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The Brain in Early Sobriety

Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. [1] On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period may have brain deficiencies that persist well after they achieve sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain, and the probability of reversing the consequence of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcoholism treatment research today. What are the benefits of having 60 days of a sober brain? 

Effects of Being Sober

Risk factors for alcoholism overlap with the risk for alcoholic brain damage. But, alcoholics are not all alike. They encounter different degrees of impairment, and the illness has different origins for other people. Hence, researchers have not found definitive evidence that any one variable is solely responsible for the brain deficits discovered in alcoholics.

The good news is that most alcoholics with cognitive impairment show at least some improvement in the brain structure and functioning after having 60 days sober brain, within a year of abstinence, though some people take much longer. Clinicians must consider a variety of treatment methods to help people how to stop drinking alcohol and recover from alcohol-related brain impairments, and tailor these treatments to the individual patient.

60 Days Sober Brain
Once you’ve achieved the 60 days sober brain, energy levels rise, and overall better health begins. 

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60 Days Sober Brain Health Risks & Tips

Alcohol use is one of the major causes of nutritional deficiency in the United States. The most common deficiencies are the B vitamins (B1, B6, and folic acid). A lack of these nutrients causes anemia and nervous system (neurologic) problems. For example, a disease called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (“wet brain”) occurs when heavy alcohol use causes a lack of vitamin B1.

Alcohol use also damages two major organs involved in metabolism and nutrition: the liver and the pancreas. The liver removes toxins from harmful substances. The pancreas regulates blood sugar and the absorption of fat. Damage to these two organs results in an imbalance of fluids, calories, protein, and electrolytes. These types of damages caused by alcoholism need time to recover.

Other complications [2] include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Permanent liver damage (or cirrhosis)
  • Seizures
  • Severe malnutrition
  • Shortened life expectancy

When a person feels better during the 60 days sober brain, they are less likely to start using alcohol and drugs again. Because balanced nutrition helps improve mood and health, it is important to encourage a healthy diet in a person recovering from alcohol and other drug problems.

Someone who has just given up an important source of pleasure may not be ready to make other drastic lifestyle changes when trying to achieve the 60 days sober brain. So, it is more important for a person who is trying to reach 60 days sober brain to avoid returning to substance use than sticking with a strict diet.

GUIDELINES

  • Stick to regular mealtimes
  • Eat foods that are low in fat
  • Get more protein, complex carbohydrates, and dietary fiber
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements may be helpful during recovery (this may include B-complex, zinc, and vitamins A and C)
60 Days Sober Brain
When achieving 60 days sober brain, alcoholics in recovery often report positive changes in their emotional state, career, finances, and personal relationships.

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Changes You Will See in the First 60 Days of Being Sober

The first 60 days of recovery can be the most critical because they set the tone for the rest of your journey. Transformations will happen when you continue to work on your recovery. The brain requires to be re-trained to function naturally without drugs or alcohol. Therefore, treatment can be helpful in the early stages of this process.

  • Withdrawal symptoms and cravings: As your mind and body adapt to not having substances in your system, withdrawal symptoms and cravings will inevitably set in. Going through alcohol or drug detox is a vital first step in the first 60 days sober brain recovery, and it can be challenging to manage without help.
  • Adjusting to new routines: It is crucial to establish healthy habits and routines early when achieving 60 days sober brain; to help cope with the loss of drug or alcohol dependency. Establishing new lifestyles and habits includes getting enough sleep at night, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and finding new ways to deal with different challenges.
  • Changes in relationships: For treatment to be successful, you need to end your connections with substance-abusing peers. It is essential to surround yourself with others who are sober as well. Triggers for relapse will be challenging in the first 60 days sober brain. Stay positive, have sober family and friends to encourage and support you, and do not give up. 

What’s Next? 90 Days Sober Brain

After 90 days of sobriety, many aspects of an alcoholic physical and mental health begin to improve. For example, the liver’s functioning will also improve during this period. The significance of 90 days sober brain is that the sleeping schedule returns to a more normal state. As a result, a recovering alcoholic may experience a boost in their overall mood and a less intense experience of anxiety or depression.

At this stage, your risk of experiencing cardiovascular illness and several cancers start to reduce. In addition, many will notice that their blood pressure has lowered if it was high before making transformations. This 60 days sober brain or 90 days sober brain is parallel to possible weight loss. For people who have experienced weight gain due to drinking excess alcohol, weight loss may be part of the alcohol-free experience.

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Brain Fog Ater Getting Sober

The brain has an amazing ability to re-wire itself after alcohol withdrawal brain fog if you try to achieve 60 days sober brain. After the first few days of recovery or sobriety, you will start to notice that the brain fog seems to lessen. You may have breakthrough moments when you can suddenly think clearly, but then these are followed by moments of fuzzy thinking. This is all very normal, but the fluctuations in your thought process are a sure sign that you are getting better.

Unfortunately, several factors can diminish the likelihood of recovery of brain structure with sobriety, including older age, heavier alcohol consumption, concurrent hepatic disease, history of withdrawal seizures, malnutrition, and concurrent smoking. [3] Thus, the perfect time to get professional help is now!

60 Days Sober Brain
It may take 60 days sober brain to feel better.

Inpatient Alcohol Treatment Center Near Me

As the alcoholism treatment community begins to realize that addiction is itself a mental disorder, the relationship between alcohol abuse and psychiatric disorders becomes more complicated. The greater treatment community largely lacks a proper understanding of dually diagnosed conditions, so these conditions are still treated separately, or worse–not treated or diagnosed at all. Our dual diagnosis treatment centers in We Level Up Florida, California, Texas, and New Jersey are some of the facilities that have professionals trained to help treat co-occurring disorders concurrently. This type of tandem treatment provides some of the best success rates. 

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We Level Up treatment tailors the program to the individual and the individual to the program of recovery. We begin by assessing our client’s history of mental health, drugs, and alcohol-related past. The needs of each patient are specific and personalized because we aim to provide comprehensive support for mental health, addiction, and dual diagnosis treatment. The supportive environment is designed accordingly to give patients 24-hour care for sobriety. Most importantly, we hope to have our clients live comfortably within the facility during this crucial and fragile time.

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Medical Detox

Cravings are very common during the medical detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of alcohol withdrawals.

Medically-Assisted Detox

If you are experiencing alcohol use disorder, it’s crucial to first get an accurate assessment of all the symptoms. When the symptoms have been evaluated by a mental health professional, it may be determined that another form of mental condition is present and needs a particular type of treatment. Very often, some combination of psychotherapy, medication, and/or lifestyle changes are effective for coping and long-term recovery. 

Alcohol detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of withdrawal, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to the alcoholism cycle. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

60 Days Sober Brain
CBT can help addicted patients overcome the addiction cycle by teaching them to recognize and avoid destructive thoughts and behaviors.

Detoxification is an overall process with three essential components that may take place concurrently or as a series of steps:

  1. Evaluation involves testing for the presence of substances of abuse in the bloodstream, measuring their concentration, and screening for co-occurring mental and physical conditions.

The assessment also includes a comprehensive evaluation of the client’s medical and psychological disorders and social situation to help determine the appropriate level of treatment following detoxification. Essentially, the assessment serves as the basis for the initial substance abuse treatment plan once the patient has successfully withdrawn.

  1. Stabilization includes the medical and psychosocial processes of assisting the client through severe intoxication and withdrawal to achieve a medically stable, fully supported, substance-free state. This often is done with the assistance of medications, though in some approaches to detoxification, no prescription is used.

Stabilization includes familiarizing clients with what to expect in the treatment environment and their role in treatment and recovery. During this time, practitioners also seek the involvement of the client’s family, employers, and other significant people when appropriate and with confidentiality release.

  1. Fostering the client’s entry into treatment involves preparing the client for entry into substance abuse treatment by stressing the importance of following through with the complete substance abuse treatment continuum of care.

Once detox is complete, a new doorway in treatment opens up, which is referred to as a residential level of care. The residential care program slowly and effectively introduces the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.

Psychotherapy 

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with the alcoholism, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – It is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – It is a comprehensive mental health and alcohol abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Solution Focused Therapy – It is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures to ease withdrawal symptoms or complications.

Some of the many modalities applied and practiced within our residential treatment facility are:

Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on your drinking to help you forget about them momentarily. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol and a co-occurring mental health condition such as depression, contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today. We Level Up can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your specific needs.

Our FREE 24-hour Hotline can help you answer addiction-related questions and will provide resources to break the addiction cycle and gain the benefits of 60 days sober brain and beyond. Get a free consultation now for your best-fitting treatment programs along with free rehab insurance verification. Call We Level Up today and speak with one of our addiction specialists to check your rehab insurance coverage and benefits.

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Sources:

[1] Alcohol Effect – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism
[2] Substance use recovery and diet – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
[3] Alcohol’s Effects on Brain and Behavior – National Center for Biotechnology Information

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