Does your brain recover from drug abuse?
Drugs have short and long-lasting negative impacts on the human brain; the substance can completely rip apart every part of your life right before your eyes. Addiction has a way of silently impairing your health, interfering with your relationships, and completely changing the way you see the world. By the time most individuals come to terms or realize that they have an addiction, devastating consequences are already taking place.
One of the most severe and damaging effects of drug addiction is the effects on your most vital organ, the brain. The chemical compounds in drugs such as Opioids, Stimulants, Nicotine, Alcohol, and Sedatives allow people to completely lose control of their impulses and create a constant craving for harmful substances. When an individual has a drug addiction, the brain constantly craves the rewards when the substance has been taken. This results from the intense stimulation of the brain’s reward system.
The majority of users continue to abuse the harmful substance, leading to various euphoric feelings, followed by several odd behavioral traits. Long-term drug addiction can lead to a range of severe outcomes, including brain damage and even death.
Rewarding the brain
The brain regulates emotions, temperature, breathing, coordination, and decision-making; additionally, the brain further impacts physical sensations in the body, such as habits, cravings, and compulsions. However, the mighty organ, when under the influence of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and opioids, can alter the function of the brain leading to devastating effects.
The chemicals within drugs will severely interact with the limbic system in the brain, which is responsible for the release of intense euphoric, feel-good emotions which will affect the individual’s mind and body. Drug addicts will continue abusing drugs to support the mind’s craving for extreme feelings, which subsequently creates a vicious cycle that can often feel impossible to get off of. As an addict’s drug addiction continues, they begin taking drugs to feel usual rather than reasonable.
Can drug use cause brain damage?
Drug addicts can often experience various neurological changes due to the toxic chemicals they are consuming; however, many of these effects are a direct result of the intoxication of the drug. These effects will, most of the time, wear off once the substance has been cleared from the body.
Addicts who are considered heavy or chronic abusers are often at severe risk of neurological issues that can be detrimental to the individual’s life and have long-lasting effects. However, these neurological changes that are a direct result of substance abuse can more often than not be reversed once an individual decides to choose sobriety.
The brain can recover from drug abuse, but it does take time.
How do drugs affect the brain?
When an individual suffers from a substance use disorder, their brain will not function as well as it should. The chemicals within the drugs individuals consume interfere with your brain’s everyday chemistry; At the same time, you may not necessarily feel any different or notice any substantial changes in the beginning; your behavior will slowly become slightly more erratic as your brain adjusts to the drug usage. If an individual’s brain has been or is currently under the effects of drug use, you may begin noticing a change in behaviors that include but are not limited to:
Emotional control: Various drugs can make it extremely hard for individuals to experience emotions. When the euphoric high is over, the feelings will more often than not become too intense to bear, which will cause individuals to lash out emotionally at others or turn immediately back to drug use.
Impulse control: When an individual struggles with addiction, the brain prompts relatively strong impulse reactions. When this begins, the individual under the influence will often start engaging in what is viewed as risky behavior.
Mental health: Depressant drugs are known to completely slow down an individual’s brain activity, whereas stimulants are known to interfere with your sleeping patterns. Hallucinogens have been documented to increase your anxiety levels while also altering your sensory perception, and opioids will depress your central nervous system more often than not. Each of these effects has the potential to raise your risk of developing a mental health disorder significantly.
Memory: There are a variety of drugs out there that are known to affect your brain’s hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that allows you to memorize information that you have learned or been told. When individuals struggle with drug addiction, they may have difficulty remembering important events, deadlines, work, family obligations, and social activities.
What can be done to help repair the brain
You can do several things to help you repair your brain back to its total capacity once you have chosen the road to sobriety. One of the first, and probably the most obvious, is detox.
Detox: When you begin removing drugs from your body, you allow your brain to have a fresh start and start restoring balance to the entire body. In the beginning, your brain and body will feel completely out of balance due to the sudden change; you may also begin feeling withdrawal symptoms. However, as you continue to complete your detoxification process, your brain’s natural chemical balance will start to straighten out.
Drugs will cause a temporary malfunction; however, once your body is entirely free of the toxic chemicals, it can begin repairs what is necessary.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT is a specific type of behavioral therapy that helps teach you how to identify and alter any form of destructive thought pattern that has a negative effect on your behavior.
Furthermore, studies have shown that cognitive behavior therapy can also help change dysfunctional behavior in your central nervous system. When you begin participating in cognitive behavior therapy, you are working on strengthening your overall impulses emotions and allowing your thinking to become more flexible.
How is the brain able to repair itself
The brain is a complex organ; even after being damaged by drugs, it can repair itself in various ways to ensure the body’s functionality is back up and running to the total capacity. Below we have listed several ways that the brain goes about repairing itself; the first is:
Brain cell regeneration: Brian cells can recreate themselves repeatedly. Therefore any cell that is damaged by drug consumption will eventually regenerate itself.
Neuroplasticity: Neuroplasticity is the process that allows your brain to continue to function as well as it can even though there are damaged cells that disrupt the neural pathways. For example, if you brake your dominant arm in an accident, your other arm will begin learning how to do everything your right arm did to ensure you can still function with daily life.
Shared brain functionality: Brain functionality occurs in various parts of the brain; for example, if the drugs that an individual consumed damaged the original center of memory, sensory perception, and cognitive function, you can go ahead and utilize other parts of the brain to remember, keep your senses sharp and think logically.
Drug addiction recovery
Drugs have the potential to damage your brain severely; they can completely disrupt the delicate balance to hold the functionality of the body together. However, the brain is also excellent at rewriting itself and re-modifying its connection to get everything back the way it should be.
At Shoreline Sober Living, our team members understand what it takes to overcome an addict and how emotional and physically draining it can be. We are here, ready to make a change in your life and join the road to sobriety. At Shoreline Sober Living San Diego, recovery alone is complicated and unnecessary. Shoreline Sober Living provides professional guidance and support to set you on the right trajectory to achieve long-term sobriety. At the same time, living at our San Diego sober living homes, you will be immersed in a community with a group of vetted recovering drug addicts/ alcoholics that are not only serious about success in their recovery from drugs and alcohol but serious about success in all aspects of life- careers, relationships, and physical health.
Our treatment plans are bespoke to your specific needs and want; no two treatment plans are the same. We work with you, understand your goals, and set out plans to abide by your timings. Give us a call today!
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