Traumatic brain injuries and substance abuse are linked in ways more than one. Someone who has been drinking at a party may get into a car accident and suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or someone who has suffered a TBI may start depending on prescription drugs to manage pain. These are just some examples that show that brain injury and alcohol and drugs go hand in hand.
Those who abuse alcohol and drugs are at a higher risk of suffering a brain injury from driving while intoxicated or falling etc.
The effects of drugs and alcohol tend to become worse for people after a traumatic brain injury. Chicago traumatic brain injury discusses this issue in detail.
Should a patient use alcohol or drugs after a brain injury?
There are several reasons why using alcohol or drugs after a TBI is not recommended. Some of the main reasons are:
- People who use drugs or alcohol after sustaining a brain injury do not recover as much
- People who have sustained a brain injury tend to say or do things without thinking. This problem is made worse by using drugs or alcohol
- After sustaining a TBI, people often have problems with walking, balance or talking that may become worse with the use of drugs or alcohol
- TBIs can cognitive problems such as memory and concentration problems, and using drugs and alcohol can make these problems worse
- People who sustain a TBI are more likely to feel depressed or low, and getting high on drugs or alcohol can make it worse
- Alcohol and drugs have a more powerful effect after a TBI
- People who use drugs or drink alcohol after suffering a TBI are more likely to sustain another TBI
- Drinking or using drugs after a TBI can cause seizures
These are just some of the ways in which alcohol or drug use after a traumatic brain injury can make things worse for a patient. There are several other ways in which substance abuse can aggravate the patient’s condition or cause complications.
Strategies and Treatments for Brain Injuries
Those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury, and their families should be aware that there are strategies and treatments available that can be very effective. Some of these strategies and treatments include:
- Maintaining a journal
- Setting realistic goals
- Attending a support group
- Building self-esteem
- Learning to cope with cravings
It is extremely important for those with traumatic brain injury to get treatment for both the TBI and alcohol or drug addiction simultaneously, and by a medical provider who knows about both conditions. You can also look out for a program where there is communication and collaboration between TBI treatment providers and substance abuse treatment providers.
If you have sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, get in touch with a qualified Chicago traumatic brain injury lawyer to understand your rights.