22 Jul 2018

Addiction, Alcohol, ADHD Neurofeedback

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From Healing Young Brains.  By Hill, Ph.D., and Castro, M.D.

” Alcohol, drugs, and ADHD are freequent companions.  Virtually every study we have seen supports this conclusion, and it certainly holds up in our clinical practice.  Using drugs and alcohol is an “easy” way to cope with difficult situations.  As one of our twenty-year-old patients put it, “If you are numb, failure ain’t so painful.”  Alcohol and drugs slow down the racing mind and provide a sense ofos calm.

More children with ADHD develop problems with alcohol and drugs than do children without ADHD.  This destructive behavior frequently carries over into adulthood.  Most late-adolescent substance abusers become adult abusers.  Retrospective views of the problem reveal that alcoholics frequently have a history of childhood hyperactivity.

Dale Walters, Ph.D., former director of training for the Menninger Clinic in Topkea, Kansas, traversed the United States during the 1990’s, teaching clinicians how to treat alcoholism and drug addiction with neurofeedback.  He worked closely with Eugene Peniston, Ph.D., who developed a specialized treatment protocol for alcoholism.  The treatment was later expanded to include drug addiction and to treat Vietnam veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder.  This treatment protocol has been shown to be most promising treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction to date, with an astoundingly low, 20% relapse rate.  Prior to this neurofeedback protocol, a 20% relapse rate was unheard of in the treatment of addictions.

  • In patients with alcoholism or drug addiction, it is a good practice to look for a history of ADHD.  In patients with ADHD, it is a good practice to learn coping skills that preclude the use of drugs and alcohol.  Add alcohol or drugs to someone who is already impaired with ADHD and there is potential for disaster.  We seldom see an alcohol who does not have a history of ADHD.  This, of course, increases the chances of auto crashes, failed jobs, failed marriages, and failed lives.
  • David Miller and Kenneth Blum, Ph.D., have done an outstanding job of looking at ADHD and the addictive brain in their classic book, Overload. . . .
  • Regulating the brain to a more functional pattern may not fix the individual stresses in the life of the person, but at least the brain can take a more active role in problem solving.  Untreated, the individual may be driven ever deeper into non-functional and slow brainwave patters.”