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Substance Use and Neurofeedback

Many people turn to substances as a way to cope with life’s daily stressors. Substance abuse can be caused by many different things, whether it’s anxiety, trauma, environment, genetics, depression, or stress. 53 million Americans aged 12 and up have used illegal drugs in the past year. While substances vary from person to person, commonly abused substances include alcohol, herion, cocaine, prescription medications such as benzodiazepines, and more. Addiction is a disease that has increased exponentially since the pandemic. We’re here to help individuals who are looking for support in their recovery.

Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback is just that– biofeedback for the brain. Our clinicians start by recording brainwave activity, comparing it to a normalized database, and generating a brain map. From the map, areas which are dysregulated can be identified, and individualized protocols for treatment are established. During treatment sessions, electrodes are attached to the head, and using a specialized amplifier and software we help teach your brain to function in healthier patterns. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, medication free treatment which offers a great alternative for those struggling with substance abuse. We recommend 20-40 training sessions for optimal treatment.

In Peniston’s controlled neurofeedback study, 10 clients suffering from chronic alcohol dependence were trained in alpha/theta neurofeedback. 8 out of the 10 clients remained abstinent for at least three years after the study. Another study done by the University of North Texas, 16 clients with chemical dependence were trained in a similar neurofeedback protocol. Twenty-four months after the study, 77% reported back as abstinent, and 23% reported back as significantly improving their behavior patterns. The effectiveness of this training may be due to the feeling of inner empowerment which the alpha/theta waves encourage. It is believed that without improving an addict’s neurophysiology that treatment is considered incomplete or ineffective.

If you or a loved one is looking for help with their recovery, reach out to us. The Colorado Center for Neurofeedback and Peak Performance can help “rewire” the brain, improve a person’s ability to cope with life’s stressors, and alleviate the desire for a substance.


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