30 years ago the scientific and medical communities didn’t know as much about addiction and the brain as they do today. Part of what we’ve learned is that for millions of people, overcoming addiction is not about a lack of will power, a lack of faith, or a lack of discipline. It’s about their brains being literally injured and their brain chemistry being physically altered.
This has led the scientific community, along with NIDA and numerous other agencies and organizations, to acknowledge drug and alcohol addiction as a chronic and progressive brain disease. And that means that treating addiction will require medicine, just like any other disease. Therapy is necessary for recovery, but it’s not going to heal your brain…which is one of the reasons why so many people struggle and relapse.
What would happen to a diabetic if they decided to stop taking medicine? Or decided to start eating sugar again? They would lapse into a diabetic coma because their bodies cannot process sugar. It’s basically the same for an addict. There is a section of your brain that is injured. It cannot function properly with alcohol or drugs in your system. There are medications that can help your brain “disconnect” from those harmful desires or patterns and then promote the regeneration of the damaged parts.
Once your brain begins to heal, we can start to work through your unique set of underlying personal and family issues, along with the related triggers that contribute to your addiction behaviors. As your brain rebalances, you will be better able to absorb, process and (most importantly) retain the new behavioral patterns that the therapies will provide.