Short and long term substance abuse* affects blood flow and metabolism in the brain, which negatively affects 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 the right kind of addiction treatment.

How Amen Clinics Can Help

We know how difficult it can be to surmount an addiction, and we treat all of our patients with the utmost care and support as they receive addiction treatment aimed at brain healing and a full recovery. Our experience combined with years of scientific research clearly shows that addiction can damage how the brain works and affect many areas of an addict’s life. We can help you not only recover from addiction, but also repair the damage it has done to your brain. We conduct a comprehensive 2-hour personal history before beginning brain scans or recommending any addiction treatment program.

Click link to watch a short (1m44s) video in which Dr. Amen discusses How we help with addiction & addiction disorders

Want to see what one mother has to say about the turnaround her drug-addicted young son experienced after coming to Amen Clinics and being treated? Then click this link (3m19s video)

Also, check out Dr. Amen’s book, Unchain your brain (10 steps to breaking addictions that steal your life)

Click to see all the books, DVDs and other addictions-related material by Dr. Amen in our bookstore.

SPECT Imaging

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 and other compounds
  • Reducing denial
  • Helping determine if treatment is working correctly
  • Helping determine if there could be co-existent conditions that need treatment
  • Increasing treatment and recovery program compliance by showing improvements in brain functioning in vivid visual form
  • Helping people gain a better understanding of their brain through visuals means (Pre- and Post – treatment SPECT scans especially)

Learn more about SPECT

Visit our Science page to learn more about how SPECT works.

Alan’s Story

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 as a way to stand in solidarity with her. When Dr. Amen reviewed Alan’s scan, he saw unmistakable evidence that this 56-year-old man 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 what poor shape his brain was in, he made up his mind to take change and live a healthy life, and to live long enough to see his future grandchildren be born and grow up. He followed Dr. Amen’s recommendations: no alcohol, regular exercise, brain supporting nutrients, and mental exercise, too. As a last treatment measure, 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.

What Amen Clinics did for Alan we want to do for you. Your brain recovery from addiction begins with you calling us toll free at 1-866-260-8227 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.

†Name has been changed to protect privacy.

*Please note that Amen Clinics upholds all local, state, and national laws, including those regarding illicit drug use, and does not condone illegal activity.