There is a definite connection between addictions and a part of the brain that is impacted by addiction called the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC). This part of the brain integrates conflict and pain with thoughts and behaviors. Learn more about why the ACC can create some challenges for people with addiction.
The ACC shrinks and weakens in people who have been recently struggling with long term addiction. When you recover from addiction, the ACC swells up again. The ACC is not the cause of addiction but definitely responds to the presence of drugs and alcohol in the brain. The body therefore responds accordingly.
Feed an Addiction, Disable the Brain
When the brain is fed a substance like drugs or alcohol, even sex or the internet, the part of the brain that handles conflict becomes disabled. This has interesting implications for your addiction recovery. You are challenged to go through steps to get past the natural pain of opposition. Addiction makes pain insurmountable and makes it a great challenge. A healthy brain is able to feel pain, assess a true danger from false one and make decisions about what to do (fight or flight). Modern culture struggles to encourage people to address pain appropriately which can be why addiction comes into the picture. We are more likely to soothe ourselves on Starbucks, TV, drink or drugs as opposed to deal with conflict resolution appropriately.
Feel the Pain and Do it Anyway
Part of addiction recovery is recognizing pain does not go away without substances, it seems to intensify for a period of time following recovery. Feeling pain and deciding how to react is part of creating positive mental health. Coping by putting drugs into the system is a Band-Aid approach which is bound to fail over time. Facing the pain later can come with much more painful memories and experiences attached. People without addiction can apply the principles to develop a thicker ACC and thus become more smart and enabled at coping with addiction rather than shoving it under a rug. Coping with conflict is part of dealing with life. You are able to focus on better coping mechanisms when you get some help for that with tools and resources from trusted sources of addiction treatment. Finding a place to get treatment can help you overcome your addiction and focus on healthy ways of dealing with conflict and build a stronger brain-body connection as a result.
Oceanfront offers individuals a place to recover in a setting that is serene and peaceful. Away from the stresses of life, you can detox from everything that is getting in the way of your recovery for a time and focus on healing from addiction. Our clinical offices and residential treatment facilities with trained clinicians will help you create an environment focused on positive change. Find out how to get started by calling: 877-279-1777.