Why Can’t I Focus In Early Recovery?

Why Can’t I Focus In Early Recovery?

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– April 27, 2017

Without much knowledge of drug addiction and alcoholism, people usually don’t think their drinking and drug use was that bad. As a society, we have created specific images and ideas of what real alcoholism and addiction look like. Chemical dependency is chemical dependency. When you become chemically dependent on drugs and alcohol, everything in your body depends on finding, obtaining, and consuming drugs and alcohol. You need it to wake up, you need it to function, you need to feel, you need it to feel better, you need it to sleep. You need drugs and alcohol to think, you need drugs and alcohol to speak. Even if you think you’re just taking the edge off, need just a little bit to get going, or will be able to stop after this quick hit helps you get stable…you’re addicted.

The brain is the main operation hub for everything in the body. Everything associated with your nervous system, and every other system in your body, receives as well as sends signals to your brain. Addiction has a way of prioritizing the brain and altering the chemical processes upon which the brain relies in order to function. For example, addiction rewires the midbrain, one of the most important parts of the brain. Operations of survival, such as eating, sleeping, and hunting, which have been intrinsic to human behavior for thousands of years, live in the midbrain. Slowly, addiction climbs the survival totem pole, as it is sometimes called, until the midbrain recognizes using substances as the most important component of survival. Once the brain has prioritized addiction, everything else comes second. This is part of the reasons it is hard to focus in the early months of recovery. Frantic to workout the kinks and cravings of addiction, the brain has a hard time keeping attention. Additionally, the brain struggles with focus because of cognitive impairments, or damage to the cognition region of the brain. Making sense of the world, taking information, and creating knowledge out of that information is more difficult when the brain is still damaged from recent substance abuse.


Why Can’t I Focus In Early Recovery?
Will My Focus Recover, Too?


Each day you stay sober and work on your recovery in treatment, therapy, or a twelve step program, you are helping your brain heal. First, you are keeping harmful drugs and alcohol out of your system. Second, you are training your brain and reteaching it how to think, remember, understand, and act.

Get Real Recovery employs a variety of treatment methods to help the brain, the body, and the spirit heal. For information on our residential treatment programs, call us today at 866-983-3651.

Shruti C
Shruti C, on in Recovery

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