It is not about willpower, it is about biology.

40% to 60% of your risk of AUD or SUD is due to your genetics

This does not mean there is not a solution. It just means you have to address what’s going on at the cellular level.​

It starts with biology

Genetic differences affect how the brain experiences pleasure, how the body handles substances, and how intense withdrawal can be. Additionally, genetics influence how factors like stress and exposure to drugs or alcohol, can raise the risk of these disorders.  

Neurotransmitters: Addiction alters the brain's natural balance of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, which plays a crucial role in the reward circuitry associated with pleasure and the reinforcement of behaviors. Drugs typically increase dopamine in brain circuits, reinforcing the behavior and making the experience more likely to be repeated.

Genetics significantly influence an individual's vulnerability to addiction. Certain genes affect how addictive substances are metabolized or the sensitivity to the rewarding effects of a substance. 

Neuroplasticity: The brain's ability to adapt or change in response to repeated exposure to substances is known as neuroplasticity. This can lead to tolerance (needing more of the drug to achieve the same effect) and dependence (experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug).

Stress Response: The body’s stress system, including the release of hormones like cortisol, is affected by addiction. Chronic substance use alters the body's ability to handle stress, often worsening the addiction cycle.

Reward System: Addiction hijacks the brain’s reward system, leading individuals to prioritize substance use over other healthy activities. This prioritization can diminish the pleasure derived from other activities and focus it on substance use.

Abruptly stopping alcohol causes a chemical imbalance in your brain

It is important to optimize brain health when changing your alcohol use. Prioritizing your brain health is vital to your overall wellbeing and long-term success. 

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We prioritize your brain health

When our brain function is diminished, our ability to retain information and think critically is limited – this is not ideal for treatment. The science may be complex, but the data and solution is simple.

Healthy brain function

High level of brain activity indicated by the yellow and red imaging

Healing brain (10 days)

After 10 days of abstinence, brain activity is severely limited.

Healing brain (100 days)

After 100 days of abstinence, activity is improving but needs more recovery time

Your mental health and environment matter too

Our care team helps you identify the emotional triggers. Things like intense work schedules, balancing multiple responsibilities and finding a new set of friends. 

Mental Health Support: Many individuals with AUD experience co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Addressing these mental health issues concurrently with AUD treatment is essential for effective recovery.

Emotional Regulation: Individuals with AUD often struggle with managing emotions. Enhancing psycho-education through peer support helps individuals cope with negative emotions like anxiety, sadness, and anger without resorting to alcohol.

Social Connections: Building and maintaining healthy relationships are vital. Support from family, friends, and peer groups can provide encouragement and accountability. Social isolation is a significant risk factor for return to use, so fostering connections is crucial.

Communication Skills: Effective communication skills help individuals express their needs and boundaries clearly, reducing misunderstandings and conflicts in relationships that could potentially trigger a return to use.

Stress Management: Learning and practicing stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation strategies help reduce the likelihood of turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism.