Individuals in active addiction frequently have an impaired ability to fully realize the damage their substance abuse is causing to their lives. They also typically can’t fully realize the toll their addiction is taking on the lives of others around them. More often than not, any consequences stemming from their addiction are given a pass. Losing a job, relationship, or financial security while in addiction is contributed to anyone and anything besides the substance abuse. A common opinion on this occurrence is that addicts contribute problems in their everyday lives to things other than their addictions in order to justify continued use.
A recent study suggests the misdirection of fault addicts place on the source of their problems may not be entirely voluntary. The study measured the brain activity of cocaine users and sober individuals while playing a simple gambling game. The results showed that the cocaine using subjects had significantly impaired loss prediction signaling, a signal a nerve sends the brain to regulate dopamine. This signaling occurs to alert the individual that the act produced an unfavorable outcome, and should be avoided in the future.
The study further proves that the disease of addiction physically, mentally, and emotionally affects addicts in forms that are deeper than they appear to the outside world. While those around the addict, who don’t suffer from addiction, see the addict’s decision making as poor judgment, the study indicates what is occurring is a loss of ability to make sound choices. While in the grips of addiction, an addict has a severely dulled sense of the harm they are causing to their lives.
To improve this dulled sense of consequences takes time. An inpatient addiction treatment program, incorporating the 12 Steps, provides the time, setting, and teachings necessary to help addicts fully realize the damage their addictions have caused. This not only allows the individual to stop the damage being done, but also teaches them the steps necessary to repair some of the damage.
If you or a loved one have an addiction that is causing negative consequences to lives, Harmony Foundation provides treatment programs that teach the methods necessary to stop these consequences. If you suffer from addiction, and are interested in reversing the trajectory of your life, contact us to learn more about the solution.