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How to Heal Brain Fog in Recovery

How to Heal Brain Fog in Recovery

Everyone’s path to addiction is different, and healing from substance abuse or addiction takes time. While drug and alcohol misuse can destroy a person’s life, recovery is possible. However, some effects linger longer than others and take more time to heal. Early addiction recovery in a drug rehab program can be especially challenging and involve uncomfortable and unexpected side effects, including the onset of brain fog.

If you or a loved one are experiencing brain fog in recovery, reach out to Swift River at 888.451.5895 for more information.

What is Brain Fog?

Brain fog, also sometimes called cloudy brain, is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms that involve unclear thinking and cognitive impairment. Brain fog can occur for many reasons, such as hormone changes, medical conditions, or drug use.

Many people in recovery will experience some form of brain fog as they go through withdrawal during a drug rehab program. This brain fog in recovery results from the brain adjusting to functioning without the substance that it has become dependent on.

Brain fog symptoms in recovery may include:

  • Short-term memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Problems concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Slower mental processing
  • Lethargy

Alcohol Brain Fog

Brain fog in alcohol recovery is especially common because long-term effects of alcohol use include significant changes to the brain. It takes time for the brain to readjust with neuroplasticity, especially when people do not stop drinking until later in life.

Studies have shown that some damage may even be permanent as former alcoholics performed worse on spatial orientation tests than non-alcoholics. Because it is harder for the brain to recover from prolonged use, those suffering brain fog from alcohol shouldn’t wait to get help.

Remedies for Brain Fog in Recovery

Cognitive fog in addiction recovery is typically temporary but can last several months. The seriousness of the symptoms, as well as how long it lasts, will vary from person to person, but there are some techniques and practices you can try to help eliminate brain fog in recovery or at least manage it better.

Physical Health Care

Brain fog in recovery can be exacerbated by poor physical health and unhealthy habits, so make your physical health a priority. Exercise regularly, eat a healthy and nutrient-rich diet and follow a good sleep routine.


Early recovery can be stressful, and too much stress can worsen brain fog. Set regular time aside to destress, such as meditating, practicing mindfulness, or just relaxing. These practices can be especially helpful when your mind feels extra cloudy.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Especially if your addiction recovery brain fog isn’t going away, it may be a sign of a mental health condition like depression or anxiety. Co-occurring disorder treatment that also addresses these conditions may help fix mental fog.

Exercise Your Brain

The brain has a wonderful ability to re-wire itself after damage, but these changes take time. One way to potentially speed up this process is with brain games like crosswords, sudokus, and other puzzles. These activities help strengthen areas of the brain that may not be functioning as efficiently as they should and could help reduce brain fog.

Contact Swift River–Massachusetts Today

While some of these practices may be more helpful than others, the best cure for brain fog in recovery may simply be time. At Swift River, we want to be there for you throughout your recovery journey. Contact us today at 888.451.5895 to learn about our intensive outpatient program in Massachusetts and how it could offer you continued support as you battle brain fog and the other challenges that come with addiction recovery.

Contact Swift River Now

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