I’m Tony Baratta. And today, I want to talk to you about one of the potential long-term consequences of lack of proper treatment for brain injuries.
A brain injury is invisible. It can’t be seen on an X-ray. It can’t be seen on an MRI. It’s something that’s diagnosed completely as a result of signs and symptoms by a doctor. And, these signs and symptoms can be believed or thought by others to possibly be a personality defect.
It certainly makes the person who is suffering from the brain injury feel inadequate and depressed. So it’s incredibly important to get the appropriate treatment. I’m going to tell you a little story.
A client story
I’m still filled with regret with regard to a TBI client that I represented a long time ago because ultimately, he didn’t get the appropriate treatment he needed. He became addicted to opioids and committed suicide.
He didn’t have good medical coverage. He didn’t have good health insurance. He didn’t have good auto insurance to pay for his medical expenses. And he had no other sources to help him pay for the treatment he so desperately needed. So he became addicted to opioids and eventually killed himself.
It’s so important to get the treatment that you need. Did you know that as much as 40% of the people with substance abuse disorders have also been found to have suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past? And why is that?
Why is substance abuse so common among TBI patients
It’s because people with traumatic brain injury have headaches. They have chronic pain. Often, they’re prescribed opioids by the doctors who are treating them. And because the frontal lobe of the brain is often the part of the brain that’s injured, they also lack the kind of impulse control that a non-brain-injured person would have.
And that leads to the danger of potential opioid abuse. And when someone is addicted to substances, that exposes the person to a greater risk of falls or motor vehicle accidents or the kinds of events that can lead to another brain injury or even to a first-time brain injury.
The importance of proper treatment
So it’s important to get the treatment that’s necessary. And there are five components of a successful brain injury treatment program, including physical therapy, cognitive therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and psychological counseling.
These are important treatments that every brain injury survivor should get, and one of the dangers of not getting them is to become addicted to substance abuse. My name is Tony Baratta, and I hope this has been helpful to you.