– April 08, 2017

Traumatic brain injury can cause mental health complications like depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Traumatic impact to the brain is dangerous. Though the human skull is thick, it is vulnerable. Repeated concussions, post concussive syndrome, and other brain impact issues can cause both immediate and dormant symptoms which can worsen overtime.

When seeking treatment for a substance use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental health disorder it is important to disclose the history of a singular or repeated events of traumatic brain injury. Healing a damaged brain outside of the damage caused by mental illness and/or substance abuse requires special treatment, attention, and care.

What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders defines traumatic brain injury as the injury which occurs when there is a sudden and unexpected trauma which causes damage to the brain. For example, blunt impact with an object, an object piercing the skull and penetrating the brain tissue, or hitting the head. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are falling and hitting the head or blunt impact due to car accidents.

Does Traumatic Brain Injury Cause Addiction Problems?

Brainline.org cites John Corrigan who stated that “Substance abuse is a risk factor for having a traumatic brain injury and traumatic brain injury is a risk factor for developing a substance abuse problem.” Because substance abuse can cause accidents which cause traumatic brain injury, there is standing substance abuse issues before a traumatic injury event. Brainline reports that “At least 20% of adolescents and adults who are hospitalized and at least 30% of those requiring rehabilitation are intoxicated at the time of their injury.” However, after traumatic brain injury, substance abuse can develop for a few reasons. First, heavy prescription painkillers can cause chemical dependency. Second, impaired cognitive functioning can cause an increase in restlessness, irritability, and impulsivity, all of which create a high risk for substance abuse. “Between 10% and 20% of persons with traumatic brain injury,” the website explains, “ develop a substance use problem for the first time after their injury.”

Get Real Recovery specializes in the treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders as the result of traumatic brain injury. If you are in need of treatment, call us today for information on our residential and our partial care program options located in Orange County, Southern California. 866-983-3651.

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