Our Florida Neurofeedback Program helps assist in treating neurological damage in the brain without the use of medication. Because this process can help treat substance use disorders, neurofeedback addiction treatment is used by many medical professionals to help treat addiction to drugs and alcohol. Whether a person is new to recovery from their addiction or has tried to become sober before and relapsed, neurofeedback addiction treatment may provide a missing piece of the recovery puzzle.
How Neurofeedback Works
The origins of what became neurofeedback go back almost one hundred years, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that it was proven to be a way to help self-regulate the brain. It was applied to treat epilepsy and neuroses and help combat stress experienced by Vietnam veterans. Since then, its usage has become more common and is utilized to treat several conditions, including addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, is a subdivision of biofeedback treatment. Neurofeedback uses technological devices that gather information from a person’s brainwaves. The data is gathered through the use of monitoring devices, electronic sensors, and specialized software that interprets the information transmitted from the brain. Clinicians trained in neurofeedback then interpret the brain maps that were generated, which provides them with the ability to attempt to repair the damage done in the brain. It is a non-invasive procedure, meaning nothing is inserted into the head, and application of it does not require the use of drugs.
Neurofeedback treatment not only treats addiction to drugs and alcohol but also shows an ability to treat conditions including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sleep disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
- Concussions and traumatic brain injury
What Happens in a Neurofeedback Addiction Treatment Session
An individual with a substance use disorder consistently has cravings to use drugs or alcohol. This compulsion stems from a malfunction in the brain. Neurofeedback addiction treatment involves locating exactly where the structural damage is and attempting to repair it, thus helping reduce cravings for substances.
During the first appointment, an initial assessment of the patient will take place. It will typically involve learning their history with abuse, any treatment they’ve had in the past or are currently receiving, and deciding on goals to achieve. During sessions, a patient who receives neurofeedback treatment may dress however they wish and will sit comfortably in a chair. They remain awake for the entire session and are able to speak and otherwise interact with others.
The practitioner attaches electrodes to the person’s scalp that transmit data to a software program. It records the brain wave activity, allowing the practitioner to see where damage has occurred and formulate a plan to help alleviate it. Stimulus is introduced, such as music, other sounds, or a video game or activity the person will participate in.
The electrode sensors gather data from the person’s brain and display them so the practitioner can read and interpret them. How the person’s brain activity responded to the stimuli can tell a neurofeedback expert a lot. They can identify the parts of the brain related to addiction that involve underactivity, overactivity, or inactivity. Through guidance from the practitioner, a person can learn to help control their brain, resulting in healthier patterns that reduce the symptoms of addiction.
Common Questions About Neurofeedback
While any questions a person who is interested in neurofeedback addiction treatment has can be directed to the provider, here are some answers to some commonly asked questions:
Will the electrodes leave evidence?
The electrodes applied to the head are non-invasive and do not leave any punctures or bruising. The ones applied directly to the scalp will not leave any sticky residue. The electrodes are often attached to something similar to a swimmer’s cap that goes on the person’s head, which is simply removed after the session is completed.
How long does a session last?
A session typically lasts from 30-45 minutes.
How will I feel after a session?
Many people report feeling relaxed both during neurofeedback addiction treatment and in the time immediately following their appointments. A person who has received neurofeedback can drive themselves home and resume their normal activities.
Can I take medications while receiving neurofeedback?
Because neurofeedback itself does not involve taking any medications, it will not interfere with meds a person is already taking.
How long does it take to feel the effects of neurofeedback?
Several sessions are needed to achieve maximum effect, with the provider determining how many are needed and how often to have them. Most people report feeling a positive change after several weeks of sessions.
Side Effects of Neurofeedback
While most people have little or no side effects with neurofeedback addiction treatments, some can happen. This can include feeling anxious, headaches, feeling foggy-headed, nightmares, low energy, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping. It’s important to let the practitioner know of any side effects experienced either during or after a session so any necessary adjustments can be made.
Neurofeedback Addiction Treatment Program in Florida
The Ambrosia Treatment Centers, located in West Palm and Jupiter, Florida are dedicated towards helping repair brain damage during the process of addiction treatment. Our team of professionals are ready to assist you or your loved one towards living a healthy and productive life following their stay at our rehab center. To get started, visit our admissions page today.