My Addicted Brain vs. 10 yrs Sober Brain


In late 2006 I was experiencing loss of speech patterns, tremors, often not having the ability to speak in complete sentences. My primary care physician knew I was sick and drug addicted, suggesting I go to rehab immediately. He also wanted me to get my brain scanned at a place called the Amen Clinic in Orange County. I went ahead and did it, not having a clue what the point was in getting such a thing done.

I met with the specialists at the clinic to review the results, all it told me was my brain was a drug addled mess and I could not agree more. But I had no idea I would get sober and one day have a documentary film made about my addiction and recovery. The director, producer and I discussed getting a new scan of my brain and decided to go for it just before we wrapped up and passed along the footage and interviews to our film editor.

In the photos above you can see what my addicted brain looked like in 2006, then again in 2016 with ten years of sobriety. It is a night and day difference, tangible evidence that there is such a thing as Neural Plasticity, where the brain can heal and reorganize its structure, function, and connections.

As seen In

Todd “Z-Man” Zalkins Blog

It is often said that the disease of alcoholism/addiction is a disease of perception. There is a lot to this, so I will do my best to explain. While I am preparing a family for an intervention one of the things I repeatedly say is, “Your son (or whomever we are intervening on) is notRead More »
Intervention Square
For all of us who actively lived in the disease of alcohol and drug use disorder we experienced ridiculous amounts of physical pain from using. In the treatment world there has been a shift with how the disease is referred to. Personally, I prefer alcoholism and drug addiction. References and terms of how things wereRead More »
We have a lot of goofy terms and saying in recovery, “First Things First” or “Do the Next Indicated Thing” the list is pretty long. When I was newly sober, I was absolutely insane, my thinking wasn’t the best that’s for damn sure. I would say to myself, “Yeah, the next indicated thing for meRead More »
I am often asked, “Why did you not sleep for 44 days and how did you deal with that?” This requires a two-part answer and a great deal of elaboration. The “why” of it is not so much a mystery as it was a complete f’ing nightmare. I will illustrate the contributing factors, for one,Read More »

stay connected

Follow Us On Social Media