Substance abuse and dependency have profound effects on the brain, even while the individual feels some form of relief after ingesting their favorite drink or drug. In other words, one’s solution to one’s problems is starting to create new problems. Despite how much that fact doesn’t seem to ring true when the substance is “working” for you, the way that a drink or drug works is by altering the brain and how the brain operates. At some point, that causes a reduction in the brain’s efficiency and a loss of balanced functioning.
If I asked you to make a list of the most important things in your life, what would that list look like? What do you think would be at the top of that list? I invite you now to take a moment or two and give some thought as to what would go on your list. What will it look like? Is it long or short? Did the items on your list come quickly and easily to mind? I suspect that if you’re in your teens or twenties, your list might be different than if you’re in your sixties or seventies, and different still for those intervening years. Also, the items on one’s list might change their order of importance many times throughout the years, depending on the circumstances in one’s life.
No matter what your list looks like, in reality everyone’s list should be the same in one respect. The most important item is the one that makes every other item on the list possible. That item is your brain. Without a brain there would be no list. If the brain is injured, or in some other way impaired, the chance of obtaining, maintaining, and enjoying the other items on the list will be negatively affected.