Even if we’ve been following through with our work and family responsibilities for years, addiction can set us back – making it challenging for us to continue doing what we used to know so well. Simple tasks like working, cooking and cleaning might suddenly become incredibly difficult as our brain has now been wired to seek out and use substances.
The Brain and Addiction: What You Need to Know
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that as the brain contains three-pounds of mass with grey and white matter, these areas of the brain are required to perform functions like driving a car, creating something artistically and more. Since the brain is made up of so many interconnected parts, addiction satiates the brain over time, which leads a person to think and act differently than they normally would. Neurons located throughout the brain can suddenly release enormous amounts of neurotransmitters that prevent regular cycling of chemicals, which only disrupts overall communication throughout the brain.
The National Geographic covered the story of a man who battled with a cocaine addiction; he stated:
“I began to use cocaine with rage. I became paranoid, obsessed, crazy. I could not see any way to stop.”
With such a tight hold on brain functioning, it makes sense that a person would begin to “skip over” daily responsibilities – because their brain has now become hardwired to focus on completing other tasks. After all, the American Society of Addiction Medicine explains that addiction,
“…is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.”
If you’ve been there before, it’s important to not put yourself down. The reality is that addiction affects millions of people across the world, and these individuals have likely struggled with maintaining seemingly “normal” aspects of their daily lives because they were battling a disease.
Getting Back on Track: Replenishing Life Skills
Sometimes it helps to have people around who can uplift and support you in your journey to strength and stability. At Cumberland Heights, you will have the opportunity to be surrounded by a team of individuals who want the best for your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. As you “get back on track”, you’ll be able to get to know others who are also working hard in recovery – and it will be a journey that brings you so much strength. Individual and group therapy sessions will help you work through deep-rooted emotional concerns while you take on a more practical approach to your recovery. Hands-on activities, such as participating in 12-Step programs, will assist you in navigating the world of recovery alongside others whom you can relate to and a 12-Step sponsor who can provide you with further guidance and support.
A 2015 study published in the journal Substance Abuse collected data from 31 individuals in a recovery program and found that one’s social support network can have a huge influence on how a person views themselves, recovery and their social support as a whole. By having a safe space to embark on recovery, in addition to actively pursuing opportunities to engage in self-care, you can feel more empowered than ever before to take hold of sobriety.
Not Giving Up
There may be some moments when it feels like you’ll never be able to complete the responsibilities you did before – in fact, even acquiring a job again can be intimidating for people. With the help of Cumberland Heights, however, you’ll gain greater confidence in your capabilities and you’ll have so many resources at the tip of your fingers. The most important piece of this puzzle is to not give up – because as long as you continue using the resources around you, you will not endure the trials and tribulations of recovery alone.
Not to mention, Harvard Health explains that recovering from one addiction could make a person less vulnerable to adopting other addictions – there are a number of tools that can make people stronger in recovery, such as:
- The development of healthy coping mechanisms
- Enhanced skills for dealing with troubling situations
- Greater motivation as a person has continuously worked hard for recovery
- And more
Peter Grinspoon, MD, explains the hope for recovery beautifully by stating:
“People aren’t static, which is what reminds us to never give up hope when dealing with an addicted loved one, no matter how dire the circumstances appear to be.”
If you’re ready to take hold of your life from the chains of addiction, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. It’s never too late to seek help – and the sooner you get started, the sooner your real life can begin.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.