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Archive for the ‘Mental Health and Wellness’ Category

Why Anxiety and Addiction
Are So Closely Related

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Why Anxiety and Addiction Are So Closely Related

Affecting an average of 18.1 percent of adults living in the US, chronic persistent anxiety and anxiety disorders are characterized by restlessness and worry that is seemingly “out of nowhere,” or without cause. For those suffering from anxiety, it is a constant struggle to feel comfortable or “normal.” When you compare the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders with the symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawals, a very clear relationship develops between anxiety and addiction.

Similarities between Anxiety and Drug
and Alcohol Withdrawals

The medical community has recognized the incontrovertible evidence that anxiety and drug and alcohol withdrawals are both very similar in nature. In fact, when addicts are within their first year of recovery, there may come a time – often around six months to a year of sobriety – when the individual starts to get feelings of anxiety and wonders, “Is this just an anxiety attack, or are my withdrawal symptoms returning?”

The likely answer, in most cases, is usually both. In the first year of sobriety, coming off drugs and alcohol, it is not unusual to have bouts and flare-ups of withdrawal symptoms from time-to-time. These attacks are usually short, intense, and often have weeks or months between any episodes – mimicking non drug-related anxiety attacks. This is opposed to the peak severe withdrawals one goes through during the initial detox and withdrawals of the first few weeks and months of cessation of drugs and alcohol.

Relationship Between Anxiety and Withdrawals

Drug and Alcohol Use Can Cause Anxiety

It is a fact that the use and abuse of illicit drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol can cause anxiety in numerous ways. The use of cocaine – even in small amounts usually gives users slight anxiety as the drug enters the bloodstream, and this anxious feeling is part of the “high” that the drug user gets. Marijuana-induced “paranoia” is nothing more than anxiety and the body’s reaction to the chemicals in the bloodstream. That all-too-familiar hangover you get after a night of too many drinks also usually comes with shakiness and worrisome feeling that is attributed to anxiety. All of these chemicals cause very mild symptoms of anxiety when they are used, and while these symptoms may be slightly uncomfortable for a moment, are not usually alarming to the individuals experiencing them. However, the more an individual uses drugs and alcohol, and over longer periods of time, those mild symptoms of anxiety build up over time, and anxiety becomes a not uncommon response by the body.

The Cycle of Anxiety and Addiction

We had previously stated that the use of drugs and alcohol causes mild bouts of anxiety during their use, and that it is often so mild that it is not worrisome. Coming off of drugs and alcohol, however, causes anxiety that is much more intense, and can be very worrisome.

For an addict experiencing feelings of dread, panic, trouble breathing, and experiencing pains and feelings similar to a heart attack are often too painful to experience, and will use drugs or alcohol again to battle back these feelings of extreme anxiety. And usually, the drugs and alcohol do work, and the intense anxiety subsides into the milder, less intense sense of discomfort – rather than fear. However, the anxiety never fully went away, the core problem was never sufficiently addressed, and the intense anxiety will come back the next time the individual tapers off of drugs or alcohol. This is the beginning of the anxiety-addiction cycle.

Anxiety Addiction Cycle with Alcohol Use

Alcohol is a chemical with broad potential for abuse, and in modern addiction studies have been referred to as the most dangerous drug known to man, and “worse than heroin” by some. The seriousness of alcohol abuse cannot be overstated – alcohol is addictive, does significant damage to all of the organs and tissues of the body, can lead to death, and is a major contributor to anxiety and panic disorders in those that abuse it.

Alcohol abuse is also one of the most obvious examples of the continuation of the cycle of anxiety and addiction. Anxiety is one of the main symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, characterized by long anxiety and panic attacks that are intense and worrisome. Even withdrawals from smaller amounts of alcohol – seen in next-day hangovers – can be quite severe. A common term in popular culture, “hair of the dog that bit you” is the practice of consuming alcohol the morning after drinking to “lessen” the negative effects of the hangover – hangover, being mild withdrawal symptoms. Moderate to severe alcoholics often continue this cycle for days, weeks or months allowing the addiction to feed the anxiety, and the anxiety feeds the addiction.

Breaking the Cycle of Anxiety and Addiction

Now that we understand just how individuals get caught up in the cycle of addiction and anxiety, the obvious question is now, “how does one break the cycle of anxiety without suffering through the anxiety and withdrawals?”

Vitamins and Nutrition to Combat Anxiety and Withdrawals

While withdrawal symptoms can never be completely avoided during the detoxification from certain drugs and alcohol, many forms of detox can make the anxiety and withdrawals less intense, and more tolerable when beginning addiction recovery. Firstly, proper nutrition during detox and recovery is an integral part of ensuring a more tolerable detox. Much of the anxiety and symptoms of withdrawal stem from malnutrition due to the abuse of drugs and alcohol, and deficiencies of vitamins and enzymes in the body during the detoxification period. Replenishing the vitamins and nutrients to the body before detox can make the process less intense and a bit more comfortable.

Certain drugs and alcohol can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that can be deadly, and therefore these chemicals cannot be stopped “cold turkey,” but rather have to be tapered off of – preferably in a safe and medically supervised environment. Alcohol and benzodiazepines especially need to be tapered off of, and the anxiety during detox for these two chemicals is known to be some of the most intense of any particular chemicals.

When Does Anxiety Stop For Recovering Addicts?

While it is expected that anxiety will reduce incrementally the longer an addict has been recovering, the exact timelines for this differ between the types of chemicals abused, the length of time abusing, and health history and underlying conditions. Remember that there is substance-induced anxiety, and there is anxiety disorders – the former caused directly by drug use, and the latter caused by underlying health conditions. If anxiety symptoms persist or increase, you may need to check with your doctor to find the underlying cause for the anxiety – which could be related to vitamin deficiencies, depression and mental health issues, or other health conditions.

Anxiety can be one of the most frightening and distressful symptoms recovery from chemical dependence and it is all too easy to let this fear derail your hopes and plans for recovery. However, it is so crucial for those suffering from addiction to know that the anxiety will subside, and you will feel better, more comfortable, full of life, and at ease when finally make the change towards sobriety.

Let the Treatment Center Be Your Guide To Recovery

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Depression and Substance Abuse: Dealing with a Dual Diagnosis

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Depression and Substance Abuse

Depression and Substance Abuse

Depression is often a gateway into substance abuse. Individuals suffering from depression may turn to drugs and alcohol as a means to escape their negative emotions. Almost one-third of people with major depression also have a substance abuse problem. Unfortunately, drinking and using drugs only makes depression worse in the long run.

What comes first –the depression or the substance use? It’s difficult to discern whether substance use leads to depression, or if people drink and drug because they feel depressed. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, roughly 20% of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder, such as depression, have a substance use disorder. And about 20% of those with a substance use disorder also have an anxiety or mood disorder.

More about Depression

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide, and only about 50% of these people will ever receive treatment. In fact, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Unlike ordinary sadness, which may occur temporarily after a loss or major life event, the symptoms of depression occur nearly every day for weeks – and sometimes months or years – interfering with every aspect of a person’s life. Depression can increase the risk of chronic illness – including substance abuse.

People often think that using drugs and alcohol may relieve their depression symptoms, but chemical intoxication actually makes depressive episodes worse, increasing the frequency and intensity of symptoms.

Treating Depression and Substance Use

Solely treating one disorder will not eliminate the other. For example, treating the substance abuse will not help with the depression. Instead, it is necessary to treat both disorders together, particularly to decrease the chance of relapse. It is best to enter an integrated dual diagnosis program that will address both the substance use and the depression.

The Treatment Center’s intensive dual diagnosis treatment program will help you recover from substance abuse and mental illness. With the proper treatment, you can find freedom from addiction and relief from depression. For more information on our dual diagnosis program, call (877) 392-3342. Our admissions counselors are prepared to answer any questions you may have on how we can help you or your loved one.

What You Need to Know

• Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide
• Over 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide
• Nearly one-third of people with major depression also have a substance abuse problem
• If you are struggling with both depression and substance abuse, it is essential to enter an integrated dual diagnosis treatment program

Codependency (Part II): The Characteristics of Codependent Behavior

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

The Patterns and Characteristics of Codependent Behavior

Codependency: The Characteristics of Codependent Behaviors

This is Part 2 of our codependency series. If you missed Part 1, check it out here.

One of the major problems seen in the families of addicts is codependency. Codependency is a set of dysfunctional behaviors that family members adopt in order to survive the emotional pain and stress caused by living with an addicted family member. Do you believe that love, acceptance, security and approval are dependent upon taking care of your addicted family member? While such actions may temporarily ease conflict and tension within the family, in the end they protect the addict from the negative consequences of his/her addiction allowing the addict to continue drinking or abusing chemical substances.

Codependency does not refer to all caring behavior. In a healthy relationship, showing compassion by attending to another’s needs strengthens the relationship and leads to mutual appreciation, good communication, deeper intimacy and trust. However, the compassionate person never loses sight of who they are and recognizes that their own needs are of equal importance.
In the case of the codependent person, their identity rests upon their ability to rescue others. Often they are dependent on another’s inability to function and are unconsciously drawn to troubled, needy and dependent people. Obsessive care taking becomes a way of fulfilling their emotional needs. While intentions are well meant, these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual, in this case the addict, to continue on a destructive path.

The Cost of Codependency

Unlike compassion, codependency is associated with an overwhelming feeling of guilt; guilt is often the motivating factor for decisions and behaviors within the relationship, even though they don’t make any logical sense.

There are many definitions of co-dependency. In his book Co-dependence, Healing the Human Condition, Charles L. Whitfield, M.D. defines codependence as “A disease of lost selfhood.” Often, codependency is rooted in a person’s childhood. Exploration into early childhood issues and their relationship to current destructive behavioral patterns need to be examined. Treatment includes education, experiential and individual group therapy. Feelings that have been buried need to be examined in order for the codependent to retrace and identify self-defeating behavioral patterns.

Does someone you love abuse drugs and alcohol? Are you filled with despair and worry about this person constantly? Has your life become controlled by the addict’s addictive behavior? If you answer yes to these questions, know that help is at hand. The first step is acknowledging that you need help. Joining a 12-Step program such as Codependents Anonymous, Al-Anon and Nar-Anon is a good beginning. Seeking the help of a professional therapist is also highly recommended.

Characteristics of Codependent Behavior

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you so absorbed in trying to stop your loved one’s dependence on alcohol or chemical substances to the point that your own life has now become unmanageable?
  • Does every moment of your waking day revolve around attempts to rescue, to control, to take on responsibilities that in reality are not yours to take on?
  • Do you find yourself, ranting and raging, complaining, policing, nagging the alcoholic/drug addicted family member?
  • Have you felt overwhelming fatigue?
  • Do you feel victimized?
  • Do you feel depressed?
  • Do you feel helpless and hopeless?
  • Are you experiencing a wide range of emotions that have begun to disturb you to the point that obtaining a good night’s sleep is nigh impossible?
  • Are you neglecting your own life and in so doing have stopped taking care of yourself?
  • Do you constantly feel responsible for others behavior?
  • Do you feel excessive guilt whenever you spend time on your own projects believing that your role is to take care of others needs?
  • Do you have difficulty expressing your own wants? Do you find yourself becoming angry when your own needs are unmet?
  • Do you seek approval and validation?
  • Have you become totally absorbed to the point of obsession with watching over and covering up for someone who is abusing drugs and alcohol?
  • Do you have difficulty setting boundaries – saying NO?
  • Are you driven by fear of failure and the need to avoid being wrong or making any mistakes?
  • Are you losing your own identity in trying to rescue and fix others?
  • Do you pretend that circumstances aren’t as bad as they are?
  • Are you in a constant state of anxiety?

Could you be Codependent?

In her book, Codependent No More, Melody Beattie describes codependency as follows: “A person who has let someone else’s behavior affect him or her, and is obsessed with controlling other people’s behavior” (Beattie 1987). My question to you is “Have you allowed someone else’s behavior to take control of your life?” If so, it is possible to learn to enjoy life again, to learn to detach with love. Make a plan to embark on your own recovery journey — you will find it to be an exciting and empowering voyage of discovery.

By Judi Jenett

Judi Jenett is the Family Program Coordinator for The Treatment Center.

Judi's pic

Mental Health and Wellness: 8 Steps That Make a Big Difference

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Improving Your Mental Health and Wellness

Mental Health and Wellness

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), wellness is not the absence of disease, illness or stress; rather, wellness is the presence of a purposeful life, active involvement in satisfying work and play, healthy and joyful relationships, a healthy body and living environment, and happiness. SAMHSA’s definition of wellness is: “maintaining an overall quality of life and the pursuit of optimal emotional, mental and physical health.”

For people with, or at risk for, behavioral health conditions, focusing on mental health and wellness is particularly vital. It is equally important to focus on our mental health as it is to focus on our physical health. There are many ways to improve or maintain mental health and wellness, but what works for one person may not work for another. It is important to figure out what works best for you and your specific situation. The following are eight tips for mental wellness:

  1. Connection: Research has demonstrated the benefits of social connections, which include happiness, better health, and a longer life
  2. Physical Activity: Daily physical activity can help your mood by decreasing stress, anger and tension, as well as reducing anxiety and depression.
  3. A Balanced Diet: A well-balanced diet boosts your energy and fuels your brain, and good nutrition can help in times of stress.
  4. Plenty of Rest: If you get enough sleep each night, you’re more likely to perform better and enjoy greater well-being.
  5. Think Positively and Practice Gratitude: Thinking negative thoughts can bring down our moods and even our health. Instead, try practicing gratitude and thinking positively.
  6. Help Others: Research indicates that those who help other people experience less depression, fewer pains, and better health.
  7. Create Joy in Your Life: Laughter decreases pain and promotes muscle relaxation. Creating feel-good experiences in your life can improve your ability to bounce back from stress, solve problems and think positively.
  8. Seek Professional Help if You Need It: Professional help can make a major difference. You do not have to be in a crisis to reach out for help. A mental health professional can help you with problem solving and coping strategies.

It is a common misconception that only people with mental illnesses should pay attention to their mental health. But the truth is that our emotions, attitudes and thoughts affect our productivity, energy and overall health. Focusing on our mental wellness strengthens our ability to cope and deal with situations, whether they are minor or serious. We all can take simple steps that make a big difference in promoting our health and well-being.

Self-Pity and Addiction

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Overcoming the Struggle with Self-Pity and Addiction

Self-pity can sneak up on you and makes you feel lonely, hopeless, and out of control. It threatens addicts and their families during recovery. If you find yourself thinking thoughts that begin,

“I can’t …”, “It’s too hard for me …”, or “I’m worse off than others, because…”

You may have a problem with self-pity. If you are an addict, know an addict, or simply find yourself in unfortunate circumstances, the first step to overcoming self-pity is acknowledging its presence.

What Is Self-Pity?

Taking some time to express anger, frustration, fear, and sadness has a place in every person’s life. When a person continually places those feelings of self-centered unhappiness over relationships, happiness, and positive thinking, it becomes a problem.

Signs of Self-Pity

If you feel that life has let you down, you’re the victim, or you constantly need the sympathy and support of others, you may suffer from self-pity. Other signs of self-pity include an inability to laugh at oneself, dwelling on the past, feeling guilty about the past, and harboring a strong tendency toward stubbornness.

Self-pity won’t often announce itself in a bold woe is me way. Instead, it creeps into your thoughts and slowly changes your outward behaviors. Instead of accepting control and responsibility for personal actions and accepting uncontrollable events, self-pity tells people to hide, ruminate, and stay in those feelings of sadness, guilt, and frustration.

The Connection Between Self-Pity and Addiction

Self-pity often coincides with addictive patterns. Many people who struggle with substance abuse also experience low self-esteem and negative thinking. The negative thoughts may settle into a person’s brain and drive him or her to substance abuse, or it can slowly come about after months or years of substance abuse. Whether the self-pity arises before or after an addiction takes hold, the addiction often worsens feelings of self-pity. If an addict uses a depressant such as alcohol or a powerful sedative such as an opioid, the same habit that releases them from daily struggles often also intensifies introspection and negative thinking.

On the flip side, self-pity can serve as a justification for continuing to engage in a destructive habit. When people can’t possibly face social situations on their own, then they have an excuse to drink or get high beforehand. The idea is deeply flawed, but it is a logical negative thought pattern.

Overcoming Self-Pity: An Important Step in Addiction Recovery

After acknowledging patterns of self-pity, anyone can take steps to overcome the negative cycle of thoughts, accept responsibility for their thoughts and actions, and move forward. Anyone can move forward despite months or years of engaging in self-pitying thoughts and behaviors, but it takes work.

The brain is a magnificent organ. Every time you learn a new concept and think in a new way, you change the neural circuits in your brain. Addicts and alcoholics learn many negative thought patterns. For example, an adult may tell a child that he can’t do something because he’s not good enough, strong enough, or smart enough. If the child internalizes that thought and accepts it, it could set up a chain reaction of negative thoughts. Over time, the negativity becomes subconscious and ingrained.

Regardless of the origin of self-pity, everyone must own his or her own thought patterns after a certain point. Nobody can make another individual think something or accept something. Using the same patterns of repetition and understanding that create ingrained negative thoughts, an individual can transform his or her neural pathways and replace the negative thoughts of self-pity with positive thoughts of hope and responsibility. Many recovery facilities today use a form of psychological training known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help patients create new neural pathways, change thoughts, and alter behaviors.

Dealing with Self-Pity: Methods for Coping

In addition to professionally led CBT training and other therapies, individuals can take steps to increase awareness of self-pitying thoughts to overcome them. Methods for coping can help anyone find more positivity and better thought patterns, even if self-pity isn’t a problem. Turn one or more of these tips into a routine to change your brain, overcome an addiction or a bad habit, and discover a newfound appreciation for the world and self-acceptance:

Keep a Journal

Several methods of journaling can chip away at self-pitying thoughts. For each of these journals, set a timer for 10 minutes a day and write whatever comes to mind. Try to write at the same time every day to build a habit. Write everything you can think of to feel thankful for on one side of the page and all your negative thoughts on the other. At first, it may seem like the list of negatives far outweighs the list of positives. Keep going. Many addicts undergoing recovery realize with pleasure that the list leans more to thankfulness than self-pity within a month or two.

Find a Positive Distraction

Think of a few healthy and rewarding activities to turn to when self-pity knocks. Take a half hour to distract yourself before returning to daily activities. Sometimes, a little space will help you naturally reframe your thoughts instead of spiraling into a cycle of destructive self-pity.

Help Someone

Leave yourself out of the equation for some time. Help someone cross the street, pick up dropped books, or volunteer to read to kids at a library. Research from Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, the Journal of Health Psychology, and others indicate that volunteering or serving others boosts mental and physical health. Anyone struggling with addiction can benefit from a healthful dose of volunteering.

Overcome Self-Pity to Find Long-Term Recovery

Most people can give up a substance for a few forced weeks or months. The real test happens outside of a controlled environment as sober individuals live their lives. Without the mental fortitude to persevere, many addicts find themselves relapsing. To achieve permanent sobriety and find happiness, learn how to experience and move past feelings of self-pity.

The Combination of Self-Pitty and Addiction Can Be Hard to Combat Alone, Contact Our Counselors Today and Let Us Help You Through Your Recovery Process:

The Treatment Center

Suicide Rates Among Army
Soldiers Increased

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Suicide Rates Among Army Soldiers Increased

The High Rate of Suicide Among Veterans

Everyone knows that military personnel go through an incredible amount of stress to protect our country. The physical demands of the training and work are very intense, and those coming back from the battlefield are forever changed. Dealing with those stressors alone can be overwhelming, and unfortunately, many are committing suicide. According to research from the Public Health Administration and US Department of Veterans Affairs, those who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are as much as 61 percent more likely to commit suicide than other Americans.

Understanding the Alarming Statistics for Veteran Suicide

Both deployed and non-deployed veterans have a higher risk of suicide than the general population. Deployed individuals are, on average, 41 percent more likely to take their own lives. However, non-deployed soldiers are at an even greater risk, being 60 percent more likely to commit suicide than their non-military peers. An interesting fact, however, is that these same veterans are also 25 percent less likely to die from all other causes. These findings were gathered by looking at more than 1 million veterans from their time of discharge to 2009.

Further research revealed that the rate of suicide was greater during the first three years following service, as 33 percent of non-deployed veterans who committed suicide did so within this period. Twenty-seven percent took their lives within six years, and another 25 percent within nine years.

The High Rate of Suicide among Veterans

Although the overall rates are lower, deployed veterans follow similar trends. Among those who committed suicide, soldiers did so within three years 29 percent of the time, six years 25 percent of the time, and nine years 26 percent of the time. This suggests that non-deployed veterans may experience more acute symptoms, while deployed individuals go through conditions that are more longstanding.

Differences between Genders

There are many more men serving in our armed forces than women. Sadly, they are nearly three times more likely to commit suicide than women under the same conditions within the military. Out of 100,000 veterans, 11 females took their own lives in comparison to 33 males. However, female veterans, regardless of deployment status, experienced a higher rate of risk compared to the average female US citizen than their male counterparts.

Mental Health and Suicide Statistics among Soldiers

Studies also showed that the rates of mental health problems are much higher in soldiers and have a direct correlation to their suicides. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder can leave these former soldiers feeling at a loss of control. The rates of suicide for our veterans are alarming. Between 2001 and 2007, nearly 10,000 veterans took their own lives. Out of 317,581 deployed soldiers, 1,650 of them died. Over 21 percent committed suicide. Out of 964,493 non-deployed individuals, 7,703 had passed away, and 19.7 percent of those deaths were self-inflicted.

The Debt We Owe Our Soldiers

Because our most recent wars haven’t affected the lives of civilians at home, many people fail to see the effects that going into battle have had on our service men and women. Mental health services should be extended to all veterans, especially those who saw bloodshed. Unfortunately, many victims of PTSD self-medicate, sometimes worsening their symptoms. To protect our soldiers, care should be established at home and abroad.

If You Have a Loved One Suffering from PTSD, Don’t Wait to Get Them the Help They Need.

The Treatment Center

The Level of Cortisol Plays a
Factor in Recovery

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

The Level of Cortisol Plays a Factor in Recovery

Stress and Addiction Recovery

Overcoming addiction can be an uphill battle for many people. Depending on the drug they are addicted to, and how much or how long they’ve used, recovery means changing the way the brain processes without drugs, overcoming the physical need for the drug and even changing social habits. Because drug and alcohol dependence modify the chemical environment within the body when someone who is addicted tries to stop, there can be wild fluctuations and painful side effects as the brain attempts to restore chemical balance.

New studies, however, are offering hope for addicts. A team of Swiss researchers from the University of Basel performed extensive studies about cortisol – the body’s stress hormone associated with the fight or flight response – and its relationship to memory and drug use. Though it’s still in early stages, their discoveries may change how we treat addiction.

How Cortisol Can Help Those Suffering From Addiction

Cortisol is a hormone made in the adrenal glands. When a person is faced with an extremely stressful situation, the brain produces this stress hormone. Scientists call it the “fight or flight” hormone because it triggers a self-protective reaction – fight an antagonist or run as fast as you can to get away. Both responses require serious adrenaline, which cortisol provides.

Blood Costisol Levels

However, today’s stressors don’t often require a physical response – we aren’t running from lions or physically fighting to protect land – so the body doesn’t know what to do with all those extra chemicals. For example, the liver will release stored glucose to offer a boost of energy to fight or flee.

Though the link between outside stress and cases of relapse for those in recovery has been known, few understood its connection to cortisol, though scientists have noted that cortisol is present in the body during withdrawal, particularly of heroin. As researchers noticed patterns of cortisol release coinciding with withdrawal, they began to study it further.

Cortisol as a Recovery Aid for Addiction

Addiction is, at least in part, about changes in brain chemistry. Research suggests that cortisol could work to make a mind “forget” that it is addicted. During the study, patients were given either cortisol or placebo tablets before a dose of heroin. After the drug had run its course, those who were given the cortisol saw reduced cravings by about 25%.

The reduction was only found in people who were on small doses of heroin. However, the researchers believe that higher doses of the hormone correlate with higher uses of the drugs, though research is still ongoing as to why this occurs.

Cortisol, Memory, and Cravings

This discovery may be a game changer, as cortisol also reduces memory retrieval – likely a protective measure that protects the mind from previous stressors. As anyone who has suffered from dependency knows, memory plays an important part in addiction. The memory of euphoric feelings that accompany drug use, coupled with familiar people and places that are part of drug use, can make coming clean tough. But, the potential of cortisol for addiction recovery is huge, as a dose of cortisol could overpower the brain’s memory, push away urges, and lead to an easier road to freedom.

What Cortisol Research Can Tell Us Today

Though more research is necessary, understanding the chemical patterns of addiction can aid those who are looking to get off drugs and maintain a drug-free life. Taking what we know of cortisol’s effect on addicts can change how those who are recovering live their lives. Research shows at least that the connection to memory and addiction is incredibly powerful, suggesting that those who are in recovery need to take life and habit changes much more seriously.

Cortisol is Helping Us Understand How Addiction is Controlling our Brains Functions. Helping User Have Less Craving and Urges to Use.

The Treatment Center

The Treatment Center has been awarded
the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval.