While neuroscience may be a long way from “curing” addiction. As a discipline they have begun to take the problem seriously. At Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare we also take addictive disorder seriously. Our program is based on current neuroscientific research. We engage in physical exercise as a way to generate neuroregeneration within our patient population.
By now I’m sure many if not all of you reading this are familiar with the terms “patient broker” or, “client broker”. If you are not what the terms refer to is an individual who for a fee, paid by a treatment facility, will make a referral to that facility. The way that this often works is that the broker “identifies” an addict in need of help, and then the broker starts calling treatment centers and negotiating a fee for placement.
I am writing today merely to extend a simple promise to any who read this that may be suffering like I was. When I first entered recovery a simple promise was made to me. I was promised that if I did the work necessary to stay sober, I would be able to have a life that made sense to me. What I have received is that and infinitely more.
“Exercise is the most transformative thing you can do for your brain today.”
This is how Dr. Wendy Suzuki begins her talk on the power of exercise as a prophylactic to all manner of brain disease and disorder. Dr. Suzuki, who had been a neuroscientist focused on memory changed the entire course of her research when she inadvertently began doing exercise research on herself. She is now a foremost expert on the transformative impact on the brain of exercise.
When alcoholism finally brought me to my knees, and I had nowhere to turn I found my answer. Through treatment and membership in a 12 step fellowship I was able to understand why I felt the way I did. I was also offered a solution. I have accepted that solution and have since been able to enjoy a life beyond my wildest dreams. A life of purpose, meaning, and connection.
Getting sober is one thing, but of course the real goal is having someone stay sober. While we can’t do it for them, as the family of an addict we have a role to play in helping them stay sober. This article should is in no way meant to replace working with a professional. Every individual situation is unique and no one article could possible address every unique iteration of sobriety or family dynamics.
Recent studies show that exercise is more effective than any other protocol at treating things such as depression, ADHD, PTSD, Alzheimer's. Diseases and conditions of the brain. Much of this research has been done or inspired by the work of John Ratey.
When it is time to seek help for drug and alcohol addiction there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration. The decision whether to stay close to home for treatment or to go out of state can often be seen as a minor part of the decision. I would urge the reader to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this decision carefully.