Treatment centers do their best to help addicts, given the constraints of the current model of addiction and insurance reimbursement. Unfortunately, success rates for the standard 30-day addiction treatment program are poor. Many people relapse and go through treatment programs multiple times, and others leave before completing their program. Professionals working in addiction recognize the benefits and weaknesses of their systems, but until the industry changes and insurance companies embrace systems that work better, it is difficult for addiction professionals to make a more significant impact without additional tools.
Neurofeedback is an important new treatment for addiction
Neurofeedback, combined with addiction treatment, dramatically increases the success rate of treatment.
Let us explain why.
Addiction is a seriously debilitating mental health disorder. If left unchecked, addiction strips people of their self-respect, ability to function optimally, relationships, reputation, career and their soul.
It’s a disease that affects thinking – and causes a person to engage in self-destructive, painful behavior. Addiction is often accompanied by anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or other comorbid mental health problems.
Loved ones often erroneously believe that addicts are weak… that curing addiction is a matter of self-discipline. Addicts report feelings of shame, guilt, remorse, anger and frustration. Because these emotions are controlled by the brain, and in the case of addicts, by brains that are not behaving optimally, these feelings are very difficult to change through conventional treatment.
Addiction is physiological, not psychological
Because addiction is a brain disorder, not a moral issue or a lack of discipline, we work directly with the brain to retrain patterns of dysfunction. At the Center for Brain, we teach the brain to remain calm, relaxed, and focused. Training helps support clearer thinking. This builds a strong foundation for recovery and relapse prevention.
Medications can help temporarily, and short-term that may be a good thing. The problem is that medications don’t teach the addict how to cope. They may help with accompanying disorders but do not correct them.
Addicts learn to rely on substances to help them feel calm, or to pay attention, or to manage mood. Medications are just another substance.
How Neurofeedback Helps
Neurofeedback training helps teach you how to calm down. It helps you connect to the reasonable, rational regions of the brain during stressful times. When people gain control of their emotions, they can start choosing the option to remain clean and sober.
There have been several research studies that show that those who use neurofeedback as part of an addiction treatment program experience much higher success rates and much lower relapse rates than the same program without neurofeedback. This appears to be true for every age group.
At Center for Brain, we offer addicts the option to actively and physically gain control in a way that directly impacts their disease.
We advocate support groups, talk therapy and behavioral interventions. Adding neurofeedback trains people’s brains to be calmer, to better manage moods and emotions, and allows better sleep. This tremendously reduces the problem of “white knuckling” the recovery. Without addressing these problems effectively, traditional programs produce higher relapse rates.
Brain training is a new approach that can help you to learn to gain self-control by decreasing stress, increasing reasoning and overriding irrational thoughts that make abuse so compelling.
Although the addiction component can make brain training more complex, dealing with the regions of the brain that are malfunctioning and restoring them to more normal neurological patterns helps to correct the underlying physiological imbalances caused by addiction.
Treatment with respect
Brain-training is respectful. We know that people suffering with addiction don’t choose this disease. They want to learn new ways of dealing with it. With the help of a brain map we can identify areas of concern to target for correction.
Addicts have learned maladaptive behaviors driven by faulty physiological determinants. With brain training, new healthy patterns can be learned and strengthened. Brain training provides new options, including the ability to recognize triggers that lead to destructive, numbing behaviors.
Neurofeedback improves mood, anxiety, impulsivity and behavior through consistent reinforcement of the state the brain is in when it is calm and focused.
Neurofeedback works by “rewarding” more functional brain waves as they occur (even someone with many symptoms experiences a “normal” brain state from time to time). To illustrate “reward,” think about when you are learning to catch a ball. Each time you catch it you receive a “reward” (a sense of satisfaction), so you keep doing the thing that worked hoping for more satisfaction. With repetition, catching a ball becomes easier and eventually is not even a conscious decision to think through the steps. Similarly, once you learn to return to a state of calm and connect to rational and reasonable thought patterns, you won’t forget.
What types of results can you expect?
Surveys of health professionals using neurofeedback estimate that over 85% of their clients successfully learn to focus, regulate behavior and decrease impulsivity when they train on a consistent schedule.
Once learning is achieved, Center for Brain works with clients and their physicians to decrease medications, where applicable, while cutting back on the training schedule. Many individuals are able to eliminate medications and training altogether, and some only need a minimal dose of medication and a maintenance training schedule.
We have other tools that complement, and often optimize, the training experience, sometimes even shortening the duration of treatment.
Please contact us at 561-744-7616 for a free consultation to learn more about how Center for Brain can help.