Addiction and TBI

Concussion and TBI’s affects on susceptibility to addiction see CONCUSSIONS, TBI AND ADDICTION, HOW PREVALENT IS IT? and Internet Addiction Affects Computer Related Job Performance

How Brain Injury Can Cause Addiction

Many people who have a traumatic brain injury have substance abuse problems prior to their injury. So it is not surprising to learn that a number of people after they have had traumatic brain injury also can develop a substance abuse problem. Adolescents and adults who are hospitalized for traumatic brain injury can be much heavier drinkers than their peers .

Traumatic Brain Injury and parts of the brain Regions of the lateral surface of the brain, and particularly the lobes of the forebrain: Beige – frontal lobe. Blue – parietal lobe. Green – occipital lobe

A few studies have shown that with traumatic brain injury, alcohol use gets worse 2 to 5 years after the injury  unless something is preventing them like an intervention or treatment. Otherwise many people resume their prior levels of alcohol and other drug use.

Addiction, TBI, and Returning to Prior Usage

In addition to the large number of individuals who had a substance abuse disorder before their injury and return to those levels after, and furthermore some studies have indicated that between 10% and 20% of persons with traumatic brain injury develop a substance use problem for the first time after their injury .

Football and TBI
Football and TBI

“Many athletes with brain injury have developed drug and alcohol abuse issues,” says Chris Nowinski. A former Harvard football player and WWE wrestler, Nowinski founded the Sports Legacy Institute in 2007 and teamed with Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy to study issues of brain trauma in sports. Among the CTSE’s findings is that repeated blows to the head cause degeneration of the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for impulse control. A loss of impulse control can in turn lead someone who wouldn’t otherwise touch legal or illegal drugs down a dark path of addiction. Even if an athlete avoids the severity of CTE, a career full of concussions can cause recurring headaches, which can lead opiate abuse. Sometimes these paths to addiction exist independently. Other times they work together. “A lot of athletes were actually self-medicating through headaches, didn’t have any impulse control [and] would get addicted to things,” Nowinski says. Taken together, it is a very high proportion of individuals who have been hospitalized for traumatic brain injury who will be at risk for developing a problem after their injury — either because they had one before or because of the vulnerabilities created by the injury itself.

While there has not been a definitive, study of how many individuals receiving treatment for substance abuse problems have incurred traumatic brain injuries, a collection of studies in the last 20 years suggests that it may be as high as 50%.

Addiction, TBI and Symptoms

Symptoms of Brain Injury or chronic traumatic encephalopathy CTE include confusion, headaches, impaired judgment and a lack of impulse control, which often manifests as an inability to resist bad things that feel good—namely, drugs.

Pure Recovery California located on the beach in Southern California between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles is one of the few facilities in the country that offers life-changing treatment for Addiction, Pain, Traumatic Brain Injury and Dual Diagnosis. Their highly skilled specialists blend innovative therapies with the best evidenced based therapies and alternative approaches to address each client’s unique needs for overcoming addiction.

Concussion and TBI’s affects on susceptibility to addiction see CONCUSSIONS, TBI AND ADDICTION, HOW PREVALENT IS IT? and Internet Addiction Affects Computer Related Job Performance

Great links:

TBI incline people with to drink more

Exploring the Connection Between Brain Injury and Substance Abuse

Dual Diagnosis of Brain Injury and Addiction

Addiction and TBI

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