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Here are simple changes and recipe tips most people, including drug users, can use. Some are specific to particular 'user groups', and others are tips we can all benefit from.
Are you regular, dear?
The most common complaint associated with drug abuse is bowel trouble - constipation or diarrhoea. The best solution (and one of benefit to anyone with a family history of bowel cancer) is to add more fibre to your diet. Fibre acts like the straw in mud bricks, helping material clump together, allowing your 'guts' to get a grip on it and move things right along.
Great sources of fibre include breakfast cereals (especially with bran), bananas, corn on the cob, brussels sprouts, broccoli, peas, spinach, dates, whole wheat bread, baked beans and kidney beans.
Using heroin and other drugs which interfere with appetite can lead to various sorts of malnutrition, especially Vitamin C deficiency. This vitamin alone is responsible for several vital processes, such as gum health and healing of skin. Raising levels of vitamin C in the body should be most users' first dietary concern.
Look out for citrus fruits and kiwi fruit, green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. If you can't fit these into your diet, take a pill - 100mg a day will be noticeably better than nothing.
Don't go breaking my heart
Regular users of almost all drugs place additional strains on their heart - over and above everyday stress - due to sharp fluctuations in pulse rate and blood pressure, and due to clogging or hardening of the arteries and veins. In combination with unhealthy foods, this is a recipe for cardiac trouble.
The main troublemakers to limit are salt, fat and alcohol - if that sounds like everything there is to a tasty meal to you, don't despair - there are good alternatives. See the last section here for a link to a simple food chart. For example, you don't have to pretend you're not hungry when your mates go for a kebab - just choose a shish instead of a doner ...
Blood thinning medications such as aspirin should not be taken in combination with any drug which raises blood pressure. They may contribute to haemmorage and strokes.
The overlooked nutrient
Some of us know all about fat, protein, starch, vitamins, etc, but overlook a vital part of a daily diet - water! It's an important contributor to the body's overall wellbeing, allowing it to move chemicals around to wherever they're needed and contributing to more cosmetic stuff like supple skin.
You can rely on the fluids in any drink which is non-alcoholic, but a cheap and enjoyable option is to chill tapwater in the fridge for a refreshing glass now and then.
Alcohol interferes with your kidneys' water recycling function, causing you to lose water through urine faster than your body ought to. Especially if you have energetic evenings, eg going clubbing, try to replace lost fluids with water, fruit juices or isotonic (sports) drinks.
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