Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS for short, is a non-invasive therapeutic technique that stimulates the brain in ways that work to reduce dependence on a drug. TMS can reduce cravings, improve impulse control, and reduce overall symptoms. It works by targeting the areas of the brain that influence drug-taking behavior. Learn more about what TMS therapy is and how it works in addiction treatment by calling BoardPrep Recovery Center® at 866.796.4720.
What Is TMS Therapy?
TMS therapy is a non-invasive procedure that sends magnetic pulses to certain brain centers to reduce the behaviors and symptoms around drug use. Importantly, there is no pain associated with TMS. Sessions typically last between 30 and 60 minutes and are conducted multiple times per week for at least a month. A patient’s needs determine treatment lengths and exact protocols.
TMS therapy for addiction and its emphasis on neuroscience might be the answer for patients who have long struggled with relapse. However, it is most effective when combining it with more conventional methods such as medication and therapy. TMS therapy can treat depression and other mental disorders. Therefore, it often plays a role in dual diagnosis treatment programs that tackle addiction and an underlying mental health disorder at the same time.
Three Benefits of TMS Therapy for Addiction
TMS therapy for addiction brings a variety of benefits to people seeking recovery from addiction. We explore three of them below.
1. It Is Non-Invasive and Outpatient
While the magnetic coil that sits atop your head during the procedure may look intimidating, TMS is non-invasive and pain-free. The procedure does not require anesthesia and is similar in length to a therapy session. You can also drive yourself home and immediately go about a typical day with no ill effects.
2. It Can Achieve Results in Stubborn Cases
TMS therapy for addiction may be of most use in cases of relapse or in people who have not been able to achieve sobriety through just a combination of therapy and medication.
3. No Harmful Side Effects
Extensive use of TMS for a wide range of addictions and mental health disorders has yet to surface any adverse side effects. Some people experience minor responses to TMS, such as light facial twitching during the procedure and redness at the coil site. However, these disappear following treatment and do not persist. The combination of quality results without downsides makes TMS therapy worth considering as part of any addiction treatment program.
Common Questions About TMS Therapy
This may be the first time you encountered TMS therapy, and it may still seem strange. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up two of the most common questions people ask about TMS therapy.
Is TMS Therapy Used for More than Addiction?
Beyond its use in addiction treatment, TMS is commonly used in treating mental health disorders, particularly for severe cases of depression. Research also finds benefits from TMS therapy when used to treat the following:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
If you have both an addiction and mental health issues, a dual diagnosis treatment program may be able to help.
Are There Any Cases Where People Should Avoid TMS Therapy?
TMS therapy is perfectly safe in the majority of cases. The major exception to this is patients who have any metal implant in or near their heads. Examples include aneurysm clips, electrodes to monitor brain activity, or stents in the neck or brain. If you have any metal implant, it could actually be dangerous to receive TMS therapy as the magnetic pulses could negatively interact with the implant.
Contact BoardPrep Recovery Center®
BoardPrep Recovery Center® specializes in offering TMS therapy for addiction and a range of mental health disorders. Contact us at 866.796.4720 to learn about how TMS might be the answer you are looking for in achieving sobriety.