Addiction Recovery And Those Built In Forgetters With Dr. Harry
In the world of addiction recovery it is said that the main issue of alcoholism and addiction centers in our spiritual condition and in our minds. Alcoholics and addicts have what some people in recovery refer to as “built-in forgetters”, which is when our brains tell us that it’s okay to take the first drink or drug, without remembering that what we’re about to do is harmful. For newly sober addicts as well as people with long-term recovery, this ongoing impulse control issue can be waylaid with the knowledge of how our brains work and developing successful strategies to manage their addictions.
Dr. Harry is an addiction treatment and recovery specialist and has helped individuals and families suffering from the disease of addiction for nearly 40 years via his role as doctor, author, lecturer, sponsor and friend. Dr. Harry is an internationally-known speaker and authority on topics of addiction and recovery from the disease of addiction, and has been featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post and appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Drew on Call and The Dr. Phil Show.
While treating hundreds of patients a year who are learning to navigate the addiction and recovery process, D. harry has seen time and time again how important it is for people seeking alcohol or drug addiction rehabilitation to learn how to manage these impulses in order to achieve successful long-term recovery. The problem of the “phenomenon of craving” is something that many recovering alcoholics have in common, and what we learn to solve, together.
Because alcoholics and addicts have a “Built-In- Forgetter” we need to remind ourselves one day at a time about the compulsion and impulses that arise to drink or use. This is why it is strongly suggested that every 24 hours, recovering alcoholics and addicts get to hit the “reset button” on sobriety. As they say in many 12-step programs of recovery, “ we can’t rely on what we thought or did yesterday to keep us sober”.
Your “Built in forgetter” does not, unfortunately, erase the past! Part of getting addicted to a substance is that we forget why it’s bad for us or how it can negatively affect us, which is all part of an addictive personality. We may want to forget about our “bills and ills”, however as we have learned time and time again, alcohol and drugs DON’T help us forget those things permanently. While it may be momentary relief from symptoms of dis-ease, being in the grip of an addiction robs us of our choice. With addicts of any kind ignorance does not equal bliss.
Cope With Built-In Forgetters: Change your Mind
Every human being has impulses, in fact, we couldn’t survive without them! However there are some impulses that cause harm, and alcoholics and addicts of all varieties have a unique knack for making very specific detrimental decisions and acting on their impulses. Although it can come in as a handy human survival skill, built in forgetters are not a coping mechanism that serves the best interest of a person addicted to drugs and /or alcohol.
Throughout a life in successful recovery we all find ourselves in moments where we can we can get so trapped in the tunnel vision of anxiety, fear, and ambivalence that we forget why it is necessary to follow our new found coping strategies or to let the old urge to use behaviors pass. This is part of why working with a professional addiction specialist Dr. Harry is so helpful, because part of successful long-term sobriety is changing your mind- literally.
Many new scientific findings have conclusively proven that our brains retain a significant ability to change, which is called “plasticity,” or “Neuroplasticity” and lasts well into adulthood, and even old-age. This amazing characteristic of the human brain, is responsible not only for our ability to learn and unlearn coping mechanisms, but also for the ability to recover from serious injuries, strokes, and diseases that have disabled or disrupted some of our brain functions. When we change our minds about something, our neural circuits can change and we literally alter synaptic connections all over our brains. Neurons that used to be connected to one place are now connected somewhere else, firing with different neural circuits. We don’t have to worry about the mechanics of it, we just make a decision and it’s done for us through the process of neuroplasticity.
This is all very important when it comes to optimal addiction recovery. Dr. harry and many other well respected addiction treatment specialists are starting to recognize that it is essential for addicts in recovery to learn how to cope with built in forgetters because our brains are totally fluid and therefore, what we have learned we can also unlearn. Think about it, we change habits, likes, dislikes, political parties; we have adapted to new ways of doing things many times in our lives, and we become different people over time. This is all a result of neuroplasticity.
As any athlete or artist will tell you, in order to fully learn a new skill, it takes repetition and practice. The same can be said for changing your mind when it comes to sobriety and coping with your built-in forgetters.
Addiction Recovery & Treatment With Dr. Harry
Substance abuse, addiction and alcoholism doesn’t appear overnight. Often, it begins during adolescence and is a progressive disease, which means it has likely taken a while to develop; so it won’t completely change overnight. However, change is possible.
So, how do we get rid of the built-in forgetters? We don’t. We learn new skill sets and strategies to cope and we gratefully do the maintenance that helps to keep us sober one day at a time. With Dr. Harry’s help you can learn how to free your impulses from having so much power because your relapse prevention plan is so strong
Dr. Harry is the author of “Not as Prescribed: Recognizing and Facing Alcohol and Drug Misuse in Older Adults” and “Being Sober: Getting to, Getting through, and Staying in Recovery “. Dr. Harry is president and founding director of Harry Haroutunian, MD, a professional corporation delivering addiction treatment services designed to help populations not well served by the traditional treatment model with offices in Rancho Mirage and Beverly Hills, California. His approach is discreet, focused, intense and confidential. Dr. Harry works with a limited number of patients at any given time so his attention is focused on the preparation and follow-up required for successful outcomes.
Dr. Harry continues to provide consultation services to other facilities, teams and companies as they navigate Addiction Treatment and look to meet their full potential.