No contest, our brains are the most powerful supercomputers on the planet. (You might even say this organ is the only genetically programmed machine, if you want to take the concept any further.) From housing our most private thoughts to regulating our sleep patterns, the brain is a miracle of nature. Like any advanced machine, however, it can blow a gasket if you throw a peanut butter sandwich in its circuit board. In this case, consider drugs and alcohol the peanut butter sandwich. However, recent studies indicate that (with the right mixture of detox and rehab) addicts can actually reverse gears without the aid of medication and use their healthy neurofeedback to counteract addictive behavior. Let’s take a closer look and find out how drug addicts and alcoholics can learn to move the mountain of mental illness with their minds.
Taking Back the Control Center
As part of recent study at the Icahn School of Medicine (Mount Sinai, Manhattan), a research team assessed a group of addicts to consider the power of the brain’s control center: the prefrontal cortex. For example, in one stage of the study, the team studied a man who suffered from addiction to crack and was instructed to provide detailed responses to images of this drug. After thoroughly studying his case and the others, the Icahn group discovered that changes in the brain directly impact higher cognitive functions like self-control and judgement (two factors that can lead to addictive behavior).
Extreme Close Up
Back in 2002, Rita Z. Goldstein (a neuroscience and psychology professor) teamed up with Nora Volkow (the current director of NIDA) to developed iRISA, an immensely influential model for addiction studies that focuses on inhibited response and salience. In relation to this study, Goldstein herself has revealed how cocaine addicts lose gray matter volume in their prefrontal cortexes, ultimately resulting in impeded executive functions. In certain cases, these cocaine users perform poorly on tests focusing on memory, attention span, decisions, and money processing (not in all cases, though). As an additional example, some cocaine users in the study were unable to list a group of farm animals (after receiving a prompt) in contrast to healthy individuals.
Seeking Treatment for Drug Abuse and Addiction
Always remember that drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.