Cirque Lodge > Treatment > Clinical Care > Psychological Testing > Neuropsychological Testing

Neuropsychological Testing

At Cirque Lodge, we provide a comprehensive range of addiction treatment services.

We understand the profound impact that drug and alcohol misuse has on your overall health. As such, we aim to help clients heal in both mind and body.

Our programs and services are expert-led. That means you can receive some of the best addiction treatment services available in the country when you come to our facility.

An integral part of our approach to your recovery is the use of comprehensive psychological testing and assessments.

These help us determine the severity of your addiction and how best to deliver effective treatment. Each client comes to us with a set of unique issues and life circumstances. By carrying out in-depth tests and assessments, we get to know you on a personal level. We look at:

  • Your history of substance misuse
  • Your current health status
  • Any underlying or co-occurring mental health issues.

The results from these tests inform us about how to approach your treatment.

What Is Neuropsychological Testing?

What Is Neuropsychological Testing?

Clinical neuropsychology is testing is a means of assessing the harm that drug or alcohol misuse has caused to your brain’s health.

This test lets our clinicians understand your psychological strengths and weaknesses. With the results, we can tailor an individualized treatment plan.

Neuropsychological testing is non-invasive. It consists of a range of questions and cognitive-based tests so that the clinician can gain insight into your level of cognitive health. The psychologist or clinician administering the test will provide a list of written questions for you to fill out in a limited time. We may also ask you to answer a series of questions or repeat specific phrases back to the administrator.

Some neuropsychological tests ask you to move around or carry out specific gestures and actions in a given order. When combined these in-depth tests give our team a valuable overview of your:

  • Intelligence
  • Cognition and emotional health
  • Executive functioning
  • Working memory function
  • Attention
  • Language skills
  • Motor coordination
  • Personality
  • Worldview
  • Memory
  • Mood

Once we gain your Neuropsychological test results, we compare them with the results of people who fall under similar demographics, such as:

  • Age
  • Economic status
  • History of health

From there, we can assess how your brain health measures against a global average for your specific demographics. The results provide valuable insight into your cognitive and behavioral challenges. Our team of neuropsychologists uses these results to understand your particular treatment needs.

How Do Drugs Affect the Brain?

How Do Drugs Affect the Brain?

Research shows that drug and alcohol misuse harms our brain’s health.

Drugs and alcohol hijack the brain’s reward system. Misuse can jeopardize our:

  • Cognitive functioning
  • Executive functioning
  • Memory
  • Ability to learn new information.

For example, suppose you struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD). In that case, you may experience:

  • Reduced problem-solving abilities
  • Poor memory
  • Compromised overall brain function

According to the International Review of Neurobiology, these issues arise in those with AUD because chronic alcohol misuse creates structural changes in the brain’s prefrontal lobe. Alcohol is not the only substance that produces these changes.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), other drugs that can lead to changes to the neural structure of the brain include:

  • Heroin and other opiates
  • Prescription opioids
  • Prescription stimulants
  • Cocaine
  • Benzodiazepines

All the above can lead to cognitive dysfunction. As a result, our home, school, work, and social life suffer. With compromised brain functioning, we are less able to cope with and manage daily life demands and stressors.

The Importance of Neuropsychological Testing

The Importance of Neuropsychological Testing

Suppose you have suffered some cognitive decline due to substance misuse.

In that case, you may find it challenging to engage in some aspects of therapy. A neuropsychological evaluation helps our team gain insight into your cognitive function. It also helps us optimize therapeutic management and program planning.

When we understand your specific needs, we can tailor your treatment program to include the latest, evidence-based modalities with proven success rates for your particular issues. The test results also allow us to modulate therapy so that it builds on your existing strengths.

By understanding your neuropsychological needs, we can tailor a treatment program with a high level of personalization. In treatment, we can offer exposure to evidence-based, client-appropriate cognitive rehabilitation methods and techniques. According to the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, this approach ‘can accelerate and even revert cognitively altered conditions, contributing to the acquisition of new capabilities and treatment success.’

The value of neuropsychological testing lies in the results and how those results guide treatment providers moving forward. At Cirque Lodge, we offer high-quality residential addiction treatment. What makes our services and programs so beneficial and effective is our interdisciplinary team approach.

Following a neuropsychological assessment, the test administrator can confer and liaise with other departments in your treatment team to form the most effective and appropriate plan of action for your specific issues and needs.

In treatment, we can deliver techniques and modalities created to harness the brain’s innate healing powers. Neuroscientific research has found that the brain is neuroplastic. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to reform and reshape old neural pathways based on repeated behavior.

The brain’s neuroplastic qualities make it vulnerable to addiction and offer a chance to reverse the pathways that led to the addiction in the first place. Through our evidence-based neuroscientific approach to treatment, we aim to restore your cognitive function and help you live a healthier, happier life.

Substance Misuse and Cognitive Dysfunction

Substance Misuse and Cognitive Dysfunction

Drugs and alcohol alter our normal brain structure.

According to Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, ‘the brain regions and neural processes that underlie addiction overlap extensively with those that support cognitive functions, including learning, memory, and reasoning.’

While drug and alcohol misuse can lead to cognitive decline and dysfunction, it is, in fact, a two-way street. Pre-existing cognitive health issues can increase a person’s vulnerability to substance misuse. Mental health issues, which often co-occur with SUD, can create cognitive problems that impact our mental and behavioral health.

A comprehensive neuropsychological test can identify the root cause of your cognitive dysfunction. As such, it offers you and us a more in-depth understanding of your emotional, behavioral, and mental health status.

Neuropsychological Testing in Residential Rehab

Neuropsychological Testing in Residential Rehab

The addiction recovery process presents a unique set of challenges to neuropsychological testing.

Drug use and the withdrawal symptoms that follow quitting influence our cognitive function. Someone without pre-existing cognitive dysfunction may show signs of dysfunction due to active drug use or withdrawal. This can make it challenging to identify your level of cognitive health.

As such, there is a need for well-timed testing. Neuropsychological tests are most accurate when they take place during residential rehab. In residential care, clinicians can monitor clients throughout withdrawal to paint a precise picture of their health status based on circumstantial factors. This reduces the risk of skewed test results due to active drug use or withdrawal.

Evidence-based Addiction Recovery Support at Cirque Lodge

Evidence-based Addiction Recovery Support at Cirque Lodge

When you are ready to take on your healing journey, we are here to support you all the way.

We make sure that each client receives the best quality treatment available. We ensure that each client undergoes comprehensive neuropsychological testing to receive the most appropriate treatment.

If you or a loved one struggles with SUD or co-occurring SUD and mental health issues, we can help. Please contact us today to arrange for an appointment. You can contact us by phone or email to ask about our services, programs, and testing. We are willing to provide as much valuable information as possible to get you started on your journey back to health.

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About Cirque Lodge
Cirque Lodge is a recovery retreat providing cognitive and experiential therapies, in the pristine natural beauty of Utah’s Rocky Mountains.

Cirque Lodge is considered among our colleagues, as one of, if not the premium drug and alcohol rehab facility in the country.
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