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 Our Philosophy

Addictions Cause Changes in the Brain

Complex trauma, nutrient deficiencies, toxins, medications, infections,  stress and genetic predispositions can lead to the initiation of drug and alcohol use as self-soothing measures.  Once drug and alcohol use has been established, these substances perpetuate and exacerbate the already present biochemical imbalances which continue to disrupt the normal functioning of the brain leading to the changes noted in this picture.

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Healthy Brain 

Brain in Cocaine Use Disorder

This picture shows the brain changes in someone who is addicted to cocaine. All chronic use disorders can show changes in  brain function. 

Picture from  Drs. N. Volkow and H. Schlbert

Signs that you may have a use disorder:

  • Experiencing psychological, mood, or behavior changes

  • Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms

  • You want to use less but can't seem to cut down

  • Obsessing about the drug or alcohol

  • Needing higher amounts to achieve the same effect

Image by Tobias Tullius

Starting at the Foundation of the Pyramid: 

Re-Establishment of Normal Brain Chemistry

It is imperative to start with brain-based evaluations, looking for underlying nutrient, hormonal, and other biochemical imbalances, while addressing the psycho-social-spiritual aspects for a successful recovery from addictions and brain dysfunction. 


Causes of Brain Imbalance

  • Nutrient deficiencies

  • Improper digestion and altered microbiome

  • Stealth infections

  • Environmental toxicities

  • Physical and emotional trauma

  • Stress

  • Genetic/genomic factors

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Allergies

Model of Addiction Treatment

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Brain Recovery with Abstinence


This image shows that imbalances caused by long-term substance use may be reversed with abstinence from drugs and alcohol.


Healthy Brain 

1 month of abstinence 

14 months of abstinence

 These images show recovery of brain dopamine transporters in a patient with methamphetamine use disorder after protracted abstinence. With treatment that keeps patients off of substances, they can recover at least some of their

former functioning, as these images illustrate. — Volkow, N.D., et al.

2001. Journal of Neuroscience 21:9414–18.

Dr. Madhava Presents:
Integrative Approaches to Addiction Treatment

Your Journey to Recovery 

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