All too often, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and addiction to drugs or alcohol are interconnected. At Pure Recovery, we understand these links and recognize that true healing can only begin when the individual diagnoses are identified and treated according to each client’s unique needs.
If you don’t Treat the Brain, the Cravings and Impulses won’t go away!
So it’s no surprise many people fail treatment multiple times.
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Every year in the United States, 1.7 million people are victims of a traumatic brain injury. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that around 52,000 of those people will succumb to their injuries and die, while more than 250,000 will need hospitalization.
Data from SAMHSA suggests that around 80 percent of traumatic brain injury patients – around 1.4 million – do receive medical treatment before being released from emergency health services.
There are, however, hundreds, if not thousands, more brain injuries each year that go undiagnosed, or victims fail to seek to medical attention because they are unaware that they suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Who Suffers From TBIs?
Anyone can be the victim of a TBI, but research finds that males are more likely than females to suffer these injuries.
The demographics most at risk of TBI are adolescents between the ages 15 and 19 along with older adults, aged 75 and up.
In addition, many athletes receive concussions and other brain related injuries due to repeated contact during sports-related activities. This is the case beginning in high school and continues all the way up to the ranks of college and professional sports.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Any time the head is suddenly or violently thrust out of it’s normal position, struck or penetrated by an object, or is hit with forceful pressure waves from a blast, there is a serious potential for a TBI.
The following are some of the most common causes of brain injuries:
- Car accidents in which whiplash occurs or the head strikes the steering wheel, windshield or any movement that causes the brain to collide with the skull
- Head impacts with other objects, such as another person’s head or even solid-state bodies like walls, sidewalks, large trees, boulders, etc.
- Tumbling or falling from either a standstill at normal height or falling from greater heights, such as from a roof or off of a ladder
- Falling debris that collide with the skull, such as bullets, rocks, hail, a baseball, a golf ball, etc.
- Explosive blasts, more common in war zones, where waves of pressure impact the skull
- Physical assault in which victims are struck in the head or violently thrown about, resulting in an injury to the skull
- Amateur and professional athletes participating in contact sports, such as football, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, basketball, horseback riding, and even auto racing
- Shaken Infant Syndrome
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Links Between TBI and Addiction
Substance abuse, especially in those that have developed a dependency or an addiction to drugs and alcohol, increases the chances of a traumatic brain injury.
It’s also quite common for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury to use alcohol and other substances as a coping mechanism to deal with the symptoms and side effects of the injury.
In fact, the most commonly misused substance that is linked to TBI is alcohol.
Substance abuse and addiction is a risk factor for developing a traumatic brain injury and having a TBI increases the chances of developing a substance abuse problem.
Long-term substance misuse is a major cause of continued brain Injury, and research has shown that drug and alcohol use increases in the period from 2 to 5 years after a brain injury.
Approximately three-quarters of TBI patients admitted to hospitals have a measurable amount of alcohol in their blood and around half of the people were intoxicated when the injury occurred.
Research shows that continued substance abuse worsens TBI outcomes in almost every way, including a greater chance of death, poorer brain function and recovery complications, as well ongoing risk of additional head injuries.
Following a TBI, no amount of alcohol consumption is safe. However, those who had a substance use disorder before their TBI are at a greater risk of continued heavy drinking after their injury.
There is also the potential to develop a dependency or addiction to painkillers and stimulants, both of which are sometimes prescribed as a result of the TBI.
Some additional symptoms of TBI and substance abuse can include the following:
- A greater risk of migraines, seizures, as well as issues with balance, coordination and memory functions
- Problems with impulsivity, a lack of healthy inhibition and poor decision-making skills
- Increased irritability, anger, and emotional distress
- Higher likelihood of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- After a TBI, medications, illicit drugs or alcohol might have a much more powerful effect on a person, creating an ongoing cycle of physical and psychological difficulties that inhibit recovery
Whether a TBI is severe, moderate or mild, Pure Recovery knows that our clients who follow their individualized treatment plan can heal their brain, learn to cope with their injury, learn to avoid triggers, manage cravings and live healthier overall lives.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Substance Addiction Treatment
On its own, the disease of addiction alters the brain’s natural chemical balance, making it harder for a person to self-regulate where it concerns particular habit-forming substances.
Traumatic brain injury only exacerbates this chemical imbalance because of damage to the pre-frontal cortex, which is the decision-making area of the brain.
Evaluation, Intervention, and Support are crucial for treating substance use addiction for people with a traumatic brain injury.
At Pure Recovery, clients who suffer from traumatic brain injury and addiction are assessed with our Advanced Neuroscience Program, in order to measure the level of injury and the pace of progress during treatment.
We understand that addiction and brain injury can go hand in hand. Brain Injury increases impulsivity and cravings, because the decision-making part of the brain, the pre-frontal cortex is impaired.
Addiction changes the brain’s natural ability to self regulate and reorganize.
Pure Recovery’s cutting edge, integrative, medically holistic neuroscience program rewires and reconnects the brain through neuroplasticity, and restores the brain to peak performance.
As the brain rewires itself and makes new connections, the behavioral symptoms and side effects of addiction and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD are improved remarkably.
By collecting data with highly specialized software that measures brain activity, Pure Recovery examines the structure, function and physiology of the brain to create personalized protocols that restore the brain to normal functioning, even years after an injury occurs.
Some of the advanced tools we use include:
- 3D live action multimedia feedback linked to the client’s brain
- 19 channel bio-neurofeedback
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
- Pulse magnetic stimulation
- Brain mapping, MRi, Pet Scan and more
Pure Recovery Intensive Brain Health Program
The intensive brain health program is designed to address the entire individual’s health needs – in essence, healing the whole person.
Our sophisticated program addresses, sleep, exercise, emotions, relationships, trauma, depression and anxiety.
By re-regulating the brain’s neurophysiology, the behavioral problems improve.
Our world-class multi-disciplinary medical practice offers wellness, nutrition, orthopedics, internal medicine, holistic psychiatry, executive physicals, infusions for brain wellness and more on campus.
Our acclaimed cognitive neuroscience experts are dedicated to discovering ways to build resilience, regain cognitive function and retrain the brain for relapse prevention and maximize the amazing potential of the mind.
In addition, our treatment plans include some of the following:
- Medication assisted treatment (MAT) which can aid in detox, discourage the use of alcohol or other drugs in some patients, as well as medication that might address mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety
- Counseling with cognitive and motivational interventions used to help clients embrace their treatment plan and create healthy goals for the future
- Group therapy and relapse prevention programs can be powerful tools for maintaining extended recovery
- Environmental awareness training helps clients with addiction and TBI to cope with high-risk situations, such as peers they used to drink or do drugs with, or a family member at home who is still drinking alcohol
- Holistic diet and exercise programs to heal the mind and body and return them to optimal states of overall wellbeing
- Therapeutic Community Programs and Support Agencies
The TBI and addiction treatment plans at Pure Recovery are designed to address our clients’ entire individual needs, from physical and mental trauma, depression and anxiety, sleep, exercise and nutrition.
If you or someone you know is suffering from traumatic brain injury and substance use disorder, and previously received treatment that was unsuccessful, do not lose hope.
Pure Recovery’s treatment facilities offer the most advanced treatment protocols available today. Healing is possible when you address an individual’s unique needs, heal the brain, and treat the whole person with state of the art neurological treatment.