There are a lot of consequences associated with drug abuse. Your body’s health may be compromised, your relationships may be disrupted, and you may perceive the world differently. Taking drugs can cause significant damage to your brain. The resulting damage to your brain is serious if you misuse prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, or any other type of drug.
The good news is that your brain is capable of self-healing when you stop using drugs. However, you must create the right conditions to make this happen. Molecular balance can be restored in your brain when you do this. The balance in your brain can allow you to regain control over impulses, emotions, memory, and thinking patterns.
How Drugs Affect The Brain
It is possible for your brain to work less effectively when you suffer from substance abuse disorder. The brain’s normal chemistry can be altered by drugs. At first, you might not notice much of a difference in your behavior, but as your brain adapts to drug use, your behavior may gradually become erratic. Your behavior may change if your brain has been or is currently affected by drug use.
You will often experience strong impulse reactions if you’re battling addiction. Risky behavior might result when this occurs.
Emotions can be obscured by drug use in many ways. If you are overly emotional after the high, you might lose control, turn back to drugs, or lash out emotionally.
The hippocampus, which is a part of your brain that helps you remember information, can be affected by some drugs. Having substance abuse challenges can make it difficult for you to remember bills, events, important dates, meetings, and social events.
Reward System Trick.
You are more likely to take drugs again and again since drugs trick and rewire the brain’s pleasure system.
Information may be processed differently in the brain when you take drugs. Your learning, adapting, or changing behavior will be difficult if you’re having difficulty absorbing new information. Changing bad or harmful habits can also be difficult.
The activity of your brain can be slowed with depressant drugs. Sleep patterns are often disrupted by stimulants. The central nervous system may be depressed by opioids. Your anxiety level can rise and your sensory perception can be altered by hallucinogens. The combined effects of all of these factors can put you at risk for mental health disorders.
Fortunately, regaining your mental health is possible.
What Can You Do To Help Repair Your Brain?
Your brain gets a fresh start when you remove drugs from your system. You’ll first feel out of alignment as your brain and body adjust to the sudden change. Withdrawal symptoms may occur at that point. While you are detoxifying, your brain’s chemistry is readjusted as you complete the process. Just like you would jumpstart a car, detox might seem like an effective method of jumpstarting your brain.
You have temporarily suffered from brain damage caused by drugs. However, when your body and brain are drug-free, you can prepare your brain for treatment in which you will be able to ignore your drug cravings and are able to adjust to life without drugs.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
You will learn how to identify and change destructive thought patterns that have a negative effect on your behavior through this type of behavioral therapy. However, studies suggest CBT can also stimulate your central nervous system to change dysfunctional behavior.
You stimulate neural network growth in your brain when you practice cognitive therapy. What you think, feel, and perceive in the world is determined by those neural networks. Your beliefs about what is possible are also shaped by neural networks.
Developing these networks can then work as a necessary catalyst for positive behavior change. The amygdala and the frontal cortex also become more active as a result of cognitive behavioral therapy. Fear and threat processing is controlled by your amygdala. Rational thinking and reasoning are handled by the prefrontal cortex.
You learn how to control your thoughts and feelings when you engage in CBT as part of addiction treatment. Consequently, you’re likely to experience fewer emotional outbursts, better logic, and a more positive outlook on the world and your abilities.
Mindfulness & Meditation
The brain is strengthened by mindfulness and meditation. Through constant focusing and refocusing, the auditory cortex becomes more connected to the part of the brain that processes self-referential thoughts. The rate at which you process information from the outside world determines how you make sense of it. The key to meditation is believing the positive things you tell yourself about yourself.
Your brain helps you to envision yourself in long-term recovery and living a sober lifestyle when you think about saying, “I can recover” or “I’ll live a sober life,” and focus your mind on these kinds of thoughts.
Mindfulness and meditation have also been found to reduce relapse risk in another study. Mindfulness has other benefits as well:
- Enhances your sense of sight and hearing by increasing gray matter in your brain. Making healthy decisions and displaying self-control is also easier when you have more grey matter.
- You can improve your memory and ability to learn new habits and behaviors by increasing the cortical thickness in the hippocampus.
- Reduces fear, anxiety, and stress by decreasing the number of neurons in the amygdala.
Does The Brain Repair Itself After Drug Use?
Despite its fragility, the brain is durable. A number of ways can aid the brain in brain recovery and repairing itself after drugs have damaged it, including:
Simply put, neuroplasticity is the process by which your brain continues to function even when neural pathways are disrupted by cell damage. In other words, plasticity enables someone to learn how to write with their left hand after their right hand is injured.
Brain cells can regenerate themselves. The cells you damage while using drugs will regenerate eventually.
Different parts of the brain are involved in brain function. You can still remember stuff, think logically, and sharpen your senses even if you lose the original memory center, cognitive function, and sensory perception. You will need to stay drug-free, though, if you wish this to work.
Drug Addiction Treatment and Strengthening Your Brain Recovery
The risk of brain damage from drugs is well known. Neuronal connections can be destroyed when they disrupt the delicate balance of the brain. Despite this, there is still hope. When it comes to rewiring and modifying connections, the brain excels. Moreover, other parts of the brain can also be utilized to maintain your functional ability while recovering from addiction.
ReAlign Detox’s staff members understand what it’s like to struggle with addiction. The first step must be taken. Get in touch with us at if you’re ready to begin, continue, or have questions about the recovery process. Real people seeking real recovery are the ones we design our treatment programs for.