Understanding Addiction : Bad Habits and Brain Chemistry

Researchers are proving that memories of substance use and addiction can help sustain addiction.

At Sunrise Detox we believe that information and understanding help reduce unneccesary stigma. We believe that the more we know about addiction, the better we can cope with it -- the better we can solve the challenge of addiction disorders, and achieve success in recovery.

New research shows memories generating dopamine in the brain.

New Research : We Have Memory of Addictive Rewards Distracting Us

New research published by Johns Hopkins University shows that humans have a memory associated with the brain chemistry associated with deeply-rooted addiction, such as addiction to heroin and other fast-acting drugs. Even remembering past substance use can trigger rewards within the brain chemistry, supporting continued addiction.

The research suggests that even while we are working hard to retrain ourselves, our memories are continuing the cycle of brain chemistry we know as addiction!

Memories themselves are causing changes in brain chemistry that distract us from our efforts to avoid those same substances and activities. Memories of past substance abuse may be lighting up the brain with dopamine, and interfering with our efforts to break away from habit loops and behaviors associated with addiction.

This is new research establishing a scientic basis for what we know to be true already, and are already using in our detox centers, because we have seen the results in practice.

New Research : Familiar Consequences

Within our medical detox facilities each year, we start almost ten thousand individuals on the road to recovery. We help thousands of families get started on the path of understanding and working with addicts, and supporting addiction recovery.

Along the way we have learned that a comfortable, respectful, and meticulously-monitored and supported detox experience is the absolute best start for a successful recovery.

People tell us every day how much their stay at Sunrise changed their perspective on treatment. We hear every day how the role models working within Sunrise - the staff members providing treatment and supporting early recovery -- provided new hope for recovery that didn't exist before, even for those with years of prior treatment and experience with several relapses behind them.

Our courteous, respectful customer service representatives are trained like those at the finest hotels, because the individuals battling addiction must see there is hope for a sucessful future beyond the life of an addict, no matter how bad things might seem to them now. Prompt, respectful attention from experienced, knowledgable staff helps reduce the difficulties associated with withdrawal, enabling more hope to shine through with each passing hour.

With all Research come Increased Understanding

Sunrise Detox centers are state-of-the-art medical treatment centers. They are designed to be not only scientifically sound (designed and managed by professional medical doctors and nurses in collaboration with licensed and credentialed counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and nutritionists) but effective on a practical level in ways that science is starting to document.

Each Sunrise Detox represents the highest level of customer care, attention to detail, and accommodation of the individual that we can deliver, because we have seen how effective a "Detox with Dignity" can be for those struggling with addiction. 

Details, Details, Details

Many of the "features" we insist on within Sunrise Detox centers, which we know are essential for success in recovery, may be effective in part because of this connection between memory and the addiction-reward cycles that encourage addiction. Within the design of our detox centers are numerous subtle details that make a difference, although there may not be a strictly scientific basis for them yet.

Smooth, high-thread-count sheets eliminate irritations, leading to more restful sleep and fewer distractions.

The same positive results come from our avoidance of fluorescent lighting, and the architectural design providing easily navigated hallways, semi-enclosed community rooms, and conveniently-located nursing, pharmacy, and support stations.

These are just a few examples, but Sunrise Detox Centers are designed and built from the ground up as detox centers supporting the whole person starting the work of recovery from addiction.

More Research is Needed, and Welcomed

This new research may help lead to a scientific basis for our existing awareness of what helps in early recovery, help reduce stigma, and increase support for treatment.

We are pleased to see this research, and are hopeful that further work will be funded and carried out, to provide more valuable insights into addiction, and more scientific evidence supporting what we already know to be true within Sunrise Detox centers : that even the little details matter, and that comfort, dignity, and respect are essential ingredients for successful recovery on both a practical and scientific basis.

by OrlandoAwareness on Feb. 13, 2016, 7:32 a.m.

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