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Substance Abuse and Brain Damage

It is no secret that substance abuse can impact the brain severely.  The brain stem, cerebral cortex and the limbic system, among other parts of the brain, are particularly affected.  A severe consequence of alcohol misuse can be Korsakoff’s Syndrome, a term indicating alcohol induced dementia.  This is one of the reasons why, along with evidence based psychotherapy practices, AToN encourages a holistic approach to nourish the brain and promote PsychoNeuroPlasticity.

PsychoNeuroPlasticity is a term that references how the brain has the ability to heal itself under particular circumstances.  According to experts, the brain requires 30-90 days of abstinence in order to attain a “clean” brain.  In order to promote this healing process, multiple factors are implemented under AToN’s trained medical and clinical team:

  • Abstinence – it bears repeating as abstinence decreases brain inflammation
  • Highly nutritious meals –including high protein, healthy fats and green, leafy vegetables – AND avoiding neurotoxins such as MSG, aspartame and sugar
  • Supervised exercise (improved balance can stimulate PsychoNeuroPlasticity)
  • Hydration
  • Learning how to sleep naturally (AToN does not allow high risk sleep medications)
  • Structure!  The brain craves structure when it is learning a new lifestyle such as addiction recovery
  • Mind/Body regulation, including relaxation, meditation, hypnotherapy and yoga
  • Building new neurological circuits – AToN focuses on coping skill building which assists in stimulating brain function and healing

These are just a few of the aspects of AToN’s curriculum that benefit our residents.  If you or a loved one could benefit from treatment, please contact us!

Cassandra Cannon, Ph.D.
Clinical Director
AToN Center 888-535-1516