Nutrients That Become Depleted During Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Nutrients That Become Depleted During Drug and Alcohol Addiction

By Jennifer McDougall

Addiction can happen to anyone, and it can consume your life and well-being before you know what is happening. Alcohol and drug abuse have significant effects on the body, especially as it relates to nutrient depletion. Individuals addicted to drugs or alcohol are often malnourished and suffer from deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. These deficiencies increase health risks, including liver damage and other long-term effects such as osteoporosis and cancer.

This article will explore common nutrient deficiencies in those struggling with addiction and what you can do to help replenish your body.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is niacin, an essential vitamin found in several foods, including fish, pork, chicken, peanuts, and eggs. It has also been used to help with high cholesterol levels and damage cause by consuming alcohol.

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine. It’s a water-soluble vitamin found in various foods, including pork and beef liver; sunflower seeds; beans and peas; whole grains like oats and brown rice; spinach and other leafy greens; tomatoes; oranges; peaches, plums, cantaloupe melons, and apricots.

Vitamin B1 helps convert food into energy for the body to function properly. In addition, it can help boost your immune system by fighting off infections caused by bacteria or viruses. It also plays a vital role in maintaining healthy nerves that carry messages from your brain throughout the rest of your body. It helps regulate moods such as anger or anxiety too.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in making neurotransmitters, substances that transfer signals between neurons. There are several different forms of vitamin B6. Still, pyridoxal phosphate is the active form used to make serotonin and dopamine—neurotransmitters used to regulate mood, sleep, pleasure, and reward.


As you’ve probably noticed, many of the nutrients discussed thus far are found in higher quantities in animal products. That’s because they are essential for brain function and development. Choline is an excellent example of this—it’s an essential nutrient that can be found in egg yolks, beef, chicken, fish, and whole grains.

Choline plays a role in many bodily functions, but most importantly, it helps make acetylcholine—a neurotransmitter that transmits messages between nerve cells. This means that choline is essential for brain development, memory, and learning abilities (especially during pregnancy).


Niacin is a B vitamin that’s also known as vitamin B3. It treats high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure.

Niacin can be found in fish, poultry, meat, and whole grains. In addition, fortified foods like cereal are also good sources of niacin.


Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is an essential nutrient that helps with energy production and digestion. It’s also beneficial for mental, heart, and skin health.

Thiamine deficiency can lead to symptoms like weakness, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, and irritability. In addition, a thiamine deficiency may be caused by alcohol or drug abuse such as malnutrition (not eating enough), forgetting to take vitamins, or eating a poor diet filled with processed foods or sugar instead of whole grains.

Thiamine is found in nuts; legumes (beans), whole grains; fortified breakfast cereal; fish; meat products like beef liver and pork spare ribs; poultry without skin, such as chicken breast without skin, and eggs without the shell.

Eating nutrient-rich foods will help your body rebuild after alcohol abuse or drug abuse. If you or a loved one is in need of treatment, please reach out to Passages Rehab today for help. Most insurance is accepted.

If you have been struggling with alcohol abuse or drug abuse, the nutrients in your body may have become severely depleted. Over time, this can lead to further health problems that make it harder for you to recover from addiction.

To help rebuild your body after years of substance use and abuse, we offer nutrient-rich meals three times a day during treatment programs at Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura. If you’re ready to get started on the road toward recovery from alcohol or drug abuse and want to learn more about our program options, please contact us today!

We hope that you have found this information helpful. It is important to remember that eating nutrient-rich foods may help your body rebuild after alcohol abuse or drug abuse. If you or a loved one needs treatment for addiction, please reach out today for help at Passages Addiction Rehab. Most insurance is accepted.

Non-12-Step Addiction Rehab at Passages

Passages Malibu is an alternative to traditional rehab that provides a holistic, client-centered approach to addiction treatment. Find lasting healing through our model of care and experiential therapies. You will uncover the root causes of your addiction, and we will provide you with tools for lifelong sobriety and change. We can help you turn your life around and find hope again. Call (888) 397-0112 today for more information.

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