04 Jun Addiction Is a Brain Disease – and Best Treated with Psychoneuroplasticity
Addiction has been dubbed a brain disease by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and at the forefront of substance abuse addiction treatment is Psychoneuroplasticity (PNP), a cutting-edge advanced specialty care that is making waves in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Traditionally, brain-based treatment has been used to treat migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, numbness, and other health disorders; in the field of addiction medicine, PNP has become significant in treating chemical dependency because of the effects of addiction on the brain.
What do drugs and alcohol do to your brain?
The “high” experienced by a drug user results from overstimulation of the brain’s reward system when the brain releases high levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked with euphoria and pleasure. When you engage in your favorite activities like hiking, eating ice cream, or going offroading, the rush you feel from these normal activities comes from dopamine. You are likely to repeat enjoyable hobbies that make you feel good. Depending on the type of drug and the frequency with which you use it, your brain can get addicted immediately or over long-term use because your brain’s reward system keeps you coming back for more.
How does drug use damage your brain?
Quitting drug abuse is not a mere matter of strong will. When drugs and alcohol hijack your brain, it changes the neural pathways and affects the way you think and feel. Physiologically, your brain develops a tolerance for a certain level of drugs. After your body gets used to the euphoric effects, your brain will require higher and higher levels of the same drug to produce a high. Scientifically speaking, consistent overstimulation produces structural changes within the brain, causing desensitization of the neurons and a decrease in receptors. In other words, your “high” will decrease in quality unless you increase your drug use.
How does Psychoneuroplasticity (PNP) work?
The phrase “practice makes perfect” can be applied to neuroplasticity, an umbrella term that refers to the mind’s ability to make connections and therefore create new neural pathways in the brain. When you are learning a new skill, you have to keep practicing until you get it right. The more you practice, the stronger the connections will be as your brain develops pathways to master that skill.
When you learn new coping mechanisms and skills in your treatment program, PNP helps facilitate that process. Psychoneuroplasticity is an evidence-based brain-body intervention that strengthens the course of your recovery as you progress through different stages of addiction treatment. With the assistance of substance abuse counselors, addiction psychiatrists, and other clinicians on New Method Wellness’s multidisciplinary team, you can make permanent changes that will minimize future relapses and enhance the quality of your life.
Premier Provider of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Based in San Juan Capistrano, New Method Wellness delivers exceptional client-centered care with its unique 3:1 staff-to-client ratio. Psychoneuroplasticity (PNP) is one of the many program options available to individuals seeking treatment for substance abuse addiction.
New Method Wellness places importance on treating the mind, body, and spirit of a person to effectively treat drug and alcohol abuse. Our nationally recognized holistic therapies include Surf Therapy, Equine Therapy, Paddleboard Therapy, Yoga, Massage, Art Therapy, and many more. Featured on the critically acclaimed A & E’s Intervention and recommended by Dr. Phil, New Method Wellness will surely exceed your expectations!