How to Cope with Brain Injury and Mental Illness Alongside Addiction in Recovery

How to Cope with Brain Injury and Mental Illness Alongside Addiction in Recovery

Brain injuries impact millions of people around the world. What is less discussed is the impact of mental health issues and addiction on people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). the number of people who suffer from a substance abuse disorder is higher than some might think. Alcohol use, in particular, can get worse in the few years following an injury. This may lead to other drug use. Find out why this occurs and how to help a loved one who may be struggling with TBI and addiction. 

Impact of Substance Abuse

There are many reasons why alcohol and other drug use following TBI are dangerous. The brain is already suffering and needs to heal. It is difficult for it to heal for many reasons when a person is not able to navigate recovery from addiction. Some of the ways substance abuse impacts a person with TBI includes:

  • People who use alcohol or drugs after a brain injury do not recover as well as someone who is sober
  • Balance and coordination are off for people who have TBI, which gets worse under the influence
  • A person with TBI is more likely to do things without first thinking them through. This only gets worse when using drugs or drinking
  • Alcohol and drugs have more potent effects on people with TBI
  • People who drink alcohol or use other drugs following a brain injury are more likely to have another brain injury

Impact on Brain

The impact of alcohol and drug use on a brain that suffered TBI demonstrate the struggle they face, including isolation, criminal behavior, unemployment, and other challenges. The addictive effect on the brain and function of substance abuse and TBI demonstrates how fast the brain is impacted by heavy drinking and drug use. Treatment approaches that typically work for people with TBI and co-occurring substance abuse include motivational interviewing, communication work with that person’s ability, and evaluation of how much they understand and are able to speak, read, write, and comprehend recovery processes. Attention span may be shorter or divergent, so it is important to tune into that in rehab. Modifications may be needed to assist them in getting their work done, finishing pieces of recovery work they need to do, creating balance in their schedule, and finding time for other healing work like being in nature or outdoors and working with animal-assisted therapy, if available. Recovery work is hard, but it is more difficult for people with TBI. The goal is to help them find a better quality of life and move towards healing the best they can, where they are, so they can find a healthy balance in recovery.

Oceanfront will help you kick an addiction to the curb with our premier beachfront community in Laguna Beach. We are founded on the principle of providing the best in care and services at affordable prices. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295