Why Do People in Recovery Have Fatigue? 

Why Do People in Recovery Have Fatigue? 

Addiction recovery is difficult and requires lots of time to focus on the issues the person is facing. The body is changing rapidly as detox happens and everything is adjusting to not having drugs in the system. Addiction and recovery are challenging because they tax a person’s emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. People in recovery often suffer from fatigue for different reasons. Find out why fatigue happens and how to help a person who is struggling. 

Fatigue and Recovery

When a person in recovery experiences fatigue, they generally feel overwhelmed by all the feelings. It can be frustrating to feel like things are not progressing or moving forward. It takes time for the mind and body to catch up after detox. Everyday activities can be draining, like getting up, walking, or even going to the bathroom feel like a chore. Addiction takes a toll on people over time so it takes that much time, if not longer, to address the issues and start to get the body moving in a forward motion again. Recovery is emotionally taxing as well so being sober will not only make you tired but make you want to figure out how to feel better sooner than later. 

Stress Taxes the Body

People who feel stress are more likely to turn to things that help them numb out, including food, gambling, sex, and other avenues. Stress takes a toll on people’s minds and bodies. Cortisol rises during times of stress that is released from the adrenals and helps the body cope. Oftentimes, the adrenals can burn out from being overtaxed. Marijuana addiction may be linked to increased levels of cortisol. Drug withdrawal may lead to hypersensitivity and increased cortisol production. It is possible adrenals become more stressed with these spikes, which might lead to fatigue. 


Glucose levels can drop rapidly for people in recovery. The brain and body are craving certain things and it becomes a challenge for the body to assimilate what is going on. This may include shaky feelings, mood swings, mental fogginess, and intense tiredness.

Nutritional Habits

Many people who don’t eat properly are often susceptible to fatigue. Stress hormones, insulin, electrolyte imbalances, and all that go into the body impact glucose levels. Too much sugar and snacking can cause challenges. 

Creating healthy shifts in a person’s life can have a positive impact on wellbeing in recovery. Fatigue is part of the journey to detox and helps the body restore itself, but a well-balanced diet is critical to this experience to better support the body. If fatigue continues, it may be worth reaching out for additional help from care providers to see how they might best support the journey of healing. 

Feeling fatigued is part of recovery, but it can be one of many challenges you will face. The key is to ask yourself where you are now and where you want to be. If you are willing to put up with some of the challenges of recovery, you may be able to experience a better life away from addiction on the journey of healing. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.