Dietary remedy for drug addicts

A compulsory drug rehabilitation center in Shanghai has developed a dietary therapy for its inmates suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

A compulsory drug rehabilitation center in Shanghai has developed a dietary therapy for its inmates suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Abuse of drugs, especially traditionally prohibited drugs like heroin, can damage abusers' cardiovascular system, causing heart diseases, high blood pressure and related illnesses.

To help abusers fight against drug addiction and rehabilitate effectively, Xiayang Compulsory Drug Rehabilitation Center in Qingpu District has developed a dietary therapy for its inmates suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Among its 1,026 inmates, 176 are registered as cardiovascular diseases sufferers, accounting for about 17.2 percent of the total. Many rehabilitation centers mainly focus on psychological remedy and physical rehabilitation training but lack effective measures to control cardiovascular diseases among addicts.

According to Xu Renming, deputy director of the center, 70 of them have to be treated at professional hospitals, causing high costs and workloads.

From January to September last year, the center sent inmates to hospitals for 442 times, and 62.7 percent, or 277 of them, involved patients of cardiovascular diseases, while some were even treated repeatedly.

“There are usually no obvious symptoms before attacks of cardiovascular diseases, but when they happen without timely treatment, they could cause very serious consequences or even deaths,” said Xu. “Meanwhile, addicts also suffer from postoperative complications after they get cardiovascular diseases, increasing the risks.”

Therefore, the center cooperated with Longhua Hospital to launch a program to study the influence of dietary intervention and explore new models of drug addict rehabilitation.

The research team worked out a special recipe featuring low salt and low fat and tried it with 33 addicts suffering from cardiovascular diseases for eight months, compared with 37 without dietary intervention.

The experiment showed positive results and none of the 33 addicts had ever been hospitalized for treatment since the program was launched in June 2016.

Man Xiucai, Party chief and director of the Xiayang Compulsory Drug Rehabilitation Center, said the dietary remedy had not only effectively reduced the morbidity of cardiovascular diseases in addicts and improved their health condition, but also enhanced their confidence and willingness to participate in traditional detoxification and rehabilitation training programs.

Authorities will expand the recipe to other cardiovascular diseases patients in the Xiayang center and other detoxification facilities in the city.


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