Hope Found in The Healing Ability of The Recovering Addicts Brain
Recently a man of 55 attended a South Florida detox center and substance abuse facility. At our rehab clinic we noticed that periods of long term and chronic drug abuse had a negative impact on his cognitive functions. The most pressing issue being his memory. Many other brain functions seemed to be severely damaged over his period of substance abuse and the patient’s family seemed resigned to the fact that this limited cognitive ability would continue to get worse or best case, remain the same. People seeking recovery after decades of alcohol and drug abuse do so to stop the progression of the disease of addiction but are unaware that as a recovering addict the brain’s ability to heal is quite remarkable.
Rehab Clinics Find Brain Damage from Substance Abuse Reversed in Two Weeks
Studies have been proven to find what we discovered with our 55-year-old recovering addict mentioned above. With as little as 2 weeks of abstinence from drugs and alcohol the brain can actually reverse the damaged caused. When alcohol and drugs are introduced to the body over a long duration the brain begins to shrink and loses mass. It also increases the amount of cerebrovascular fluid. This shrinking of the brain and the increased fluids are the primary causes of memory loss and concentration problems.
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Brain Shrinkage Repaired Must Sooner Than Believed in Recovering Addict
The studies looked at 49 recovering addicts in rehab clinics and saw that after the aforementioned 2 weeks of recovery took place, the deterioration of the cerebellum or “Brain Shrinkage” had completely returned to normal in most cases. We also found that recovering addicts attention issues and impulsivity concerns reduced rapidly as well. These higher cognitive functions have been perceived for years to be a milestone that the addict had little to no chance of achieving. With this new knowledge, rehab clinics are more hopeful than ever, since the biggest deterrent to recovery is the addicts desire for instant gratification. By being able to inspire hope of reversing brain damage in 2 weeks, more individuals fighting addiction may be drawn to these fast results.
Recovering Addicts Encouraged by Rapid Return of Increased Cognitive Skills
When our recovering addict at the beginning of the article had reached the two week milestone, he was very surprised at just how focused his mind seemed to be. Family and therapists commented that he seemed to be more engaged, focused and remembered much more. His wife reported that phone calls from his rehab clinic highlighted the restoration of memory. When our subject was asked if he would have sought treatment sooner if he had been made aware of the likelihood of cognitive behaviors returning so quickly he responded, “I would have come in much sooner. I knew that I had really ruined my heart, mind and soul. If I knew that my mind could come back in 2 weeks I would have been here years ago. Infact I didn’t think any of the negative effects of my drug use could be reversed. This is information that people need to know.”