If someone is struggling with drug addiction, it can have serious effects on their quality of life. Substance abuse affects social connections and financial well-being. Most drugs have some strong side effects that do serious damage without help from a drug addiction treatment center. Drugs also affect the chemical balance and neural connections in the brain. This raises a serious question for those caught in an addiction: Can drug use cause brain damage?
Can Drug Use Cause Brain Damage?
Many drugs can have negative neurological effects. Different drugs impact the body and brain in different ways, so the extent of the effects varies based on the type and amount of drugs. Over time, drug use can lead to the loss of the ability to learn and retain new information. Drugs can interfere with the ability to make healthy decisions. They also affect the neural circuitry that controls emotions. At an extreme level, drug use can cause strokes or seizures that will do long-term damage to the brain.
It is vital to understand that addiction itself is a form of brain damage. Most drugs work by stimulating the pleasure or reward centers of the brain. As a person becomes dependent on the substance, the brain cannot function properly without the substance.
Understanding the Effects of Prolonged Drug Use
The brain is a complex and powerful organ. Within its many circuits are the connections that make you who you are. Because of the connections within your brain, you can perform complex, multistep tasks. You can remember your family members as well as your first-grade teacher. When your brain is healthy and clear, it can do amazing work that keeps you socially active and employed.
The worst effects of prolonged drug use are those that damage your mental circuitry. As those connections break down due to damage, you may have trouble with impulse control and making decisions in your best interest. In some cases, the damaging effects of prolonged drug use become permanent.
Your brain is often able to recover some function after it gets damaged. Over time, it can create new connections to make up for lost abilities. Part of the joy of overcoming addiction is the return of clarity. Problems and decisions that seemed difficult are suddenly much easier to handle. The frustration of memory loss subsides as the brain heals itself after the effects of prolonged drug use. However, this healing cannot happen if you are still using drugs.
Finding Help for Addiction
If you are in the Pacific Northwest, please consider our men’s and women’s rehab center in Bend, Oregon. We can help you return to clear-headed thinking. The staff at Sunstone Recovery in Oregon wants to help people break the bonds of addiction. We believe in a holistic approach to recovery, offering programs that will take you through every step of the process.
One of the biggest challenges for recovery is the fact that changes in brain chemistry are often long-lasting. At Sunstone Recovery, we not only look at stepping away from drugs and alcohol, but we also consider the origins of your addiction. Through individual, group and family therapy sessions, we will help you understand the reasons that started you on the path to addiction and give you strategies for dealing with them. Our intensive outpatient program in Bend, OR can continue to give you a happy and productive post-recovery life.
Although it is challenging, you can recover from drug addiction. If you are ready to rediscover the world with a new sense of clarity, Sunstone Recovery is ready to help. Contact our rehab center in Bend, Oregon, today at 855.833.9199.