Alcohol Addiction and Dependency
Diet and the alcoholic
When an alcohol addicted guest comes to Marbella Sober Home, their body has been deprived of certain nutrients and overwhelmed with a variety of toxins. The guest’s body is also likely less able to store and metabolise nutrients properly. The addict has become used to irregular eating times and poor diet. At Marbella Sober Home we focus on the healthy foods needed to restore your body. We offer regular healthy meals to replace the lost, empty calories that alcohol has provided for the drinker and build up the physical and mental health of the guest.
Vitamin B-6, thiamine and folate are the most common nutrients lost with the abuse of alcohol. When you do not get enough of these essential nutrients, there may be severe consequences, including anaemia and various brain problems. Excessive alcohol consumption also leads to the loss of fat-soluble vitamins that are crucial for good health. For instance, too much alcohol impacts the body's ability to convert vitamin A to its active form because this process requires the same enzymes that metabolise alcohol. Our aim at Marbella Sober Home is to replace these lost nutrients with diet and supplements.
When you arrive, as a guest in recovery, we start by giving you foods that will help replace lost nutrients. The best help is adding thiamine, B-6 and folate into your daily diet. Your body does not retain these vitamins. Good sources of thiamine include vegetables, fruit, eggs and whole-grain bread. Vitamin B-6 is found in pork, poultry and fish in addition to many of the sources of thiamine. Folate can be found in many green vegetables, like broccoli, spinach or peas. This kind of diet exactly the type of food that is offered in the Mediterranean diet that we offer at Marbella Sober Home
You can find vitamin D in some foods, including fortified milk and oily fishes, like herring; however, vitamin D primarily comes from exposure to the sun which of course we have plenty of in Southern Spain. The body only needs a small amount of vitamin D, but it is crucial for maintaining good health. Eating a variety of foods in recovery is an excellent way to ensure you're incorporating vitamin A into your diet as it is present in many different foods, including carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes which are all plentiful locally. Vitamin E, an important antioxidant that fights damaging free radical formation in the body and protects other necessary vitamins, is present in vegetable oil, as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, some seeds and fortified cereals. Marbella Sober Home aims to provide exactly the kind of food that will not only help the recovery of the body and hopefully start reversing the liver damage.
Exercise and the Alcoholic
When our guest is trying to overcome alcoholism the mind and body crave the substance that was producing endorphins in the brain and creating the feeling of being high. Add to this the stress of daily life, and the cravings can reach unbearable levels. Vigorous exercise also releases endorphins, causing you to feel a “runner’s high” — the same sensation of euphoria that accompanies a chemical high. Although it may be less intense than what you experience with drugs or alcohol, the effects can be pleasurable both mentally and physically. One study of patients receiving treatment for substance abuse showed that exercise could lead to a sense of accomplishment and increased confidence in staying sober. One of the main reasons we have such a heavy emphasis on training at Marbella Sober Home is to help develop a natural sense of well-being. An alcoholic is deprived of those feel-good chemicals supplied by their drinking which healthy regular exercise can help replace.
It’s common for an individual to become anxious or depressed when dealing with withdrawal, but exercise can foster healthy, addiction-free living. At Marbella Sober Home we find our programme has the following positive effects.
Reduce cravings and use
Decrease the effectiveness of the drugs, thus lowering susceptibility to use and abuse
Restore brain cells damaged by intense drug abuse
Reduce anxiety and stress
Promote better sleep
Improve thinking and provide a positive outlook
Fill a void, offering structure and routine.
Serve as an effective coping mechanism.
12 Step Groups
AA has over 40 English speaking groups on the Costa del Sol, and these cover a wide variety of levels of recovery. We encourage all our clients to visit these groups daily with one of our Sober Companions. Our Sober Companions are all recovering alcoholics and will provide a gentle, knowledgeable introduction to the 12 Steps. We visit the meetings in small groups of no more than three so that we can introduce our guests to sober members of the fellowship and help to support them in finding help within the various groups. In traditional rehabs, clients are bussed into the groups and taken home straight after the meetings.
At Marbella Sober Home we arrive early, encourage our guests to meet members and make sure that we find some member to help guide them through the 12 Step process. In 12 Step groups, this relationship is known as sponsorship and has proved over the years to be the most significant contributor to long-term recovery there is.
We also arrange in-house meetings where our guests can further participation in the fellowship. Most professions in the alcohol field acknowledge that 12 step fellowships are the most potent indicator of long-term sobriety there is.