Why Is Self-Care Important in Recovery?

Why Is Self-Care Important in Recovery?

How do you take care of yourself? Self-care refers to being aware of your needs and making consistent efforts to meet them. For example, self-care could involve meditating or taking a hot bath to unwind and relax if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. To be able to serve others, take care of your responsibilities, and even function at your best, you must prioritize taking care of yourself.

Self-care can look different for everyone. For some, self-care may involve scheduling some quiet time to read a good book. For others, it might mean a daily walk at the park or some time spent playing an instrument or listening to music. Whatever your preferred activity is for self-care, it’s important that you make time to do it.

Self-Care, Addiction, and Treatment

Following active addiction and throughout your recovery journey, it's incredibly important to engage in self-care. Addiction takes a huge toll on your mental health, physical health, and spiritual health. Whether your addiction was to alcohol, benzos, opioids, or other substances, using likely caused damage in each of these areas. As you begin the treatment process and start to heal, it is critical to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to maintain the healing and progress that you’ve made. Practicing and prioritizing self-care in recovery can help.

Self-care helps us better manage stress, cope with conflict, and perform at our best. Throughout recovery, the way in which you respond to stressors and adversity can make all the difference. Stress can be a huge reason for relapse, so being well equipped to handle any issues that may arise is essential.

Self-Care in Treatment

What might self-care look like during treatment? Again, self-care can be different for everyone. Throughout your treatment experience at Enlightened Solutions, you may find yourself discovering new hobbies, creative outlets, or interests that you may choose to carry with you throughout recovery. These activities could include new methods of exercise, a new interest in painting, or even yoga and meditation.

Treatment helps you incorporate a variety of activities that benefit you physically, mentally, and spiritually throughout your treatment and recovery experience. By engaging in these activities, you are not only exploring new interests and adding value to your life, but you may find that some of these new hobbies can be very therapeutic. They also may be a great activity for self-care after you return to life following treatment.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation have countless advantages. Research supports all the different ways in which yoga and meditation can benefit you physically and mentally. Many find yoga and meditation to be relaxing and calming and find that they can be great stress relievers. As a result of these effects, yoga and meditation can serve as excellent forms of self-care.

Outdoor Activities

Trying new outdoor activities during treatment can enlighten you to many hobbies and interests that you may not have discovered otherwise. If you live near the water, surfing, fishing, or paddle boarding can be an excellent escape from the stressors of everyday life. At Enlightened Solutions, we love to take advantage of the earth around us. By engaging in these activities during treatment, you may find that you really enjoy them. Getting lost in nature and enjoying the sounds of the waves and the fresh air can tremendously impact your mental health. Any of these activities could serve as an excellent form of self-care during and following treatment.

Music and Art

Exploring activities that foster your creativity can be very beneficial during treatment and throughout recovery. You may find that you have skills and abilities in certain areas that you would really like to build upon in recovery. Many find music and art to be therapeutic and soothing. Exploring your interest and abilities when it comes to painting, sketching, working with clay, or even playing instruments can help encourage creativity and serve as forms of self-care.

When was the last time you did something just for yourself, even if it was something as simple as taking 10 minutes to sit outside in the quiet and enjoy your coffee? Self-care is so incredibly important for everyone. For those in recovery, it is essential. You must take care of yourself before you can do anything for anyone else. The healing continues after treatment, and so does the work to ensure you continue to progress and maintain your sobriety. Allow yourself time to unwind, relax, and enjoy the things that lift your spirits and leave you feeling refreshed. Make it a point to prioritize self-care; you won’t regret it.

Self-care is very important to your health and overall well-being. Making time for the things you enjoy and activities that promote relaxation is essential for good mental health and success throughout recovery. Following addiction, you will encounter difficulties, stressors, and challenges that could pose a threat to your sobriety. Self-care can help you respond to adversity in a healthy way. At Enlightened Solutions, we encourage self-care regularly. Our programs and activities can introduce you to different methods of self-care and help you develop routines for incorporating these activities even after treatment. Caring for your mental health through frequent self-care can help you avoid relapse and stay on track. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help. Make the decision to seek treatment today by calling Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.


Bubble Bath

The Role That Bubble Baths (and Other Forms of Self-Care) Play in Recovery

Did you have a bad day at work? Was traffic a nightmare on your way home? Did you argue with your spouse or significant other? Are you tempted to forget about your recovery and pour yourself a drink? Or maybe you had a fabulous day and are looking for a recovery friendly celebration. Either way, run yourself a bubble bath!  Enjoying a bubble bath may sound trivial in the face of addiction recovery, but a nice warm bath can be helpful in maintaining your chosen sober lifestyle. Why? A soak in the tub is an example of self-care.

January 8 is officially National Bubble Bath Day. The bubbles on top of the bathwater act as insulation and keep the water warmer for a longer period of time. If you have a cold or the flu a nice, steamy bath can help relieve nasal and chest congestion. If you’ve had a strenuous workout a soak in the tub can relieve sore muscles. A nice bath also helps to relieve stress and can make falling asleep at bedtime easier.

Why Is Self-Care Important in Recovery?

Self-care plays an important role in recovery because an active addiction can lead to self-neglect- lack of exercise, poor diet, increased stress, etc. Many people who are struggling with addiction turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with stress, boredom, or strong negative emotions. It’s a maladaptive coping mechanism, in that the drugs or alcohol helped- until they didn’t. An important part of recovery is finding healthy ways to cope with negative emotions, as well as healthier ways to celebrate. Making time to take care of yourself isn’t selfish; it is akin to putting on your own oxygen mask first when the cabin pressure drops in the aircraft before you help other people with their oxygen masks. Taking care of yourself helps you in your recovery and in maintaining sobriety.

Many people begin their journey of recovery because they want to start living to their fullest potential. Part of that involves taking care of your body and paying attention to your diet, your sleep, and exercise.

Foods to Avoid- and to Eat

Eat nutritious food. Most people who are struggling with a serious addiction either make poor food choices from a nutritional standpoint or lose interest in eating and fail to consume enough calories. Avoid or reduce your intake of processed food, refined grains, sugary beverages, and artificial sweeteners. Instead, nutritionists recommend that whenever possible you eat whole foods, which is defined as foods that are “not processed or modified from its original form” (U.S. News and World Report, “You’re In Recovery, What Should You Eat,” December 3, 2018), organic food, or locally grown foods.

“Sleep That Knits up the Ravell’d Sleeve of Care”

Playwright William Shakespeare was right when he wrote about the importance of sleep in Macbeth, calling sleep “sore labour’s bath, Balm of hurt minds.”  Drug and alcohol abuse interferes with good sleep which is problematic because sleep restores your brain and your body. Adequate rest (seven or eight hours for most adults) helps with learning and recalling new information, solving problems, focusing on tasks, making decisions, and creating. While you are asleep, your heart and blood vessels are repaired. Sleep problems have been connected with heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. Enlightened Solutions’ blog on Beating Insomnia During Addiction Recovery offers helpful tips to improve sleep. Avoid blue light (light emitted from television and computer screens) an hour before bedtime. If you have trouble sleeping, reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex. Keep your bedroom tidy. Set the temperature between 60 and 70 degrees. According to the National Sleep Foundation, that temperature range is the most conducive to sleep. Consider wearing an eye mask and earplugs to eliminate distractions. Reduce stress at night by writing in a journal, practicing mindful breathing, or meditating. If you need additional help to get to sleep, try natural sleep aids like melatonin, tryptophan, or GABA.

Exercise: Good for Your Body and Your Mind

Regular exercise is good for everyone (assuming there are no medical issues that would preclude exercise) and especially for those in recovery. Regular exercise can reduce the incidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and other health problems. In terms of the mental and emotional benefits, spending 30 minutes engaged in aerobic exercise (like walking, running, swimming, cycling, dancing) will improve sleep, reduce stress, increase mental alertness, and improve mood overall. Exercise also leads to greater self-confidence and more social interaction.

For people in recovery, participating in a fitness program of some sort is very important for a number of reasons. A regular exercise program can provide structure for the day and fills some of the time that used to be spent drinking or using drugs. Exercise can distract you from cravings and can alleviate boredom. For these reasons and others, many treatment centers include exercise and fitness as part of their programs.

Proper nutrition, restful sleep, and exercise (and bubble baths) are all examples of self-care and are important to you in your journey of recovery.

At Enlightened Solutions, we do far more than help our clients reach sobriety--we equip them with the life skills and self-care techniques they need to maintain sobriety as part of the healthy lifestyle they have embraced. Our clients have the opportunity to learn to prepare organic meals from produce that they have helped to grow on our farm. Here at Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients a variety of fitness options and teach relaxation techniques that will lead to more restful sleep. We are located on the New Jersey shore and we offer alternative therapies to complement the one-on-one and group counseling that we provide. The therapies that we offer include art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, and family constellation therapy. Every client has a treatment program developed specifically for them. If you or a family member are tired of addiction and are ready to break free, call us at (833) 801-5483.


The Bergen Work Addiction Scale

The Bergen Work Addiction Scale

It is good to be dedicated to your work—you did not go through years of college and/or training to let all of that hard work go to waste. However, there is a whole life that exists outside of work that you need to consider, as well. By learning how the Bergen Work Addiction Scale works, you will know whether or not you have a work addiction and if you need to seek treatment for it.

Rating Your Work Addiction - Point One and Two

This scale is rated based on seven criteria with answers being either “never,” “rarely,” “sometimes,” “often,” or “always.” The first point is thinking you can free up more time to work. Maybe family members have asked to get together with you, but you would rather focus on your projects or keeping your time free in case you get emails from other co-workers or your boss. All of the fun events or family gatherings you would normally go to just are not important to you compared to your career. The second point is when you spend too much time working than you originally intended. You probably meant to finish your work on time so you could be with your loved ones, but you know that you have a project that still needs to be done and you cannot focus on anything else until it’s complete.

Rating Your Work Addiction - Point Three and Four

The third point is working in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness, and depression. Work seems like a good distraction to help you get away from those feelings. While it may work to distract you, it will not make those feelings go away. It will just push you to keep working harder to avoid these feelings. The fourth point is being told to cut down on work, but you do not listen. You are constantly stressing how important your work is and that it cannot be pushed aside for anything. You have probably accused others of not being understanding.

Rating Your Work Addiction - Points Five Through Seven

The fifth point is that if you have been told by someone to stop working, it will just stress you out even more. Your mind is constantly on work and you feel like it is calling you to focus solely on that. It is no different than being addicted to drugs and someone makes you quit cold turkey. You will feel withdrawal symptoms, including a rise in your anxiety levels. A sixth point is that your priorities, exercise, and leisure activities are de-prioritized because work is at the top. You may have used to enjoy your hobbies or having fun, but you feel those activities must be put on hold to continue on with your work. Even something important like exercising is set aside, which can be bad for your health, especially if you have a job that requires long periods of sitting. The seventh and final point is that all of the work you are doing is affecting your health, but you cannot find it in yourself to stop. This is what separates addiction from a fondness of something—an addiction is when something is destroying your health, but you cannot stop despite the negative consequences.

The Problem

We may joke about someone of being a workaholic, but being a true workaholic is a painful tragedy. If you have answered “often” or “always” to at least four of the seven criteria, you have a work addiction. The main difference between being a workaholic and a hard worker is the negative consequences. A workaholic suffers from poor health, feelings of guilt when they are not working, and increased stress levels. Being a workaholic is much more severe than being a hard worker. Hard-working people typically do not deal with the consequences that workaholics have, as they can live a life outside of work. If your work addiction is not addressed, this can harm your personal and financial life. You may appear strong to others in being dedicated to your work, but you are suffering inside.

Boundaries

The first thing you can do is to establish boundaries. If you are a manager, try to make sure everyone works a 40-hour week, including yourself. Worry more about the results than about the duration of your shift. You should also take a digital detox where you are offline from smartphones, tablets, and computers for a certain period of time. You can download apps like Flipd, Space, or Offline to help you lock your device during certain hours of the day.

Self-Care

It will be hard for you to do your work if you are so absorbed in it that you forget to take care of yourself. Remember to bathe yourself, eat at every mealtime, and sleep seven to eight hours a day. You can also try mindfulness when you have a few minutes to yourself by doing breathing exercises or yoga. You can also create or participate in wellness challenges or walking meets to help you exercise.

Vacation

The U.S. Travel Association says that more than half of Americans leave their vacation time unused. Take some time for yourself and unplug. That way, you can return feeling happier and energized. By being in control of your work addiction, you can still keep your career but still have a life outside of the office.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us today at 833-801-LIVE. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Signs of a High-Functioning Alcoholic

5 Reasons You Should Learn to Love Your Body

The journey of returning to wholeness from the perspective of mind, body and spirit can be the adventure of a lifetime.  It makes sense that such an adventure would have both glorious celebrations and significant challenges.  The prospect of truly being embodied, fully occupying the body that is yours, and yours alone, can be a daunting call to action if you are healing from body image issues.  In moments of doubt, return to the possibility of what potential your body offers your life.  

 

It is the only body you have

At the core, the primary reason to love your body is that is is the only one that you have.  While it has mystical capacity to heal itself, it is also finite in its support of your ability to stay on the epic quest of life.

 

It is your ancestral lineage

Your body descended from a lineage of people, each who found the other and formed a tribe, and created new life.  Your body carries DNA of all of those who came before you and you carry forward the purpose they found in creating the lineage that they did.  

 

It is your eco-system

Through this body, you are part of the larger eco-system.  You have some tribe, chosen or family, and the way that you are part of this interconnection is primarily through your body.  The spirit and the emotion stem from the body as foundation and without it, they lose the channel for distribution.

 

It is your pathway to unconditional love with all beings

By being fully embodied in your present self and discovering unconditional love of your physical home, you learn the ways of unconditional love.  As you learn to be in this relationship with your body, you can extend this love to your inner self, emotional and spiritual.  This leads to the mastery necessary to love others unconditionally.  

 

It is the vehicle for your purpose

Every life exists for a reason, to offer a unique gift to the collective human experience.  You are no different.  Your body makes this possible for your spirit.  Care for it and honor it as your precious vehicle for your precious life.  

 

If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.


Bringing Arts, Crafts, And Self-Care Together: The Self-Care Box

Designing a regimen for self-care could be too much. Trying to pick from all the many different options which help you to feel nourished, relaxed, and rejuvenated can be overwhelming. Self-care isn’t meant to be overwhelming. Quite the opposite, self-care is a time to drop out of the world outside and drop into the world inside. Tending to your needs, helping yourself feel taken care of, this is the point of self-care. If only you could just pull self-care off a shelf and put it on like a fuzzy robe. Psychotherapist Jennifer Rollin suggests creating a self-care box as a compact way to create a go-to source for all your self-care needs. Rollins points out that a self-care box can be relatively inconspicuous, meaning you can have one at home or at work. Storing a few quick self-care items in a small caddy for the car isn’t a terrible idea either.

Here are some of the things Rollins suggests, mixed in with some of our favorites:

  • Essential Oils Room Spray: you can store this at home, at work, and in your car. Look for a soothing blend using lavender and bergamot or chamomile to create a sense of purifying calm immediately in your space. You can even buy an oil diffuser which attaches to your air vents.
  • A small bottle of thick hand lotion: don’t over-lotion your hands, because they will dry out. In a moment of self-care, giving yourself a little reflexology massage that is also moisturizing can be quite the treat. Get in between your fingers, rub around your wrists, and release some tension
  • Inspirational Books: You can buy cute little versions of book sin additions to regular size books. Keep your favorite self-help, spiritual, or inspirational book in your kit for a moment of encouragement when you need it.
  • A Busy Toy: silly putty, play dough, kinetic sand, or a fidget cube is a good way to keep your hand busy and your brain focused during self-care. Self-care isn’t always all “ooo's” and “aahh's”. Sometimes it can be really hard to let go and relax.
  • Calming Music: on your phone, your computer, or a playlist on Spotify, load up on all that yoga studio, massage room, spa music that gets you feeling zen and relaxed.

Enlightened Recovery Solutions wants to help you learn how to take care of yourself in a healthy, holistic way for the rest of your life. Lifetime recovery is possible. We have the solution. Call us today for more information, at 833-801-5483.


7 Ways To Amp Up Your Adult Self-Care Game

Protect Your Feet

Our feet are pretty important. They get us to where we need to go, help us do fun things, and support our entire body. Fashionable footwear can be fun, but we need to start thinking holistically in recovery. Treat your feet to something sweet with footwear that is both good looking and good for your body. Supporting your body, literally, from the floor up is a way to help save your back in the future.

Get More Sleep

Sleep is a critical necessity in life and in recovery. On average, you should be getting 6-8 hours of sleep, though some researchers suggest that 10 hours of sleep would be the most efficient. Follow good sleep routines like staying off your phone, meditating, and going to bed at an appropriate time. Never say no to naps, but learn how to nap effectively: 20 minute power naps can reboot the brain while 90 minute naps can enhance productivity and creativity.

Be A Better Driver

How many times did you drive intoxicated and put others at risk? Driving each day is an opportunity to make a living amends for times we were more reckless and dangerous to others. Practice safe driving, don’t use your phone, and give yourself ample time to get to where you’re going so you don’t rush. Enjoy your driving time with books on audio or your favorite music.

Clean Your Room And Your House

Your messy days are over. It’s true, you’ll have days when a clean room is the least of your worries. A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. Having material goods is a gift of recovery, so they should be well taken care of. In addition, you’re working hard to restore your immune system and your health. A clean home and living space reduces hidden toxins and germs which can cause illness.

Take Care Of Sexual Health

Sex and sexuality is not a common topic of recovery. Alcoholism and addiction can cause reckless sexual impulsivity. Taking good care of sexual health is part of being a grown person in recovery. Make regular appointments with doctors and take care yourself.

Cook Real Food

Learning how to cook is a benefit of recovery. When all we think about is our substances, we are less than inclined to take good care of ourselves. In the beginning of recovery it can be easy to opt for easy food options to at least eat. Later on, its essential to start practicing habits for a healthy diet. One of thebest ways to do that is to cook at home.

Enlightened Solutions aims to help men and women learn how to live life again through supportive twelve step based recovery fused with holistic and alternative healing. For more information, call 833-801-5483.


partial care program

Owning Your Choices In Recovery

In his book The Light in the Heart, author Roy T. Bennett talks a lot about choices. The human mind makes about 35,000 conscious choices and decisions each day. How many of them do we actually take time to consider? Despite our immense power as decision makers, we often give our power away when it comes to our choices. It might seem strange to ponder. Don’t we make our choices for ourselves? If we were to take the time to analyze each of our choices we would probably find a lot more inauthenticity than we were expecting. So often do we make a choice because of someone else, for someone else, or in spite of someone else. Each time we make a decision that goes against the authentic will of who we are we leave a little scar in our minds. Like giving ourselves a burn, we are left in pain. Though it feels easier to make choices that keep us safe as we assume other would want us to act this way, it actually harms us. We’re left with shame, guilt, and a damaged sense of self-esteem.

“Every choice comes with a consequence,” Bennett writes, “Once you make a choice you must accept responsibility. You cannot escape the consequences of your choices, whether you like them or not.” Problematically, when we make choices and decisions based on a source other than ourselves or the higher power of our understanding, we cease to take responsibility for them. If, or when, we must face the consequences of those choices, we hide behind the fact that they were for somebody else. Such behaviors continue to take away our personal empowerment and sense of agency.

Even if we make choices for reasons other than ourselves, we must learn to own them. Every choice we’ve made in our entire lives demands ownership. Taking ownership for choices is a critical part of the therapeutic process for recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. According to the biopsychosocial model, there are a variety of reasons as to why we started drinking and using. Our brains, bodies, and social environments in some ways conditioned us to choose to use substances to alter the way we felt. However, that choice was still entirely ours as well were the many choices that followed.

In recovery we continue making choices each day, choices we are unfamiliar with. We learn that we have the power to choose how we feel, how we react and respond, how we cope with life on life’s terms. Each day we are given an opportunity to own those choices and be fully empowered in who we are. That is a gift of recovery. “Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice,” Bennett asserts, “Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”

 

Choose treatment. Choose recovery. Choose life. When it comes to making that choice for one more hit or one more drink, the choice is yours. We hope you choose Enlightened Solutions to help you recover. Our goal is to provide a compassionate environment of holistic healing to help you end your destructive relationship with drugs and alcohol. Are you ready to make the choice? Call us today 833-801-5483.


Self Care Checklist

Self care is important to recovery. You’re learning how to manage new stressors and new triggers in life as well as the new emotions that come up in response. When needing to practice self care, ask yourself:

 

Have You..

...Taken A Look At What Needs To Be Done And Made A Plan? Sometimes we get caught up in the future and the past when we stop paying attention to the present. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you might be looking too much at the whole picture. Taking the bigger picture into account isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, it can cause trouble when it prevents you from focusing on what needs to be done right now. Take a few minutes to make some lists and organize all that information swimming around in your head You’ll be feeling better in no time.

...Been Setting Healthy Boundaries and Taking Time For Yourself? Now that we are able to be present for others and have a deeper understanding of what it means to be of service, we might feel like we have to give all the time. Healthy boundaries are important for learning to say “No” when it is necessary. Make sure you are still receiving support in all the right places while taking time for yourself. It’s okay to say no every once in awhile.

...Noticed Your Breath Lately? It might seem odd, but quite often we forget to breathe. At least, that is, we don’t take mindful time to notice our breath. You might need to pause and take a deep breath in followed by a deep breath out. Focusing on your breath will help you to get grounded and anchored in the present moment

...Drank A Glass Of Water Today? Being dehydrated can lead to feelings of panic and anxiety. Staying hydrated is good for your brain, your metabolism, and your energy. Practice self care by purchasing an inspiring water bottle and drinking at least eight glasses of water per day.

...Reached Out To A Friend? Getting caught in your head is best remedied by getting out of your head. Reaching out to a friend for a helpful reminder of where you are, how far you have come, and what great things lie ahead is always good for self care.

 

Enlightened Solutions has the answer to the problem of abusive relationships with drugs and alcohol. Our treatment program is open to men and women wanting to heal. For more information, call 833-801-5483.


substance abuse addiction treatment new jersey

The “Enough” Factor in the Brain

What separates an alcoholic from a normal drinker? The compulsion to drink despite negative consequences has baffled scientists, family members, spouses, and loved ones for centuries. How is it that two perfectly normal people, standing side by side, can consume alcohol and react in completely different ways? Even “normal” drinkers who drink heavily or binge drink do not experience the peculiar phenomena of craving as alcoholics do. Additionally, they have the simple ability that alcoholics do not: the ability to stop.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains that for the true alcoholic one is never enough. A common saying in recovery is that “one is too many, a thousand never enough.” The insatiable thrist for alcohol is unending in the alcoholic. Unique to addiction is the tendency to be lacking in a stopping limit, especially in consideraiton of negative consequences. It is the alcoholic who fools himself into believing he can have just one. “Cunning, baffling, powerful” is how The Big Book describes alcohol. Until now, alcoholics have been seen to be “powerless” over alcohol. While many argue this as a matter of willpower, AA sees it as a matter of spiritual malady. New research suggests that the alcoholic brain is actually deficient in a very important protein which helps with that “power”.

The “Enough” Factor in the Brain

PRDM2, according to inews, controls various nerve signals that help stop drinking. Meaning, that this protein is essential to having power over when enough is enough. The protein is located in the frontal lobes of the cortex, which is where the brain makes decisions. Specifically, PRDM2 manages how one nerve cell signals another. If there isn’t enough protein present, there will be ineffective communication about impulsivity among nerve cells.

The research found that in brains of alcoholics, PRDM2 was practically nonexistent. Not only does this impair the ability to stop drinking at any point, it also impairs the impulse to drink. Decision making about alcohol includes when and why to pick up alcohol in addition to how much. For example, active and present PRDM2 might contribute to avoiding a drink in times of stress. A better functioning frontal lobe means making more rational decisions.

Science continues to help destigmatize alcoholism and addiction. One day there might be a “cure” for the disease of addiction. Until that day, the more information gained, the greater treatment experiences we can provide.


substance abuse addiction treatment new jersey

The “Enough” Factor in the Brain

What separates an alcoholic from a normal drinker? The compulsion to drink despite negative consequences has baffled scientists, family members, spouses, and loved ones for centuries. How is it that two perfectly normal people, standing side by side, can consume alcohol and react in completely different ways? Even “normal” drinkers who drink heavily or binge drink do not experience the peculiar phenomena of craving as alcoholics do. Additionally, they have the simple ability that alcoholics do not: the ability to stop.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains that for the true alcoholic one is never enough. A common saying in recovery is that “one is too many, a thousand never enough.” The insatiable thrist for alcohol is unending in the alcoholic. Unique to addiction is the tendency to be lacking in a stopping limit, especially in consideraiton of negative consequences. It is the alcoholic who fools himself into believing he can have just one. “Cunning, baffling, powerful” is how The Big Book describes alcohol. Until now, alcoholics have been seen to be “powerless” over alcohol. While many argue this as a matter of willpower, AA sees it as a matter of spiritual malady. New research suggests that the alcoholic brain is actually deficient in a very important protein which helps with that “power”.

The “Enough” Factor in the Brain

PRDM2, according to inews, controls various nerve signals that help stop drinking. Meaning, that this protein is essential to having power over when enough is enough. The protein is located in the frontal lobes of the cortex, which is where the brain makes decisions. Specifically, PRDM2 manages how one nerve cell signals another. If there isn’t enough protein present, there will be ineffective communication about impulsivity among nerve cells.

The research found that in brains of alcoholics, PRDM2 was practically nonexistent. Not only does this impair the ability to stop drinking at any point, it also impairs the impulse to drink. Decision making about alcohol includes when and why to pick up alcohol in addition to how much. For example, active and present PRDM2 might contribute to avoiding a drink in times of stress. A better functioning frontal lobe means making more rational decisions.

Science continues to help destigmatize alcoholism and addiction. One day there might be a “cure” for the disease of addiction. Until that day, the more information gained, the greater treatment experiences we can provide.