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Drug Treatment to Restore Mental Balance

Addiction and Drug Treatment - The Bergand Group

Those in need of drug treatment for an addiction often have difficulty making that push to active steps toward recovery. They are more often than not aware of the consequences of their continued use, so why do so many addicts continue to make these destructive choices? The answer is more complicated than just “because they have an addiction.”

The Brain Stands Between Patients and Drug Treatment

“Understanding what motivates these decisions is a critical part of prevention and treatment of addiction.” If we can’t determine why those suffering from addictions make the choices that they make, then how are we supposed to find them real help and offer them solid support?

Part of the answer comes in physiology, in the way that the brain functions and how it can act in conflict with itself. There’s no question that one’s brain chemistry plays an enormous role in the development of an addiction and beyond, but how, specifically, does it help to justify so much instant gratification despite long-term consequences? This “dual decision model” makes it easier to act in the ‘now’ because those impulses come much more quickly than the further-thinking, more rational part of the brain. Once that arises – ‘I want to smoke,’ or ‘I want to drink’ – the person usually goes with it without waiting for the other part of the brain to chime in.

“Addiction arises when the impulsive system wins the competition against the deliberative system for behavioral control.” Though other people may feel similar pulls in less dangerous ways, an addict is torn between life-altering substance use and, say, drug treatment. In that moment, the choice may seem obvious and easy, despite their having intentions to change their ways. In those moments, the drug use acts as a reward for following the impulsive system in their brains, which only serves to strength that connection. In a way, their brains work against them on these occasions.

This has everything to do with their need to enter into drug treatment. In addiction recovery facilities, the professionals help that individual to seek out better ways to manage these cravings and desires until those ‘pathways’ have been ‘rewritten.’ Being in this other, physical location helps immensely, too, as “compulsive behavior is strongly cue-dependent in the sense that it is regularly triggered by certain situations, places, or people associated with the type of behavior in question.” Put simply, relocating to an entirely new environment can work wonders to keep the patient from falling into these old habits.

Of course, the consequences associated with addiction are not only that the individual is putting themselves, and their own health, at risk. Relationships with family and friends, the pursuit of other (healthier) leisure activities, professional life, education… all of these are set aside in favor of the impulsive choices and ‘rewards.’ It’s hard for something more abstract like maintaining a friendship to compete with the instant gratification of using drugs. However, the road to recovery involves re-establishing a real balance within the brain and finding ways to stand against those cravings in their most compelling moments. How we help patients with all that is another story.

To find professional drug treatment for yourself or for a loved one, contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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