Understanding and then defeating the illness of addiction is indeed possible. The Urschel Recovery Science Institute believes a central part of fighting this disease is knowing how substance abuse affects the brain. This piece of learning helps you better understand that you are in fact dealing with a disease.

For example, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant (decreases the brain's normal function) and this is the area most severely affected by alcohol. The degree to which the central nervous system is impaired is directly proportional to the concentration of alcohol in the blood stream — in other words, how much has been consumed.

Chemical dependence addiction affects two parts of the brain directly — the cortex and the limbic regions. The cortex is related to the psychological aspect of addiction. We use individual counseling to "repair" this part of the brain. In contrast, the limbic region controls the drive dimension (our drive to eat, drink and perpetrate the species) of addiction. We use pharmaceuticals to treat this.

One of the permanent effects of alcohol on the brain is that it reduces the amount of brain tissue and increases the size of the heart's ventricles, therefore depriving the brain of valuable oxygen at times. Alcohol also deprives the brain of needed substances such as vitamins, and it acts as a sedative to the central nervous system, depressing the nerve cells, dulling, altering and damaging their ability to respond normally.

Combining talking therapy, pharmacology and nutritional therapy together, we work to overcome these detrimental effects of drug and alcohol addiction in the most effective manner possible.