Brain Fog

How to Get Rid of the Brain Fog during Addiction Treatment

Are you too young to be forgetful about certain things that only older adults worry about? You walk into a room and immediately forget what you were looking for. You’re out with friends or at the grocery store, only to realize that you forgot your wallet in the other purse…again. After you leave the house and have been on the road for 10-15 minutes, you have to go all the way back home to get something you left behind. Occasionally, this would be normal, but if it happens all the time and you find yourself unable to concentrate on tasks or remember passwords to frequently used accounts, you could chalk it up to being scatterbrained, but if alcohol consumption or drug use is also part of your daily routine, you may be experiencing memory loss (brain fog) associated with substance use.

How is brain fog connected with substance abuse?

Drug use has been associated with brain damage, which results in memory loss, cognitive deficits, seizures, strokes and other neurological risks. “Brain fog” is described as slower thinking, lack of concentration, cognitive confusion, or mental haze. Foggy thinking can leave you feeling…

• Frustrated because you have a hard time focusing at work or doing basic tasks
• Embarrassed because you can’t remember the names of people you see all the time
• Worried because you think you may be getting Alzheimer’s too soon
• Depressed because you don’t feel motivated to do anything
• Anxious and irritable
• Extremely tired, possibly with symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Fire up those dopamine neurons! It’s not too late to regain your memory

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai recently discovered the connection between dopamine neurons and episodic memory, a type of memory that records “episodes” of moments. The findings from a case study examining patients who viewed a series of images revealed that patients’ brains only formed new episodic memories whenever the individuals saw something they had never seen before. This activity of dopamine neurons explains how learning takes place and promises new potential in the treatment of memory disorders, including those linked with chemical dependency.

Psychoneuroplasticity (PNP) reverses brain damage caused by substance abuse

The good news is, brain fog does not have to be permanent. Thanks to advances in technology and medical research, neuroscientists and addiction psychiatrists are now able to reverse brain fog caused by drug abuse. Psychoneuroplasticity (PNP) is an evidence-based practice grounded in the philosophy that the brain can still recalibrate itself via new connections made between brain cells. This concept is called “brain plasticity,” or “neuroplasticity.” In conjunction with medical detoxification and other evidence-based practices such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, PNP has proven to be successful in numerous goal-directed therapeutic program.

Ready for something new?

As you manage your withdrawal symptoms from drug and alcohol abstinence through drug and alcohol detoxification, there are other ways you can enhance your recovery journey to increase your
memory skills:

Learn a new language.

Have you ever wanted to learn French? Now’s the time to do it! With plenty of resources like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo, you can pick up a new language and find a reason to travel to other parts of the world to showcase your new linguistic skills.

Play chess.

If it’s been a while since you’ve played, you can relearn this highly strategic game that’s fun for kids and adults. Not only does chess help prevent dementia but it’s been proven to increase academic scores for children and raise IQ for adults.

Be intentional about your exercise routines.

Yes, you’ve heard it a million times already: exercise, exercise, exercise! But will any kind of exercise do, or do you need to find types of regimens specific to rebuilding memory muscles? Activities like swimming and surfing are perfect sports that work out both sides of your body, enhancing your overall mental and physical fitness.

Persistence is key.

Learning a skill or brushing up on old skills requires patience. If you give up before you master a skill, you are cheating yourself of opportunities to retrain your brain. Endurance, persistence and perseverance are essential in sticking with the program and training yourself to regulate emotions while staying focused on the task at hand.

Eat right.

Of course, how could we forget food? Even personal trainers tell their clients to eat well. Working out alone isn’t going to give you a great body; what you put into it is just as important as what you do with it. The right diet will speed up your recovery from substance abuse addiction and help you look great and feel awesome.

Where is Psychoneuroplasticity (PNP) offered?

New Method Wellness, one of the nation’s best treatment centers for alcohol and drug rehabilitation, offers PNP as one of its many holistic programs in Orange County. Recommended by Dr. Phil and featured on the Emmy Award-winning A & E’s Intervention, New Method Wellness has helped thousands of individuals recover from addiction and successfully rebuild their lives.

For more information about our PNP program, call 866.951.1824 today!

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