When people think of addicts, they often think that they’re homeless or people who are constantly getting DUIs. The reality is that most addicts are everyday people that you come across on a regular basis. The misconceptions don’t stop with how an addict looks, but many people don’t realize that addiction is a legitimate mental illness. It’s easy to think that addicts can simply stop using whenever they want, but it’s not that easy. Most addicts need partial hospitalization treatment if they ever hope to recover.
Addicts can be people who show willpower in every aspect of their life, but when it comes to drugs and alcohol, they simply lose control. No matter how many times addicts apologize to their loved ones and make a solemn oath that they’ll stop, they often can’t keep their promise. This is because they’re suffering from an illness that centers in the mind. The good news is that science has helped partial hospitalization treatment centers learn how to better treat those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
The Problem with the Prefrontal Cortex
The prefrontal cortex is often called the “stop system,” and the pleasure portion of the brain is known as the “go system.” The go system is necessary to human survival, but the stop system is just as important. When you’re dehydrated, the pleasure system is what reminds you that water will help satisfy your thirst or that food will take care of your hunger. You get pleasure from these actions, but the stop system reminds you that over-indulgence can lead to you feeling sick.
The stop system controls the flow of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a chemical that’s released so you can experience pleasure. For addicts, the stop system doesn’t work properly. When addicts have a drink or a drug, the consequences of substance abuse isn’t what comes to their mind. Their pleasure system runs wild, and they crave alcohol or drugs because they feel as though they are necessary for survival.
An Illness that Can’t be Cured
The problem with the prefrontal cortex isn’t something that can be “cured” when it comes to addiction, but partial hospitalization treatment can help heal it. Drug and alcohol abuse further damages the prefrontal cortex, and people begin to have more problems, such as a lack of self-awareness and empathy. This is why people in their addiction can’t understand the pain that they’re putting their loved ones through, and they don’t understand how bad their substance problem really is.
Partial hospitalization treatment is where people can learn how to overcome their addiction through a variety of different therapies. The most commonly used therapy at partial hospitalization treatment centers is cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a type of therapy that’s all about repetition, so it helps train the mind to have new healthy reactions to situations that trigger the person’s cravings.
By going through treatment, addicts can learn a better way to live by managing their triggers. Safe Harbour Recovery is ready to help you reclaim your life from addiction. Let’s get started. Call us today.