Neurotherapy & Addiction: All You Need To Know

Addiction and substance abuse aren’t a matter of self-control, they are a physiological disorder that runs much deeper. Attempting to become sober and live a life of recovery can be intimidating and may seem impossible to someone battling an addiction, but it’s certainly possible to live a fulfilling, drug and alcohol-free life. Treatment options such as detoxification, inpatient, and outpatient programs, are widely available for someone looking to get sober. 

As technology advances, there are investments in new diagnostic and treatment options for addicts. One popular tool used in treatment is called biofeedback, which is the process of collecting information about the human body and applying it in various techniques. One sub-form of biofeedback is Neurotherapy.

What is Neurotherapy?

Neurotherapy, also known as neurofeedback, is one of the main components of biofeedback. This type of therapy collects information on the signals that are passed between parts of the brain. This tool can be used to measure the health of someone’s brain. The brain plays a major role in addiction because when someone is addicted to a substance, the fundamental chemistry of the brain changes. An addicted brain believes it requires the substance to stay alive. Neurotherapy can help retrain the brain to live without the substance, ultimately leading to someone overcoming addiction. The biggest takeaway from Neurotherapy is that it’s a long term solution to a chronic disease. 

How Does it Work?

Neurotherapy is a multi-step process that includes equipment, software, and feedback. The clinician, during the sessions, uses electronic sensors to monitor the waves of the brain. Over time, these sensors are going to collect information on what is happening in the rest of the brain. These signals are going to produce waves on a sheet of paper that varies in height and frequency. Using a process that is called quantitative EEG, also shortened to EEG, the doctor will be able to spot areas of dysregulation throughout the brain. This information is then used to teach the addict how to change their own physiological activity, by changing their thoughts and emotions. 

How Does it Help in Treating Addiction?

Neurotherapy helps in treating addiction because it will help the addict accept change. One of the biggest hurdles in recovery is for an addict’s brain to accept the change that they’ll no longer rely on the substance they were addicted to. The waves that are recorded during Neurotherapy can also be applied to come up with an effective treatment strategy for those who suffer from addiction. An EEG from someone who suffers from addiction can be compared to the EEG of someone who doesn’t suffer from addiction. Then, differences between the two patterns can be spotted. 

There are numerous addiction treatment strategies that can be applied based on information from an EEG in a Neurotherapy session. For example, the brain waves of someone who suffers from an addiction to alcohol might be different from someone who suffers from an addiction to cocaine. Depending on the appearance of these waves, some people might respond better to certain treatments than others. Therefore, Neurotherapy can play an important role in someone’s recovery process, guiding professionals in coming up with a treatment plan that has been tailored to meet the needs of the individual.

Let Us Help You!

At Quest 2 Recovery, we are a dual diagnosis, substance abuse program that offers detoxification and residential inpatient levels of care. Our goal is to help people in the Los Angeles and Southern California area during the first few days of the treatment process. Our professionals have undergone extensive training to help individuals who suffer from a variety of forms of addiction including drugs, alcohol, and more. We will help you through the most challenging days of the journey toward sobriety. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you recover from addiction, please contact us today! We would be honored to assist you.

How to Find Substance Abuse Treatment as a First Responder

substance abuse and first responders

Battling addiction is always tough. It can be even more difficult if you are a first responder and your reputation and livelihood are on the line due to substance abuse. That’s why Quest 2 Recovery in Lancaster, CA, has devoted an entire program for first responders to heal along with peers going through the same issues.

Statistics indicate that first responders, such as firefighters and police officers, often turn to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate from PTSD and stress related to their jobs. According to a recent SAMHSA report, for example, heavy or binge drinking occurred among half male firefighters surveyed in the previous month. Of these, 9% admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Who Are First Responders?

You may imagine that first responders consist of ambulance drivers and ER medical professionals combined with police officers, FEMA workers, and firefighters. However, there are many other careers that involve people to respond to emergency situations. If you or a loved one works as an air marshall, campus security officer, animal control officer, DEA agent, park rangers, Red Cross worker or serve in the military, then this label fits your job title.

First responders arrive first when a crisis occurs. This includes terror attacks, crimes, accidents, and natural disasters. They have the tough job of preventing the loss of life and harm to pets and property as fire rage, rivers flood and buildings crumble around them. Due to the extreme nature of the job, these workers suffer more trauma than most people do during the course of their workday. Therapists and others used to think that these people were resilient and able to leave the stress and strain at the doorstep when they got home. That turns out to be untrue.

Researchers are still struggling to understand how the constant stress of being a first responder impacts substance abuse disorders and alcohol addiction. Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD play their own roles and have to be addressed as part of any robust first responder treatment program. At Quest 2 Recovery, we provide a place for first responders to meet and discuss their addiction in a safe space. Participants learn to confront their addiction and pick up valuable coping skills that help them avoid a relapse.

First Responder Group Therapy

Clients who participate in first responder group therapy can open up and help their peers process their experiences. Everyone in the circle understands the stress that comes with knowing someone else’s life may depend on your actions. Some of the people you meet in group therapy sessions may include correctional officers, emergency medical professionals, law enforcement, firefighters and military veterans. Many people who attend this exclusive group therapy session gain confidence in their ability to discuss and face their challenges.

This is a critical component of your recovery, and it’s much easier to share your thoughts and feelings when you are with a group of people who are going through a similar experience. Within a group of peers, there’s no fear of judgment. This has been a barrier for first responders attending group sessions with others recovering from substance abuse. Group sessions are overseen a licensed therapist and conducted in a private setting.

First First Responder Addiction Treatment in Lancaster, CA

At Quest 2 Recovery, our substance abuse recovery program is open to first responders in the Lancaster, CA, area and beyond. Contact us today to take the first step in a life free of drugs and alcohol. We know that you face more stress and trauma than most people face in a lifetime, but there’s hope for a brighter future among a community of your peers. We have a residential detox and residential inpatient treatment options for substance abuse recovery.

Neurotherapy for Chemical Dependency in First Responders

First Responders are some of the most important people for those struggling with addiction. They are often the first point of contact for individuals with chemical dependency problems who are at the hardest points of their illness. The unfortunate truth is that First Responders can also develop these problems themselves.

Neurotherapy is a new technique for helping to treat addiction. It has proven useful for First Responders and makes an effective complement to other treatments.

First Responders and Substance Abuse

First Responders face life-threatening conditions and high-stress work environments. This exposure to stress can lead to higher rates of substance abuse amongst these workers.

Firefighters face dangerous work conditions. They respond to everything from potential threatening medical calls to burning buildings. In addition to those risks, firefighters also face medical side effects from their work such as burns and lung disease. All of this adds up to the sad fact that rates of binge drinking are higher amongst firefighters than the general population.

Paramedics and EMTs also have to navigate saving people’s lives while coping with some of the most demanding work conditions known in America today. Paramedics routinely work shifts longer than 12 hours and are often on-call for nights and doubles. During these working hours, they have to keep their focus sharp in order to help people with all kinds of medical conditions from routine accidents to life-threatening emergencies. The stress, long hours, and dangerous conditions lead to PTSD and anxiety being higher amongst paramedics than the general population. This can also lead to higher rates of substance abuse just to keep up.

Other first responders also face dangerous conditions similar to the two outlined here. No matter what the specific job is, all first responders have a high-stress environment to cope with.

What is Neurotherapy

This therapeutic technique is a non-invasive, medication-free technique that helps identify areas of the brain that might have become damaged or otherwise aren’t functioning at their best. This therapy has been used for ADHD, insomnia, and PTSD. It has also shown very promising results for people struggling with addiction.

Neurotherapy is based on the “brain disease” model of addiction. This medical model is embraced by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This model correctly suggests that addiction is caused by changes to the brain and not by any moral failing. The idea that addiction is caused by moral weakness or lack of willpower is outdated and not very helpful for people in recovery.

How Neurotherapy can Help Treat Addiction

Neurotherapy uses state of the art brain mapping technology to identify the areas of the brain most damaged by addiction. While it may look like a machine from a science fiction movie, the technology behind this therapy is perfectly safe and totally noninvasive.

Once areas of the brain are identified, positive stimulus is given to those areas when the brain is in a calm state. This helps individuals struggling to recover from drug and alcohol abuse associate calm sensations with positive feedback which helps to break the cycle of addiction.

Neurotherapy is typically used in conjunction with other therapies such as classic 12 Step programs or more modern therapies such as SMART. This therapy helps return control back to the individual and helps them slowly repair areas of the brain that have been changed through the course of a substance abuse problem.

Get Help Today

Addiction can feel like it is unbeatable, but with help, you can overcome it. First Responders are on the frontlines helping people with addiction start their recoveries and help is available for them as well.