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The Connection Between Drug Addiction and Brain Trauma

Brain XraysMany professional athletes suffer from drug addiction. Some athletes—such as boxers, football players, and hockey players—are more likely to suffer from brain trauma because of the nature of their jobs. The official term for brain trauma is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE occurs when trauma takes place in the brain from repeated head injuries.[1]

Many professionals believe these blows to the head over time build up and contribute to the development of addiction. This reason is why it’s so prevalent among these athletes.

The Connection of Brain Trauma to Addiction

Signs of CTE include confusion, lack of impulse control, headaches, disorientation, and more. The lack of impulse control may lead to first-time drug use. If the athlete likes how the drug makes him feel, he may be unable to stop. Many drink or abuse drugs in an attempt to self-medicate the psychological and emotional issues caused by brain trauma.

Identifying CTE and Addiction

For example, if you are in a car accident with a family member and that family member dies, personality changes may be attributed to the loss of the loved one, not to brain injuries. However, the signs of drug addiction may be more noticeable. You may see your loved one’s friends change in physical appearance or attitude.

These individuals may even have sudden financial or legal problems. You may not be able to put your finger on it but you know something is just out of the ordinary. All of these can be signs that drug abuse and/or addiction is an issue. If you see these symptoms, it’s time to intervene and suggest drug rehab.


ISSUES Effective Drug Rehabilitation Should Address All Issues

In most cases, drug addiction treatment is the primary focus of drug rehab. However, the most effective treatment programs also address mental health issues. There are often other issues such as depression involved. In some cases, medical issues like those associated with brain trauma can be a contributing factor to addiction.

If you are not sure about what is going on with your loved one—or even for yourself—please reach out for help. It is important not to bottle up or ignore any problems as this only makes the problem worse. Be aware and take note if your friend or loved one is not “acting right.” You know them better than anyone else. Follow your instincts and be honest with yourself.

When you are ready to help your loved one move forward, contact us at Michael’s House today. Our admissions counselors are ready to answer all of your questions. We are ready to provide both you and your loved one with the highest quality care available. Don’t wait any longer. Take this essential step forward today. Call 760.548.4032


[1] Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: a potential late effect of sport-related concussive and subconcussive head trauma. Gavett, BE. Published on January 30th, 2011.