How do I know if I have an addiction neurology problem?
Drug use often puts a strain on the human nervous system. Hence, after many years of persistent using, damage will occur. While the brain and nervous system can recover and bounce back over time, some damage can be long lasting or even permanent. When you start addiction treatment, you should consider getting checked out by an addiction neurology specialist.
What should I look for?
If you are concerned about damage to your nervous system from drugs, you should pay attention to certain unusual changes. For example, if your facial expressions show asymmetry, you may have had a stroke. Additionally, if you have muscle weakness in your arms or legs, serious damage may be present. When it comes to physically obvious signs of neurological damage, it is important that you get an expert evaluation.
What about brain function specifically?
In fact, memory problems can be an indication of trouble. Are you more forgetful than usual? Or, do you find yourself confused or disoriented at times? When it comes to drug use, the memory or thought deficits may follow different patterns than typical dementia or brain damage. You may find yourself struggling to remember names, faces and facts. While walking or driving, you may get a sense that you have no idea where you are for a few moments. When it comes to difficulties in thinking or remembering, they are not always due to brain damage. Yet, you should consider the possibility if you have used drugs extensively or if you have had head trauma while drinking or using drugs.
What about mood problems?
Have you been unusually depressed or anxious since quitting drugs? Fortunately, this can be a normal part of recovering from drug use. Often, your mood will improve as you get more time clean and improve your life. Yet, if problems persist, you should get checked out.
Who handles addiction neurology problems?
If you are concerned about nerve damage or brain damage, you should see a neurologist. This is a doctor who specializes in disorders of the brain and nervous system. In fact, even if you think that you do not have lasting problems from drug use, it can’t hurt to get checked out. A neurology evaluation may be a good idea either way. So, after you get clean, consider seeing a neurologist for a neurological check up.
What about mood problems?
If you have issues of anxiety and depression that persist, you should consider seeing a psychiatrist. It is possible that physical changes to the way your brain’s neurons and neurotransmitter chemicals interact are to blame. A psychiatrist knows have to evaluate these issues and treat them appropriately.
The good news about addiction neurology.
Fortunately, serious lasting damage is usually not an issue. In fact, your brain has an amazing capacity for recovery and compensation. The most important thing for you to do is to stay in recovery and stay clean. As you gain more and more clean time, your brain will continue to recover and improve in functioning.