TMS treatment for alcohol addiction

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

TMS therapy is an innovative approach to treating alcohol dependence.

It’s a non-invasive therapy that uses magnetic pulses to calm the areas of your brain that cause cravings.

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There is a fine line between enjoying a drink and being dependent on alcohol to get you through your day. By the time you realise you have a problem, the addiction could be already making it difficult to reduce your intake.

It's difficult to identify what causes the addiction to alcohol, because it can be a slow, gradual increase in drinking habits or a quicker, more intense change of behaviour. Fundamentally, the brain becomes reliant on alcohol to produce certain chemicals, which is why alcoholics can suffer from such uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The brain begins to NEED alcohol.

The trigger for each alcoholic beginning drinking is as individual as the person. It may be difficult life events, like a divorce or a bereavement, that start you drinking, or you might have witnessed a parent with bad drinking habits as you grew up. Some scientists go as far as to say that there are certain genes in different chromosome regions that make someone more susceptible to addiction.

Signs of alcohol dependence (or alcoholism) can include:

• Spending time worrying about when you will next have a drink or where you will get it from
• Finding it hard to stop drinking once you’ve started
• Starting drinking before lunch regularly
• Feeling anxious or depressed
• Suffering from physical withdrawal symptoms like shaking and sweating when you haven’t had a drink.

Although it may feel as though your addiction is beating you, Smart TMS can help you beat the addiction and live your life free from alcohol cravings.

The NHS recommends treating alcohol misuse with counselling to get to the root of the problem. This can include: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), self help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or the AA for short, 12 step facilitation therapy and family therapy.

Detoxing can be conducted at home with medical support, but if it’s severe, it should be completed in hospital. It can take around 7 days from your last drink to stop having withdrawal symptoms, but medication such as Chlordiaepoxide (Librium) can reduce or stop the withdrawal symptoms completely. In extreme cases, vitamin supplements may also be required.

After detoxing, the amount of patients recovering from alcoholism that relapse within the first year is as high as 80%. TMS helps to reduce cravings for alcohol and there are a number of drugs which can help to avoid relapse. These include: Acamprosate, Naltrexone and Disulfiram. The longer a patient can remain sober, the less likely they are to relapse and research shows that those who stay sober for five years are likely to remain sober. This is why it’s vital that patients with alcoholism have as many opportunities as possible to access scientifically proven methods to help them stay well.

The NHS estimates that around 9% of men and 3% of women in the UK show signs of alcohol dependence – and the problem is becoming more and more common.

Research has shown Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to be a safe and effective way to tackle alcohol addiction. With no anaesthetic, no medication, no need for hospitalisation and no recovery time, this non-invasive treatment uses a repetitive magnetic pulse to stimulate the parts of the brain that cause alcohol cravings and dependence.


How does TMS treatment work for alcohol addiction?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to be a safe and effective way to tackle alcohol addiction.

Withdrawal symptoms can be extreme when detoxing from alcohol and standard treatments, like CBT or self help groups, may not be enough to stop you relapsing; the cravings may be too hard to ignore.
TMS works by calming the area of the brain known to cause the craving for alcohol. In patients who have recently gone through a 10 day detox, TMS can help them to prolong their success by reducing those cravings.

When treating alcohol dependence, 15 sessions of TMS will be prescribed. These will be booked daily for three weeks (Monday to Friday).

Most people are suitable to receive TMS treatment.

Try our quick 2 minute questionnaire to see whether TMS treatment could help.

TMS Suitability Check

What our patients say

Around my 7th session, I found waking up easier, I walked to the clinic without any of my usual cravings and managed to sit in the pub with friends without giving in to their offers. I felt settled and comfortable within myself, which is something I haven't felt for a long time.

Mr T

Going cold turkey had left me anxious and irritable in the past, but I have absolutely none of these feelings associated with quitting. TMS took that all away.


During treatment, I felt like I was struggling to even think about my addiction. I couldn't remember how it made me feel or associate with it at all. A moment of grieving the addiction that had carried me through hard times was replaced by elation - I could finally start to live my life.

Mr F

Continuous Care

Overcoming addiction is no easy task, especially when temptation is everywhere. Whether you’re walking past your local pub or used to having a drink after work, our aftercare packages are designed to help you stay in remission, despite the temptations you’ll face. We would also recommend counselling or a drug rehabilitation service, like Alcoholics Anonymous.

Patients going into remission from their alcohol addiction with Smart TMS can benefit from the following aftercare treatment:

  • Smart TMS Monthly: Two monthly TMS treatments to keep you feeling your best
  • Smart TMS On-Demand: Become a member of our Smart TMS On-Demand scheme, entitling you to exclusive discounts on treatment, should you relapse or feel that you’re going to.

Have you had TMS treatment at a different clinic? Smart TMS can supply your aftercare, too!

Learn more about Continuous Care

Is TMS right for me?

Alcohol addiction is treatable, and Smart TMS can help. 

Most people are suitable to receive TMS treatment. To help you make up your mind about treatment, our practitioners offer pre-arranged clinic visits to answer any questions you have and show you the TMS machine. If you would like to arrange a clinic visit, call the team:

☎ 0345 222 5678

Request a Brochure

Download our brochure to find out more about transcranial magnetic stimulation.

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