Addiction begins at the point at which a person loses control over a mood-altering substance or behavior. Once a person loses control, they almost never regain the ability to regulate the problematic substance or behavior without support. In our treatment of all addictions, the addiction services clinical team at Cottonwood works hard to break through denial, help our patients to appreciate the level of compulsivity of their behavior and accept the need for an ongoing, proactive recovery effort. In caring for an addicted person, it is also necessary to help them to develop more adaptive ways of managing life stress and other difficult feelings that may act as triggers to the impulse to use or act out. The principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and the other 12-step fellowships form the philosophical basis of our treatment of all addictions.
We also believe that, if the addicted person suffers from a co-occurring disorder – like depression or trauma – that condition must also be accurately diagnosed and effectively treated for the person to have a fighting chance at staying clean and sober. When co-occurring disorders have arisen, we take a holistic look at the whole person for treatment and recovery.
In our treatment of addictions and co-occurring mood and anxiety disorders, the Cottonwood clinical team knows that proper nutrition and regular exercise can be a powerful part of the recovery process.
A diet of fresh, nutritious food can provide the body with the important amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine – necessary building blocks of the chemical messengers used by the brain to make a calm, happy and confident mood.
Physical activity is also key in optimizing the brain’s ability to think clearly and make a comfortable mood. Our nutritionists and recreational therapists work with Cottonwood patients in developing personalized diet and exercise plans designed to create the causes and conditions most conducive to brain healing.
Though all of the addictions have basic common features, there are distinct differences too that require differential diagnosis. At Cottonwood, our addiction services team understand how various substances and destructive behaviors can affect brain functioning. A comprehensive understanding of the neurobiology of addiction and recovery allows our doctors and counselors to tailor treatment to meet the individual needs of each addicted patient, particularly in dual diagnosis and addiction situations where mood or anxiety disorders and the addiction exist in tandem.
Please take some time to learn how the various substances of abuse – and even some impulsive behaviors – can affect the human brain and how Cottonwood’s addiction services and addiction treatment center can help.