Substance Use is a Recognized Brain Disorder

Substance use is considered a “chronic, but treatable condition.” The definition in the dictionary classifies addiction as: “The state of being compulsively committed to a habit or practice or to something that is something that is psychologically or physically habit forming.”

Mental health disorders and substance use disorders have some commodities; change in brain structure or stress and trauma. Many of those who are living with a mental health disorder also struggle with substance use, which they have turned to in order to self-medicate.

Habits formed by repetitious behaviors will create changes in the brain. Ordinary cognition is impaired. The good news is that the brain can repair itself. This, however, takes time. After around 18 months of recovery, drug or alcohol abstinence, one begins to see improved brain function. While this can vary in each individual, regaining brain function is a best-case scenario. The sooner one starts the better.

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