Snacks Used to Ease Recovery

A U.K. detox program is using healthy snacks as a way to help addicts overcome anxiety and sleeplessness.

Crack and cocaine addicts going through detox are given snack packs that include brazil nuts and sunflower seeds — natural remedies for relaxation — along with cognitive therapy and acupuncture.

“You’ve got to want to come off crack cocaine or stimulants yourself, but the packs help like mad,” said Joe, an ex-crack cocaine user. “Once you can suppress your cravings you can get on with life. It’s working for me.”

And Karl Sheldon of the Middlesbrough, England drug-action team, added: “When it comes to drug addiction we always think of the usual stuff, opiates and physical addiction. Stimulants like cocaine and crack cocaine are more psychologically addictive, so you are looking at a different way of treating these addicts. For example, the licorice root you chew on is good for sweet cravings and also for liver function. And again with brazil nuts, the chemicals inside attach onto receptors in the brain which deal with opiates and also stimulants.

“You are not going to eat a brazil nut and all your cravings are going to go away,” continued Sheldon. “This is about dealing with your cravings and taking the edge off them.”

Sheldon said about 50 snack packs have been given to addicts over the past two months, and seem to be having a positive effect.

Source: BBC July 18 2005

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