Short and long term substance abuse* affects blood flow and metabolism, which negatively affect the way your central nervous system works. This seems to be especially true in the frontal lobes of the brain, which control executive functioning (skills like planning, attention span, and impulse control) and in the temporal lobes, which are involved in memory, mood, and understanding speech. Fortunately, some researchers report that the damage associated with chronic use of alcohol, nicotine, inhalants, and solvents is at least partially reversible with addiction treatment.
How Amen Clinics Can Help
We know how difficult it can be to struggle with an addiction, and we treat all of our patients with the utmost care and respect as they receive addiction treatment. Our experience, and years of scientific research, have taught us that addiction can damage how your brain works and affect many areas of your life. We can help you not only recover from addiction, but also repair the damage it has caused. We conduct a full personal history before beginning brain scans or recommending any addiction treatment program.
SPECT imaging (which stands for single-photon emission computerized tomography) is a special kind of photograph we take of the brain to help us better understand how it works and what is going on inside of it. SPECT can specifically help people with addictions by:
- Identifying toxic exposure
- Reducing denial
- Helping determine if treatment is working correctly
- Helping determine if there could be co-occurring conditions that need treatment
- Increasing treatment and recovery program compliance by showing pictures of results
- Helping people gain a better understanding of their brain through visuals
Learn more about SPECT
Visit our Science page to learn more about how SPECT works.
Alan never intended to have a brain scan—he just went along with his wife, who was being seen for panic attacks, and had a scan to stand in solidarity with her. When Dr. Amen reviewed Alan’s scan, he saw that Alan, who was 56, had the brain activity of an 80-year-old. “What are you doing to harm your brain?” Dr. Amen immediately asked. Alan told him he wasn’t doing anything that would harm it, but after speaking with Dr. Amen for a few minutes, he confessed that since his daughter had left for college, he’d begun having three to four drinks per day, every day. He was bored and grieving the time he used to spend with her.
When Alan saw the bad shape his brain was clearly in, he was determined to make a change and live a healthy life, and to live long enough to see his future grandchildren grow up. He followed Dr. Amen’s recommendations: no alcohol, regular exercise, vitamins, fish oil, and mental exercise, too. For this last treatment, Alan decided to take up the piano.
Four months later, he wrote to say that he felt smarter, sharper, and more articulate than he had in years. His business had picked up as a result, and he had even decided to write a book—something he had been putting off for years because he couldn’t seem to find the time and motivation.
At Amen Clinics, we want to help your brain recover from addiction, too. Call us today at 1-888-564-2700 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.
*Please note that Amen Clinics upholds all local, state, and national laws, including those regarding illicit drug use, and does not condone illegal activity. †Name has been changed to protect privacy.