamdouh A Abou-Rayan

Addiction causes dietary and health problems that lead to malnutrition and psychological diseases. Therefore this research was carried out to study the impact of educational and nutritional  intervention programs that focused on antioxidants and essential fatty acids especially omega 3. These programs aimed to improve the nutritional knowledge and modify attitudes, eating behavior, as well as to improve the nutritional status of the addicted patients.

The sample comprised 40 addicted males who were treated  for rehabilitation at Maamoura Hospital of  Psychiatric in Alexandria, Egypt. The required research data were collected using an especial questionnaire by interview, and they were treated statistically.

The duration of the educational program was 10 hours, among 5 days, and it was applied on all of the addicted sample, and individually for about an addition two hours, while the nutritional intervention program was applied for 30 days on 24 patients. Evaluation of the programs was done before, during and after application.  

The results revealed that most of the patients were young, their ages were less than 30 years, and one third of them were suffering from health problems related to the liver, digestive as well as nervous systems. Before applying the nutritional education program, the percentage of patients who had right knowledge, positive attitudes and healthy practices were 25%, 47.5%, and 55%, respectively. These percentages increased after applying the program to be 100%, 60%, and 100%, respectively. The nutrition intervention program improved most of the nutritional studied parameters namely BMI, liver enzymes, and kidney functions, as well as decreased the percentage of patients who suffering from depression and improved their functional health.

So it was concluded that nutrition education and nutrition intervention programs are very important for treating  addicted persons parallel with the medical and psychological treatments. These programs must be applied from the beginning phases of addiction treatment namely drug withdrawal and detoxification to help the liver and the other body organs to do their work efficiently.