Recovery is Supported and Enhanced with a Healthier Life Style

Recovery is Supported and Enhanced with a Healthier Life Style

Almost all drugs directly or indirectly impact the reward system in our brain. The neurotransmitter dopamine is often called the feel good chemical.

Normal and natural behaviors such as exercise, eating, leisure activities with family and friends activate our reward system in our brain. When a person ingests drugs and alcohol they over stimulate the pleasure center of their brain and excessive amounts of dopamine is released. As a result, the brain adapts to the surges of dopamine by producing less dopamine in an attempt to maintain a chemical balance. The imbalance and a deficient dopamine level is a recipe for depression and anxiety. The individual will then begin to abuse alcohol and drugs to create the dopamine high which is highly desired. The chasing of the dopamine high initiates a destructive cycle that can destroy an individual’s life and negatively alter the future for not only this individual but also their families and friends. This cycle of substance abuse may last for decades and have long-term health consequences. Brain imaging studies have indicated long term effects on judgment, memory, behaviors and mood disruptions. It is noted that research and the countless experience of millions of sober and clean people are evidence that the negative effects of substance abuse can be greatly diminished and in some cases totally eliminated.

How do you get through the damaging effects of addiction?

When an individual gains insight into the damaging effects from alcohol and drug abuse and becomes willing to make changes, it is then possible to walk through the archway of recovery. In recovery, the individual requires strong support in many areas. There may be medical assistance from a doctor to address the dopamine imbalance and stabilize mood and anxiety. Individuals require a safe and secure environment away from the chaos and insecurity of the alcohol and drug world. Family, friends, support groups and 12 step programs can assist with creating these safe zones. In counseling, a therapist will help the individual to take a look back at the roots of their substance abuse and begin to develop a new perspective. One of the critical interventions that a counselor will introduce is the psycho-educational component regarding the chasing of the dopamine high. The client and counselor will discuss how the introduction of alcohol and drugs changed his/her healthy neuro-pathways and altered brain chemistry.

What else helps during recovery besides abstinence?

The counselor and client will explore how healthy activities prior to the introduction of drugs released the appropriate levels of dopamine. Clients will be encouraged to seek out healthier activities and relationships to obtain those good feelings without drugs and alcohol. This is easier said then done, very often the client is feeling depressed and anxious for prolonged periods of time after the cessation of chemical substances. A thorough psychiatric evaluation may indicate the necessity for medications to elevate the mood and diminish anxiety symptoms. In many instances, no medication is required and the individual is strongly encouraged to participate in therapy and other supportive interventions to assist with the building of a new life free from chemical substances. In therapy, the individual will learn to create meaningful changes and build a fuller and richer life based on values and principles.

Let’s Talk… Contact me so we can start on your recovery.

Robert Watts Counseling is located in Pennington NJ and offers safe in-office visit as well as online via Google Meet.

Recovery is Supported and Enhanced with a Healthier Life Style Contents

Blog Categories
subscribe to receive notifications when new posts are published
Recommended Reading
Relationship Essentials: The Simple Tools and New Perspective You need to Improve Your Intimate Relationship. Meredith Keller, MA, LPC, ACS
Relationship Essentials, Meredith Keller

Relationship Essentials: The Simple Tools and New Perspective You need to Improve Your Intimate Relationship, by Meredith Keller, MA, LPC, ACS, is a must-read for couples struggling in their relationships.

paperback Comfortable with Uncertainty
Comfortable with Uncertainty

Comfortable with Uncertainty offers short, stand-alone readings designed to help us cultivate compassion and awareness amid the challenges of daily living. More than a collection of thoughts for the day, Comfortable with Uncertainty offers a progressive program of spiritual study, leading the reader through essential concepts, themes, and practices on the Buddhist path.

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

“Reads like a medical detective journey and sheds light on a topic so many of us face: mental illness.” —Oprah Winfrey

More Posts & Support…
What We Can Learn From Our Anxiety When We Try
3 Things We Can Learn From Our Anxiety

When we learn about how our anxiety is triggered, we can be more mindful and more empowered to not only overcome our anxiety, but learn how it can be a useful teacher.

reducing anxiety through breathing
Reducing anxiety through breathing

Breathing is a necessity of life that usually occurs without much thought or awareness that we are breathing. Being mindful of your breathing will help reduce anxiety.

Depression and Anxiety
Depression and Anxiety

Anxiety and Depression often go hand-in-hand. The first step in treating depression is for you to recognize the signs. And procrastination and avoidance are leading indicators for diagnosing anxiety.

Relationship Challenges

All couples and families have issues which impact their joy and create relational conflict. Very often one individual within the couple or family is viewed as being the problem in the relationship.  Bob helps couples and families to change their individualistic view of the challenges and create a more systemic understanding.

You Are Not Alone…

As a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor and EAP provider, Bob has more than 20 years of experience in guiding individuals on their journey of recovery. He believes that all individuals, during their journey through life, encounter challenges that impact their relationships and quality of life.

Professional Consultation

The first step will be to understand where you are coming from, and where you want, or need, to go. Let’s gather your information so that Bob can review and set up a Courtesy Consultation. This will take just a few minutes of your time, and will help Bob with a clear understanding of what is currently going on with you.

Breath In This Moment and
Exhale With Gratitude