The brain is a fragile organ that can deteriorate or become damaged by substance abuse. Most people who abuse substances are not thinking about the state of their brain when they do so. If they are, they are likely convincing themselves that their brain is not being harmed by it. But the fact of the matter is, substance abuse can have lasting effects on a person’s brain and can make it function at a much lower level. Fortunately, the brain is also resilient and can respond very well to an altered lifestyle. Those willing to quit their substance abuse and change their diet and lifestyle to restore their brain function may be able to achieve the highest level of brain function they have ever experienced.
Substance abuse damages the brain by altering its functions, patterns, neural networks and activity for the worse. The brain requires a harmonious balance of vitamins and nutrients to functional optimally. Substance abuse replaces vitamins and nutrients with a flood of toxins that disrupt the brain’s normal operations and reduce its functionality. The brain can be damaged permanently by ongoing substance abuse, but most cases are reversible. Leaving substance abuse behind and switching to a diet of lean proteins, plant proteins, antioxidants, omega 3’s, fiber and a wide variety of vitamins and other nutrients heals damage done to the brain through substance abuse. Altering one’s lifestyle to allow for consistent sleep, exercise and self care is also essential to good brain health.
It is the mission of Amen clinics around the United States to give people a much clearer understanding of the shape their brains are in. One cannot X-ray a brain to examine the subtle physical changes it is undergoing due to substance abuse or any other condition. SPECT imaging, which is the medical service that Amen clinics offer, give people a safe and thorough opportunity to see the state their brain is in, as well as monitor its progress. For many, the realities of substance abuse are not made clear without a visual representation of what they are doing to their brain.