by admin

Have you ever wondered why an addict has lost control of their senses and actions? Today, that answer is more science based and evidence backed than in previous decades.

Previously people just thought if the addict has more will power, they could say no to drugs or alcohol, but today because of brain imaging, we know that is not the truth. The truth of the matter is that the drugs and alcohol hijack the rewards part of the brain.

Because of that hijacking and the changes that occur in that part of the brain, it can also hijack your recovery without proper treatment, education, and healing of that part of the brain. 

How addiction hijacks the brain

Everyone’s brain works by rewarding good behavior such as diet, exercise, or bonding with family. It does this by turning on brain pathways that make you feel delightful. That feeling helps you repeat those good behaviors, so you have that feeling again.

When you are in danger, however, your brain opens the flight or fight pathways to get you out of harm’s way. When it comes to temptation, the front part of your mind can help you decide what to do. For example, you experience a  temptation to spend over your budget for something you really do not need. The front part of your brain helps you reason that doing so is not something you can live with, such as not being able to pay your car payment.

So when you are becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, those hijack the pleasure, reward part of your brain, making you crave more. It can also turn your emotional flight or fight response on full force, making you anxious, stressed, and panicked.  On top of the hijacking of those areas, continued use of drugs or alcohol can damage the front part of your brain that helps you reason out your decisions. 

Can the brain heal from addiction

Can the brain heal from addiction? Like any brain injury, it depends on how bad the damage is and how much your mind will heal. Those who are not years in addiction will see more healing and faster than those who are just a couple years in the habit. Think of it as the difference between a concussion and a traumatic brain injury.

Recovery depends on the person remaining sober, not even a sip of alcohol or a single pill; the person never touching alcohol or drugs again, often requires months or years of follow up therapy and treatment while the brain heals.

Just because the brain heals does not mean that the person can go back to alcohol or drug use, which will start the hijacking all over again.

449 Recovery offers a detox program that is continually monitored. Call us today (855) 435-7449 to learn more about our addiction treatment program and the therapies we use and the detox program to provide the tools and skills to reduce the likelihood of relapse