EEG Biofeedback as a Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: Review, Rating of Efficacy and Recommendations for Further Research

  • Tato M. Sokhadze
  • Rex L. Cannon
  • David L. Trudeau


Background. Electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback has been employed in substance use disorder (SUD) over the last 3 decades. SUD is a complex series of disorders with frequent comorbidities and EEG abnormalities of several types. Methods and Results. EEG biofeedback has been employed in conjunction with other therapies and may be useful in enhancing certain outcomes of therapy. Based on published clinical studies and employing efficacy criteria adapted by the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research, alpha theta training, either alone for alcoholism or in combination with beta training for stimulant and mixed substance abuse and combined with residential treatment programs, is probably efficacious. Conclusion. Considerations of further research design taking these factors into account are discussed and descriptions of contemporary research are given.