Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bernadine Fried Shares her Knowledge about the Brain’s Impact on Recovering Addicts

Bernadine Fried
The brain is a wonderfully complex organ, says licensed marriage and family therapist Bernadine Fried, who has dedicated her professional life to treating addiction and trauma in a broad spectrum of clients.

Over a two-decade long career, Bernadine Fried has observed the proliferation of scientific data that further elucidates the brain’s effect on thoughts, emotions and behavior. When experienced simultaneously, trauma and addiction have a damaging effect on the brain’s normal activity and development. Trauma makes an impact on vulnerable areas of the brain, including the limbic system. The limbic system is solely responsible for our negative and positive emotions, which may explain the various ups and downs that are connected to many drugs.

The frontal cortex, defines Bernadine Fried, is the part of the brain associated with memory tasks, attention and planning. With processing from the frontal cortex, individuals are able to solve problems and execute plans of actions. Most abused drugs target the brain by releasing a chemical called dopamine, which regulates movement, motivation and pleasurable feelings. Overstimulation of the brain can produce a feeling of euphoria, and that often encourage addicts to repeat the drug behavior.

Bernadine Fried and the Wonderland EPA employ a holistic approach when treating clients. Personalized treatment generally includes addiction psychotherapy, exercise, nutrition, addiction psychiatry and spiritual counseling. In addition to these valuable strategies, Bernadine Fried often encourages treatment medications as a way of allowing the brain to adapt slowly to the recent absence of the abused drug. These medications can assist the client to gradually release his or her drug cravings while experiencing a soothing effect. According to Bernadine Fried, medications are currently in the research-and-development phase and can potentially increase the patient’s odds of sustaining recovery.

Bernadine Fried also assists clients in steering focus towards more positive outcomes. Science shows that cues such as people, places, etc. have been directly linked to the experience of using the abused drug. Exposure to the abused drugs has proven to be a distinct trigger, and that may often influence the client’s tendency to relapse.