Nurses' Influence on Nutrition-Based Recovery in Substance Use Disorders

Monday, 30 October 2017

Chelsea Lee Noble, SN
Tyler William Earl-Capehart, SN
School of Nursing, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is defined as “A chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characteristic by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences”. The purpose of this literature review is to examine nurses’ roles and the impact of nutrition in recovery of individuals with substance use disorders. Through assessment, nurses identify an individual’s health and nutrition status. Using evidence-based practice on nutrition and health of patients with substance use disorders, nurses can make that connection for recovery. The patient’s nutritional status significantly declines during the course of illness; therefore, the recognition and implementation of nutrition in recovery can greatly improve overall physical and mental health. As a result, the nurses’ role in health promotion, education, and interventions can impact an individual’s recovery from substance use disorders. Adding a nutrition component to recovery programs, could be a way to support detoxification and early recovery, while preventing a future relapse from occurring. By taking on a variety of therapeutic communication skills, patient-centered and evidence-based didactic teaching, and introducing information in increments, it can be used as an approach for health promotion in addiction recovery. By providing individualized care, nurses can be facilitators of change by taking on a multi-faceted, holistic approach because these approaches can be beneficial to encourage and potentiate motivation for self-care and self-maintenance. Along with self-maintenance, patients have a responsibility for their own lifestyle and sobriety, this is where nurses can be the link to the tools, information, and connection to social support needed to carry that lifestyle out. This literature review will be conducted through the use of previously published literature and data. The goal of this research is to analyze the available evidence to demonstrate how nurses can positively influence patient’s recovery and aid in the sobriety of substance use disorders.