Treating Traumatic Brain Injury and Substance Abuse.jpg

Treating Traumatic Brain Injury and Substance Abuse

Individuals diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD) have a higher risk of experiencing physical injury and trauma, including traumatic brain injury (TBI). The presence of TBI may impact a client's emotional stability, physical health, cognition, moods, and behaviors. According to the Journal of Neurotrauma, research has shown "that drug or alcohol intoxication itself increases [the] probability of suffering a TBI in accidents or acts of violence." Driftwood Recovery treats SUD and co-occurring conditions, including TBI, using integrative care. Clinicians often must develop tailored treatment plans to address symptoms and underlying issues related to both conditions. The care team uses multidepartment support while treating traumatic brain injury as a co-occurring condition.

What Clinicians Have the Capability of Treating Traumatic Brain Injury and Substance Abuse?

Individuals with a traumatic brain injury may experience a wide range of side effects and symptoms. The care team must include professionals capable of effectively treating co-occurring medical issues and recognizing potential complications before they affect the client's recovery. Interdepartmental teamwork is a significant part of providing high-quality treatment at Driftwood Recovery. Mental health, medical, and addiction recovery specialists combine their skills to provide a whole-person approach to care.

The presence of a TBI diagnosis changes how the care team treats and monitors individuals with SUD. Clients may be treated and supervised by internal and external medical professionals capable of recognizing the symptoms and side effects of TBI, including:

  • Nurses
  • Neurologists
  • Physiologists
  • Psychotherapist
  • Psychiatrists

Integrative care is essential for individuals with TBI. Mental health and addiction recovery experts at Driftwood Recovery may collaborate with outside professionals monitoring the client's health. Treatments for both conditions are more effective when healthcare providers work together to provide comprehensive and consistent care. A team of individuals is often needed to monitor the progress of healing for brain trauma. Recovery from TBI can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the injury and the side effects.

The Benefits of Integrative Outpatient Services

Clinicians use integrative care to ensure clients have access to a whole-person approach to treatment. Holistic services often result in better outcomes and reduce stress by providing practical support to individuals with SUD and co-occurring conditions. Integrative care also reduces strain on the facility and staff by ensuring a team of qualified personnel can help clients with more complicated conditions, including clients with TBI. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are helpful for individuals with significant co-occurring health issues.

Some benefits of integrative outpatient programs include:

  • Increased family involvement in the treatment process
  • Easier access to outside care providers and services
  • A broader range of support services
  • More flexible schedule to accommodate doctor appointments

Integrative care involves a larger team of experts in various fields. Therapists, nurses, physicians, case managers, and other team members work together to ensure clients access relevant treatments.

How Does Treating Traumatic Brain Injury Alongside SUD Decrease the Risk of Relapse?

First responders, professional athletes, veterans, and active military personnel are among the most likely to experience co-occurring TBI and SUD. Careers with a higher risk of TBI may also feature an increased social acceptance of drug or alcohol abuse. In addition, substance abuse increases the likelihood of an individual experiencing an accident leading to severe injury.

Early interventions and rehabilitation reduce the risk of future brain injury and relapse, improving outcomes for individuals with TBIs. The presence of a traumatic injury makes it more likely future TBI will have more severe and potentially deadly side effects. Decreasing the likelihood of relapse helps individuals avoid experiencing preventable medical emergencies.

Treating a person's TBI alongside SUD does the following:

  • Ensures the care team maintains the client's safety and health
  • Reduces maladaptive behaviors related to the TBI
  • Improves emotional stability and focus on recovery
  • Increases accountability for following recovery instructions for both conditions

A TBI may cause significant changes in a person's thoughts and behaviors. Generally, these changes last briefly and have only a minor effect on the person's quality of life. However, individuals with SUD may experience more profound shifts in temperament, mood, and behaviors due to the combined effects of SUD and TBI on the physical structures of the brain. Healthcare workers must consider these factors when tailoring treatment plans and providing support services.

The dedicated experts at Driftwood Recovery understand the importance of using a whole-person approach to treatment for individuals with complex co-occurring medical issues. Clinicians have extensive training and experience assisting clients with a wide range of dual diagnoses, including SUD and physical trauma.

Healthcare Providers Assist Clients in Maintaining Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Healthy lifestyle changes are critical during early recovery for clients with co-occurring TBI and SUD. Diet, exercise, sleep patterns, social interactions, and other aspects of daily life are altered to support healing and recovery. Staff at rehabilitation facilities must often find creative solutions for supporting the health and well-being of clients with various co-occurring conditions, including TBI. The management team provides training opportunities for clinicians and support staff to increase their skills, allowing them to provide more comprehensive care for individuals with complex health issues.

Individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) have an increased risk of experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to accident or injury. Vehicle accidents are a leading cause of TBI, especially in individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD). The compassionate experts at Driftwood Recovery have the necessary resources and training to help people recover from SUD while healing from TBI. The symptoms and side effects of TBI exist along a spectrum. Everyone reacts differently to traumatic brain injuries. The clinical team collaborates with clients to ensure they receive comprehensive care. To learn more about how our team helps people recover from SUD and co-occurring health issues, call our office today at (512) 759-8330.