Sigma tau-HealthScience, Via Treviso 4, Pomezia, 00040, Italy.
Nutritional deficiency in combination with drug abuse may increase risk of developing the metabolic syndrome by augmenting cell damage, excitotoxicity, reducing energy production, and lowering the antioxidant potential of the cells. We have reviewed here the following points: effects of drugs of abuse on nutrition and brain metabolism; effects of nutrition on actions of the drugs of abuse; drug abuse and probability of developing metabolic syndrome; role of genetic vulnerability in nutrition/drug abuse and brain damage; and the role of neuroprotective supplements in drug abuse. Nutrition education is an essential component of substance abuse treatment programs and can enhance substance abuse treatment outcomes. The strategies available, in particular the nutritional approach to protect the drug abusers from the metabolic syndrome and other diseases are discussed.