I first learned about the hijacked brain in a nursing in-service at work in 2017. Nurses were just starting to be able to get help for their risk of becoming addicted. My family was experiencing our first what the F moments of something being amiss with my 32 year old son.
He was flying high (excuse the pun) on the success of his company he had spent years building. However, he was disapearing from job sites more often, leaving foreman’s without direction and supplies, and trying to maneuver his flailing marriage & family-life.
He would admit later- on voice recordings- that he had so many irons in the fire, and had promised so many people too much, that he turned more and more to drugs just to function and help deal with his own disappointment of his unfulfilled promises.
It was heartbreaking. I remember sitting in that meeting thinking ,”wow! I’m glad we are catching this early”
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It seems I should have known more about addiction by then, being a nurse and all; but truth is, I had the same stigmatized view of addicts as alot of people still do.
I thought it was a certain class, maybe the poorer, uneducated kids from troubled homes. Boy was I about to get the lesson of my life.
As I wrote in my Soon to be released book, I HAD to find a way to look at addiction from a human perspective.
I was shocked to find out the possible numbers of people addicted.
Harvard states: Nearly 23 million Americans—almost one in 10—are addicted to alcohol or other drugs.
Once I dug deep into the actual physiology of Addiction, and the possible causes, it was time to look at chances at recovery.
Different studies quote very low numbers on recovery, some as low as 2%. But recovery is very hard to measure. It’s much easier to track how many are treated
Here on the government’s website they show the many areas of treatment and how many facilities are licensed.
The sad thing about addiction- Other than every single thing about addiction is sad- is the fear of the brain not being able to heal.
I’ve heard recovered addicts say that for 2,6, even 12 months out, they still have problems with memory or energy or even feeling joy. It’s not surprising, considering the massive changes that the high amounts of dopamins cause in the brain.
There’s so many mechanisms involved that it is a miracle anyone recovers, but millions do. As this harvard help guide explains the brain changes:
“Addiction exerts a long and powerful influence on the brain that manifests in three distinct ways: craving for the object of addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.”
“Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and diabetes impairs the pancreas, addiction hijacks the brain”.
Harvard describes it further In THIS article on the hijacked brain.
The surgeon general website has good info on neural pathways that addiction causes. The good news is these pathways can be re- routed. Remapping, it’s called. Here’s a great visual From Alta Mira treatment center
There is a great organization called Matthews Hope foundation that does this also. They were so kind in trying to help my son get brain re-mapping to heal his diseased brain during one of his detoxes. Of course, you have to have a committed willing participant. I am still praying for this day to happen.
As of right now, my son is still breathing, so there is HOPE.🙏🍀🙏🍀🙏🍀🙏🍀
With over 22 million Americans in recovery, chances are good.,🤞🍀🤞🍀🤞🍀