Because addiction is a progressive disease, executing an early intervention is important. Being able to get your loved one help sooner rather than later increases his or her chances of getting and staying sober. For various reasons, those who drink or use drugs for years have a much more difficult time trying to stay sober. One of the primary reasons is because drinking impacts our learning processes.
Early Intervention Helps Curb Context-Dependent Learning
Our brains learn in a way that has helped us survive throughout the ages. The brain lays down something that’s called context-dependent memory, and it can be beneficial. For example, your context-dependent memory helped you as a baby because you’d cry and get food as a result. The problem is that when we repeat any type of behavior, it begins to become an unconscious habit.
The three stages of this type of learning include:
Your loved one may drink or use drugs due to anxiety being his or her primary trigger, and the reward is temporary anxiety relief. Each time this happens, it reinforces the memory that drinking or using drugs is good. Every time you repeat the cycle, it becomes more embedded in your brain’s unconscious memory. The longer he or she continues these cycles makes it harder to break the cycle.
The Psychological Dependence
Psychological dependence is arguably the biggest roadblock to overcoming addiction. Someone who has been drinking or using for a year has fewer triggers than someone who has been using for 10 years. An early intervention gives you a better chance of helping your loved one become receptive to new ideas and suggestions. If you wait too long, he or she may not have the willingness later on to seek substance abuse programs.
Helping a Loved One
If someone you love is struggling with an addiction, you should find him or her help quickly. As a person’s addiction continues to progress, there’s no telling what it will do to the entire family. Addiction is a family disease, and it hurts spouses, parents, siblings, friends, and even children. With an early intervention, your family has the opportunity to heal and begin to live a much better life.
Ashley Addiction Treatment provides drug and alcohol addiction treatment for those who have found they can’t stop drinking or using. We help people learn how to overcome their addictions with high-quality clinical care. Our facility also offers family programs so you and your family can begin to repair your relationships.
Take action before it’s too late. Call Ashley Addiction Treatment today at 866-313-6307.