When we’re on the outside looking in, it’s incredibly hard to understand why someone we love wouldn’t want to seek help for themselves. Why would they purposefully want to ruin their life? Why would they want to harm everyone around them and neglect their responsibilities? Amidst these thoughts typically arises some seriously intense emotions such as anger, depression, guilt, bitterness and more, which only further escalate the stress we’re feeling on a daily basis. If you’re the family member of a loved one who continues to make excuses for why they shouldn’t seek help, you’re not alone. Understanding the ways that addiction can affect the mind, body and spirit may help you get an even deeper glance into what your loved one is going through – so that you can have an even greater understanding of what’s going on.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reminds us that the brain is an incredibly complex organ – and with a three pound mass of gray and white matter, which we need to do everything in our daily lives, the brain can be significantly altered when drugs are involved. The brain works as a dynamic system that interacts in a multitude of ways to send signals throughout the body. These signals are sent between neurotransmitters, and, when drugs are involved, these neurotransmitters change. Drugs can affect the brain by sending out an influx of neurotransmitters – which send out an entirely different message from what would normally be sent.
The basal ganglia, for example, is a part of the brain that holds the “reward circuit” – and when drugs are taken, the reward circuit becomes flooded with dopamine (a “feel good” chemical), which only forces the brain to change it’s habits. This is where it all begins – and where your loved one’s brain functioning may have physically changed to crave alcohol or other substances. Put simply, addiction is considered a disease because it’s not something that can be easily changed – and our loved ones act differently and refuse to seek help because the disease make them feel as though they don’t need to.
Arbor Behavioral Healthcare offers an integrative and holistic approach to treat substance abuse and a wide variety of addictions, as well as underlying mental health and psychological issues. All of the addiction recovery programs offered by The Arbor are designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit leading to a lifetime of sobriety, health and wellness. If you’re ready to find healing and restoration in a peaceful, loving environment, please call us today at 844-560-7269.
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