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Drug Abuse Recovery: Combat Addictions: Surf the Brain Waves with EEG Biofeedback

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Substance abuse grips so tight that self-cessation is unattainable. In many cases, psychological dependency on drug use or alcohol can only be broken with intervention.

Neurotransmitters in our brains allow brainwaves to communicate with our body. These brainwaves communicate to how we sleep, think, eat and move. When our brains are in inappropriate states then our emotions and sometimes actions become altered. These results can be depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, phobias and much more. From these many people will self-medicate as a form of stress relief. Continuous use more often than not leads to addiction.

Drug addiction and alcohol abuse are often hand-in-hand with psychological disorders. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, (Archives of General Psychiatry; 63:426-432) substance abuse is prevalent in 65% of those who have a severe or persistent mental illness. In another study, the Journal of American Medical Association reports that 53% with drug dependencies and 37% with alcohol dependencies are afflicted with at least one serious emotional disorder. These disorders range from depression, bipolar, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive, phobias and eating disorders. These individuals have dual diagnosis and “just quitting” will not cure the underlying problem.

New Research in Addictions Recovery

Electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback is now being used to train the brain to function at its full potential in order to combat addictions. EEGs are the most non-invasive way to read what activity is happening inside the brain. Neurofeedback is ground breaking technology that is helping many addicts recover and live healthy lives. David A Kaiser, Ph.D., designed a study to follow addiction recovery patients using this technology. Principal researcher of this study, William C. Scott, found that drug rehabs across the United States generally achieved a success rate of 20% – 30% in relapse prevention one to two years after regular treatment. In the study that follows individuals receiving EEG biofeedback treatment, in excess of 50% of the subjects remained drug free one year later.

How Does This Work?

EEG biofeedback training involves one or more sensors placed on the scalp and one to each ear. Brain waves are monitored by an amplifier, and a computer-based instrument processes the signals and provides feedback.

The human brain is adaptable and capable of improving its own performance if given cues what to change. Electrical brain waves are altered when damaged by repeated drug and alcohol abuse. Information can be made available to the brain to train it to make adjustments. Ultimately this decreases or eliminates the reliance on drugs or alcohol and teaches positive ways to respond to stress factors. This method, when used in conjunction with cognitive therapy to combat the underlying problem has a high success rate.

Is this for Anyone with an Addiction?

This technology is for any individual afflicted with an addiction who has the desire to change. If a person is not open to this method or simply is not willing to change, this will not work.

Is EEG Biofeedback Covered by Health Insurance?

Some health insurance plans will cover EEG biofeedback for some conditions. Some plans may cover a portion of the cost. Depending on your plan coverage, a diagnosis along with a physician referral may be required. Check with your insurance company before commencing any treatment to ensure what you are entitled to.

Getting Help

According to a National Survey on Drug Use conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, substance abuse currently affects 45.4% of the American population. If you are a person seeking help or know of someone who needs help contact the Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback. The AAPB is a reliable source to learn more information on this technology and to locate a therapist near you.