Horizons of Hope's integrative treatment program includes Neurofeedback (also calledbrainwave biofeedback and EEG biofeedback), a technique that involves the display of brainwaves on a computer screen. This can identify a brain that is not functioning well, but more importantly, it is used to help patients learn to control or "self-regulate" their brains; specifically, how to increase and decrease the frequency of their brainwaves. Speeding up the frequency enables the brain to focus and concentrate better. Slowing the frequency enables relaxation. In addition to helping patients stay clean and sober, these easy-to-master skills can help them achieve happier, healthier, more functional lives.
Neurofeedback also helps affect long-term changes in the electrical activity of the brain.Medication can only normalize brainwaves while it's in your system. A ten-year study by Joel Lubar and Associates showed that neurofeedback can effectively change what drugs and therapy often do not. Brainwaves are an expression of neurotransmitter activity and are reflective of underlying conditions. Receiving neurofeedback increases the blood flow to the brain. Blood flow, metabolism and high-frequency electrical activity all work together to help the brain reset itself in a normal range. When brainwaves are stabilized, symptoms are brought under control. When the problem is substance abuse, the desire for the substance diminishes.
Based on a study involving "alpha-theta protocol" neurofeedback training, a researcher at the Sam Rayburn Memorial Veteran's Center in Bonham, Texas, named Eugene Peniston hypothesized that alcoholics drink because they cannot get into alpha states naturally, and thus cannot produce soothing neurotransmitters on their own. He compared ten alcoholics treated with traditional counseling with ten others who had the same counseling plus the alpha-theta training. Peniston claims an 80 percent success rate with the group who used the neurofeedback, compared to only 20 percent for those receiving traditional treatment.
Merlene Miller, M.A. and David Miller, Ph.D., Staying Clean & Sober. (Orem, Utah, Woodland Publishing, 2005)