Finishing a drug treatment program is a major accomplishment, but you may have lasting damage caused by drug and alcohol abuse. Healing after drug abuse is challenging. How do you heal the damage that these substances have caused? At our drug rehab center in Portland, we understand that total recovery goes beyond just eliminating drugs and alcohol from your life. Helping people find the bridge between healing and addiction is what we do.
How Drugs and Alcohol Affect the Brain
Keep in mind that the brain is the control center for the body. The functioning of your entire body rests there. Drugs and alcohol will affect these areas of the brain:
The cerebral cortex center is the area that is responsible for decision-making and for problem-solving.
The brain stem is what controls your breathing, sleeping patterns, and heart rate.
The limbic system is the area that houses pleasure and reward receptors that give people the want to repeat certain behaviors. It is the main center of the brain that is responsible for addictive behaviors and actions.
Drug Use Changes How We Think
Substance abuse breaks down the process of neurons communicating with one another. The brain will adapt to these drugs and alcohol being around in the body and alter neurotransmitter production which begins and continues cognitive impairment.
Substance abuse affects dopamine production with artificial surges, so when you stop doing drugs and alcohol, the levels will drop, triggering withdrawal symptoms. Considering attending one of the following programs to help your mind and body heal:
- Inpatient drug treatment: Provides comprehensive care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through treatment, clients learn how to manage triggers and create relapse prevention plans.
- Intensive outpatient program: Offers a level of care that is less intensive than inpatient treatment, but is still more structured and involved than traditional outpatient treatment.
- Partial hospitalization program: Provides clients with an intermediate level of care between inpatient and outpatient treatment. PHP is designed for those who need more structure than traditional outpatient care but don’t require the intensity of a residential program.
The brain isn’t the only area that substance abuse affects. It also affects the heart, the liver, and other vital organs in much the same way that it does the brain–by altering normal body functions that depend on receiving more drugs and alcohol.
How to Heal from Drugs and Alcohol Abuse
Nutrition is one secret to healing after drug abuse . Substance abuse is linked to nutritional deficiencies in the body, posing a threat to mental and physical wellness. Getting better food into the body and reducing your intake of preservatives and high-calorie/high-fat foods can help give back these nutrients.
Another way to heal the damage from drugs and alcohol is through exercise therapy. Exercise will naturally raise dopamine levels in the body, making you feel better. It will also begin to get your body into a better state of health, reducing body fat and getting your organs better oxygenated and your muscles on the path to facilitating your body functions better. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, boost your immune system, and give you sounder sleep.
Sleep is helpful for healing after drug abuse. As substance abuse whittles away your good sleep patterns, getting quality sleep can help you function and give your body a chance to rest and restore. Lack of good sleep can also fuel substance abuse cravings and make the body have even more insomnia. It’s a vicious cycle. By reducing stimulants in your day, especially near bedtime, you can give yourself better sleep, which will give your cravings a rest.
The most important way to heal from drugs and alcohol is to get into a good treatment plan to address your unique relationship with substance abuse. Once that has been tackled and you’re on the path of recovery, then getting better nutrition, exercise, and sleep can help you stay on the path to recovery while healing your brain, liver, and other organs from the damage. A better you comes from your day-to-day relationship with your commitment and doesn’t stop once you leave your recovery center.
Crestview is Portland’s Top Choice for Drug and Alcohol Treatment
It’s time to seek out professional help for your addiction. A therapist or counselor can provide support and guidance for the recovery process and give you tools to cope with the triggers that led to the abuse in the first place. Find professionals with the experience and knowledge needed to get you on the road to recovery. There is no shame in admitting that you need help and that you are not alone.
Crestview Recovery is an addiction treatment center that gives new meaning to the terms rehab center and recovery center. Call 866.262.0531 or contact us online to see how total wellness is incorporated into our recovery plans.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.