Up until fairly recently, individuals who suffered from a substance abuse disorder were often treated in a psychiatric hospital. Addiction was perceived as a matter of weak moral standing or flawed character -it was not thoroughly understood, and medical professionals did not yet understand that addiction was a chronic and relapsing disease of the brain. Individuals who were addicted to drugs or alcohol were criminalized and locked in jail cells, as they were subjected to cruel and unusual “treatment” methods like lobotomies and shock therapy.
Can Your Brain Chemistry Be Fixed After Addiction?
The disease of addiction has since been studied and researched in depth for decades, and it was discovered that addiction is a disease of the brain – one that can be effectively treated but never entirely cured. It is now understood that substance abuse and dependency result from a wide range of contributing factors, factors that vary significantly on a person-to-person basis. This complicated brain disease significantly impacts central nervous system functioning, affecting the parts of the brain that control things like motivation, impulse control, and the reward system.
Emotional regulation and cognitive functioning are thrown completely out of whack, and without intensive therapeutic care and an extended stay at an inpatient treatment facility, there is very little chance (absolutely no chance if addiction has advanced) that symptoms will subside on their own. If you have been suffering from a substance abuse disorder of any severity, medical detox and inpatient treatment will be necessary. For more information on the disease model of addiction or to learn more about Recreate Life Counseling and our unique recovery program, reach out to us today.
The Healing Process from Addiction
Addiction does a number on the brain – there is no question about that. Brain damage will vary depending on the individual, the type of substances involved in the addiction, and the length of time that the substances were being abused. Some brain damage might be irreversible – some might be temporary. Some chemical substances, like methamphetamine, ecstasy, and other hallucinogenic drugs, slowly eat away at the brain and cause severe and lasting damage. Individuals who abuse hallucinogenic drugs for any extended period very often suffer from cognitive issues – issues that do not go away over time and severely compromise the overall quality of life.
Individuals who abuse alcohol for years on end might experience what is known as “wet brain syndrome.” Brain matter is permanently damaged and the individual can no longer function or process information at the same level they used to. This syndrome is similar to Alzheimer’s or dementia. There is no question about it – substance abuse changes how the brain functions. The amount of time it takes the brain to recover depends on a wide range of factors.
Recreate Life Counseling and Addiction Recovery
Recreate Life Counseling offers a comprehensive program of addiction treatment for men and women of all ages in Boynton Beach, Florida. Southern Florida has recently gained a reputation as the “recovery capital of the world,” largely because of the infinite recovery-related resources available to those who seek treatment in this specific region. Our continuum of clinical and therapeutic care was developed to help individuals heal from the physical, mental, and emotional devastation of addiction while coming to fully grasp the disease model of addiction.
If an individual does not thoroughly understand all contributing, underlying factors, there is very little chance that he or she will be able to stay sober long-term. Not only do we actively treat addiction, but we pave the road for a lifetime of fulfilling and joyous recovery. For more information on our recovery program, or to learn more about the long-term effects of addiction on the brain, please reach out at your earliest possible convenience.