The New Standard For Recovery
Long before most recreational drug users realize they have a problem, significant damage has already been done. Drug addiction not only affects relationships, job performance, finances, motivation, libido and other aspects of life. It also takes a heavy toll on basic brain function.
One significant side effect of regular substance abuse is damaged or impaired cognitive function that can significantly impact perception of the world, effective processing of information and likelihood of recovery. The natural process of recovering from this impairment takes months or even years, and the difficulty such impairment creates is one of the leading reasons that there is such a high recidivism rate among those who struggle with substance abuse.
Fortunately, many negative effects can be reversed in rehab. Keep reading to find out how neurocognitive therapy at St. Gregory Retreat Centers can increase the likelihood of recovery.
Your Brain, By Design
Your brain is a complex, sophisticated communication system. Highly specialized neurons, an estimated 86 billion of them, receive, process and transmit information.
Messages are sent from cell to cell by neurotransmitters. These natural brain chemicals, released at just the right time and in just the right doses, define your experience of life. Some, such as dopamine, cause pleasure. Others decrease your perception of pain or give you a boost of energy when you need it. Still others file and store each and every memory in order of priority.
You can thank neurotransmitters for the pleasure you feel when you sink your teeth into your favorite pizza. When your brain is up to speed, you don’t laugh out loud at a funeral or fall asleep when you hear an intruder breaking in.
In short, your natural brain chemistry keeps everything in check so that you respond appropriately to what’s going on in your world. This is all by God’s design.
You’ve Been Hacked
Drugs hack into this spectacular system and scramble your brain signals.
Some trick the brain into releasing abnormally high amounts of feel-good chemicals like dopamine. Others mimic neurotransmitters, prompting the brain to activate neurons they can attach to; the goal is to keep them in your system longer. Either way, addictive drugs teach your brain to crave them.
In the early stages of drug addiction, the brain does its best to compensate for these chemical imbalances. It’s a little like adjusting water pressure so that you lightly sprinkle flowers with a hose rather than blast them from the soil. Eventually, though, the brain can’t keep up.
For example, some drugs stimulate the release of dopamine at up to 10 times the normal level. When the brain recognizes that dopamine is flooding the system, it stops releasing it altogether.
When the brain stops doing its job, energy, pain relief, memory, clear thinking and everyday pleasures are hard to come by without drugs. An addict’s perception of events, circumstances and people is dramatically altered.
Reversing the Damage With Neurocognitive Rehab
The brain is surprisingly resilient. The moment that you quit drugs for good, it starts to make a comeback.
However, depending on the severity of your drug addiction, natural recovery could take months or even years. That’s why substance abuse has such a high recidivism rate.
Here’s the good news: Emerging research in neuroplasticity demonstrates that damaged neural pathways can be stimulated and repaired more quickly through targeted exercises and regular practice.
At St. Gregory Retreat Centers, we utilize cutting-edge neurocognitive rehab to restore brain function. This important therapy was developed by an international network of scientists, clinicians and information technology specialists. It’s designed to improve memory, problem-solving, planning, decision-making and visuospatial skills. Benefits are almost immediate.
Early restoration of cognitive skills will make you more alert and help you sustain attention as you participate in other aspects of the St. Gregory Retreat program:
- Detoxification in a supportive environment
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to pinpoint and address triggers to drug abuse
- New-habit development to teach healthy ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, anger and other emotions
- Nutrition and exercise classes to stabilize the body
- Life coaching for assimilating into sober, productive society
Neurocognitive therapy, combined with other proven scientific methods, greatly increases the likelihood of recovery.
Call St. Gregory Retreat Centers today. God has an exciting purpose for your life, and not even drugs can thwart his plans.
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