Addiction Therapy Center in Chapel Hill

Your addiction might feel like it is running your life. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be that way. A state-of-the-art addiction therapy center in Chapel Hill can help you get back on track. You can conquer your addictions and be free to reach your full potential with ease. Addictions help you survive. You deserve to thrive. If you struggle with addiction, our licensed Neurofeedback doctors at Leigh Brain & Spine can identify and show you how your brain performance is impacting your addiction. Then, once you know what your brain needs to be free from addictions, the doctors use advanced technology to teach your brain to perform better.

Addictions ruin lives and rip families apart. Addictions lead to divorce, school drop-out and failure, missed promotions at work, and a whole host of health problems. Addiction treatment using high-tech. science can put your life back together again.

Causes of Addiction

Your brain is the supercomputer that runs your entire mind and body. If it is working well, you work well. When your brain has problems, you have problems. Brain functioning is at the heart of addictions. Brain performance can be improved through state-of-the-art addiction treatment.

Addictions are caused by underlying brain patterns that can make it all but impossible to not think of the desired activity or thing. Basically, the brain is looking for something to make it feel better because it has a dysfunctional pattern. When it gets its reward, the addictive behavior, whether that be booze, pornography, drugs, sugar, or something else, the brain gets a release of the feel good, pleasure neurotransmitters, making it feel better again, for a little while at least. Unfortunately, as anyone with an addiction knows, you need more and more of that thing to get the same type of feeling overtime, making your addiction grow stronger as you engage in it.

Addictions are associated with other challenges that people suffer from and to truly get rid of the addiction, the other issues need to be solved too. In most cases the other issues are due to dysfunctional brain patterns as well. Neuroscience can be used for addiction treatment and help the other brain patterns too.

Addictions are associated with:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Spectrum Disorders
  • Depression
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries

How can I break an addiction at an Addiction Therapy Center?

To truly break an addiction, there must be a brain evaluation and the underlying brain pattern that is causing the addiction must be determined. Only then can the addiction specifically addressed to be conquered. Addiction treatment at Leigh Brain & Spine the special needs of each person’s brain. Once the brain pattern is improved, then behaviors improve and habits change to rid the addictive behavior permanently.

Are all addictions the same?

In one word, No. There are different reasons that people get stuck in an addictive pattern and the brain is affected differently in each. Addiction treatment using Neurofeedback therapy can be individualized for the person’s needs.

Types of Addictions Helped at the Addiction Therapy Center

No matter what you are addicted to, alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, sex, or something else, there are 6 main types of addictions as discovered by Dr. Daniel Amen after 80,000 brain scans.

The different types of addictions have to do with the areas of your brain that are affected and what type of brain dysfunction is present. The object of addiction is just that, the object, however, the underlying brain pattern dysfunction and thinking mechanisms are the same for all kinds of addiction.

6 Types of Addiction

Compulsive Addicts

The compulsive addict gets a thought in his or her head of what they want (their addiction) and it will not go away. The craving continues, with continual looping of the thought, until the need is met. What the person is addicted to is not the main concern, it is the underlying need for that thing and the inability to stop thinking about it.

The qEEG Brain Map that is associated with this type of addiction is one of a high beta, very fast processing speed, in a mid-frontal area of the brain called the anterior cingulate gyrus. This can be caused by, and perpetuates, low serotonin levels in the brain.

Impulsive Addicts

Impulsive addicts tend to start their day with the intention to refrain from their addictive behavior but do not have enough self-control to follow through. They do not have the brain skills to shift their attention away from their addictive behaviors once the urge arises. Triggers and cravings make it so that when the impulse arises, the barrier goes down that would stop them from acting out with the addictive behavior.

This brain type is mostly associated with low activity of the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s supervisor. Low activity is associated with lower levels of dopamine. The prefrontal cortex is in charge of crucial executive function skills, like the captain of a ship, to help a person stay in control throughout their day. These behaviors include:

  • Judgment
  • Follow Through
  • Impulse Control
  • Good Decision Making Skills
  • Planning
  • Shifting Attention

When the Prefrontal Cortex is not working as it should, due to low activity, the supervisor is out to lunch. Inhibitions go down, judgment abilities decrease, attention decreases, impulses increase, and the addictive behavior continues. This pattern is associated with ADD and ADHD and is much more common in men.

Compulsive-Impulsive Addicts

You guessed it, it is a combination of the above two, compulsive and impulsive. This combo type of addiction is related to a low activity prefrontal cortex with a high activity anterior cingulate gyrus. Yep, you can have both!

The low activity in the prefrontal cortex is associated with impulsive behaviors, and the high activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus is related to compulsive thoughts leading to addictive behaviors. This pattern is associated with ADHD and anxiety and is common in children and grandchildren of alcoholics.

Sad or Emotional Addicts

Just as the name suggests, this type of addiction is associated with low grade chronic sadness all the way to full blown depression. This type might get better or worse with the changing of the seasons or may remain constant.

People who suffer from this type of addiction are more likely to use or overuse alcohol, marijuana, painkillers or food to self-medicate the feelings of depression. This type is more common in women than it is men.

The brain pattern that is associated with this type of addiction is a deep limbic system dysfunction and low frontal cortex activity.

Anxious Addicts

People with this type of addiction tend to suffer from varying degrees of anxiety and stress and predict the worse for future outcomes. They tend to use alcohol, marijuana, sleeping pills, painkillers, and food to self-medicate their feelings of:

  • Anxiousness
  • Stress
  • Nervousness
  • Fear

Physical symptoms tend to arise with this type of addiction such as headaches, muscle tension, jaw tension, nail-biting, stomach aches, and shortness of breath.

The brain pattern associated with this type of addiction is associated with a high beta pattern of excessive fast processing speed in the brain that directly impacts the basal ganglia and is related to low levels of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter in the brain.

Temporal Lobe Addicts

This type of addiction is mostly related to head injury or toxicity in the brain but can also be related to inherited patterns. The temporal lobes show decreased, or increased in some cases, activity that results in temper outbursts and severe mood swings. People who struggle with type of addiction tend to having learning difficulties and memory problems.

How does having a brain map help me beat my addiction?

Although people with addictions suffer from many of the same symptoms, it is crucial to figure out what the underlying brain dysfunction is to address the specific needs of the brain for lasting results and no relapses. At Leigh Brain & Spine, we do not use a cookie-cutter approach. All evaluations and treatment programs at the addiction therapy center are individualized to meet your needs and help you get rid of your addictions once and for all.


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Leigh Brain and Spine is proud to have earned the distinction as a Certified Brain Health Coach Center and is a proud member of the Amen Clinics referral network.

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Brain Mapping & Neurofeedback

About Dr. Trish Leigh


Dr. Leigh,  is considered a thought leader in educating people on how their brain’s work, and how they can utilize brain-based therapies, as well as do-it-yourself strategies, to make their brain work better. When your brain works better, so does your body, by improving physical and thought processes to perform better.