Substance abuse can wreak havoc on a person’s physical health, especially when it’s long-lasting. Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to serious health complications, like cardiovascular issues, respiratory problems, and other health problems that may not be as noticeable.


Vitamin Deficiency and Substance Abuse

It is common for people who struggle with substance abuse to suffer from malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Malnutrition can happen for several reasons. Not only are the substances filled with toxins, but there are secondary effects as well.

Certain drugs, like cocaine or Adderall, suppress a person’s appetite or interfere with their metabolism. Because of this, people may go days without eating. When they do eat, they may only snack on junk or sugary foods rather than healthy and nutritious meals. Over time, these vitamin deficiencies may lead to more serious health problems – muscle weakness, digestive problems, nerve damage, cardiovascular issues, and so on.

Substance abuse may also play a role in how vitamins and nutrients are absorbed by the body. Alcohol, in particular, interferes with the absorption of B1 or thiamine. A thiamine deficiency can possibly lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a brain disorder that causes a variety of cognitive problems.


Supplements for Recovery

Vitamins and supplements help people in recovery get the nutrients they’ve been missing. Some of the best vitamins for those in recovery include:

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is beneficial to one’s overall health. It helps promote healthy bones, reduces the risk of flu, supports cardiovascular health, and more. Food with Vitamin D include:

  • Oily fish
  • Red meat
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk


Zinc is a nutrient found throughout the body that helps boost the immune system and helps with metabolism function. It can also help with wound healing, thyroid function, and more. Some sources of zinc include:

  • Oysters
  • Red meat
  • Chicken


Magnesium is a mineral that helps with muscle and nerve function. It is also beneficial for energy production. Food with magnesium include:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Leafy greens


Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Vitamin B1, or thiamin, also helps with muscle and nerve function. It is also great for energy and healthy heart function. Some food sources of Vitamin B1 are:

  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Enriched grains
  • Beans


Vitamin C
Vitamin C is great for immune support. It is also beneficial for the development and repair of body tissues. Some sources of vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Red peppers
  • Broccoli


Everyone is different, so their needs are different. It is important to consult with a doctor or nutritionist about the type of diet, supplements, and vitamins your body needs.