Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 1-28

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

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

  • Tato M. SokhadzeAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Rex L. CannonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, The University of Tennessee
  • , David L. TrudeauAffiliated withDepartment of Family and Community Health, School of Health Sciences, University of Minnesota


Electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback has been employed in substance use disorder (SUD) over the last three decades. The SUD is a complex series of disorders with frequent comorbidities and EEG abnormalities of several types. 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. Considerations of further research design taking these factors into account are discussed and descriptions of contemporary research are given.


Neurofeedback Neurotherapy EEG biofeedback Quantitative EEG Substance use disorder Alcoholism ERP Cognitive-behavioral treatment