This post is co-authored by Khary Rigg, Ph.D., and Melody Chavez, RDN/LDN, MPH. The large number of Americans who misuse opioids remains a major public health concern. Recent data show that over 13 million Americans report past-year misuse, and well over 2 million meet the clinical criteria for opioid use disorder (OUD). Not surprisingly, the amount of people seeking treatment for OUD has also increased . A concern, however, is that drug treatment providers give little thought to the ways that OUD can influence their clients’ nutrition , weight, and eating habits. Unknown to many addiction providers is that OUDs can cause metabolic changes, constipation , and weight loss . OUD can also lead to a lifestyle that results in inadequate food intake and unhealthy eating patterns. The nutritional dimensions of OUD treatment are particularly relevant for certain subgroups of clients that might require specialized diets, such as pregnant women and persons with diabetes. Nutritional factors associated with OUD can also hinder treatment outcomes. As we aim to improve clinical outcomes for clients with OUD, providers could benefit from learning more about the nutritional consequences of the disorder and the important role nutrition can play in promoting recovery. Here are four… Read full this story
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