Addiction Recovery With Neurofeedback
As you may imagine, significant research has gone into studying how the brain is affected by addictive substances like alcohol and drugs. But researches have also been studying how brain patterns may actually trigger addictive tendencies as well. The answers may help us to identify patterns that can lead to addiction.
If you think about things like sugar, nicotine and caffeine, it’s easy to assume that there is a chemical reaction in our bodies that make it hard to break the habit. Yet some people are simply able to stop smoking or stop drinking coffee all at once. It turns out the brain may have far more to do with it than the body.
The entire body is regulated by the brain, which is basically a complex system of information-laden circuits called neurons. Addictive drugs in the brain will trigger the release of dopamine, which then floods the reward system circuitry with pleasurable messages. The brain remembers this event, and as part of its survival orientation, it sends messages to the body to want more.
Breaking this cycle can be difficult. The types of medications for addiction can be addictive themselves. And trying to go cold turkey can be brutal on both the metabolic system and the brain. Most relapse without some form of solid support.
Researchers have determined that the best solution may be one that targets the brain to keep it from associating drugs with the dopamine reward that it is used to. With that in mind, neurofeedback is specifically designed to help modify, repair or remove those neural pathways. In the case of addiction, it can remove the negative patterns that are causing the uncontrollable urges.
What makes neurofeedback so great is that it’s a safe, non-invasive and drug-free option that produces no negative side effects. Research has shown an 85 percent success rate for patients in terms of improvements in their ability to focus, regulate behavior and reduce impulsivity, which all help in reducing relapse.
If you know someone who is having problems with addiction, we would recommend a qEEG brain map. This process scans the surface of the brain to identify irregular brain wave and can accurately identify addictive brain patterns. This is an important step in identifying where the brain is being affected. Neurofeedback sessions may then help to overcome the addiction and help in recovery.
Posted In: Neurofeedback