Can the Synapse System Change the Fight Against Drug Addiction?


Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.

Published on May 27, 2020 | Rehab Treatment Options

Psychologists in Atlanta, Georgia, are experimenting with a new approach to treating drug addiction, which involves completely altering the afflicted brains. Generally, addiction is considered a brain disease. Responding to this classification, psychologists want to explore The Synapse System. Designed as an outpatient treatment program, it’s a new approach for drug addiction in adolescents and young adults. The treatment utilizes intensive therapy and some newly emerging technology to help improve the overall health of the brain.

synapse diagramWhat Are Synapses?

At the core of this program lies the concept of synapses. Deep in the central nervous system, a synapse is a small gap at the end of a neuron that allows a signal to pass from one to the other. These connections are also responsible for our thoughts and consciousness. Psychologists look at synapses as a way to maintain the proper relationships in our brain and our brain function. Thus, it could be possible to rewire our brain’s connections to fight addiction and other mental health conditions through synapse treatment. 

How Does the Synapse Treatment Program Work?

Using electrodes, doctors can measure the patient’s brain waves. Then, with an interactive computer program, patients can see how their brain waves change with their thought process.

Over time, different exercises can help young adults permanently adjust their brain waves. As a result, these exercises will repair damaged neural pathways and develop new neural pathways. Additionally, reports of lower levels of depression and anxiety, better self-confidence, and overall improvement of wellbeing are promising with treatments.

Understanding the Core Principles of the Synapse System

Based on the collective experiences and accumulative understanding of the program founders, there are five main principles at the root of the Synapse System.

The principles are as follows:

  1. Addiction is a disease of the brain, and effective forms of treatment must address brain functioning.
  2. It is prevalent for substance abuse and addiction disorders to co-occur with other psychological disorders. Also, co-occurring diseases must be adequately uncovered, assessed, and treated.
  3. All affected members of the family must be addressed and treated according to addiction as a family disease.
  4. Adequate treatment of substance dependence disorders requires a holistic, multi-faceted, and highly individualized approach that addresses the components above of neurological functioning, re-occurring disorders, and the family.
  5. Treating substance misuse may prevent the onset of full-fledged addiction, which may lead to chronic underachievement, delinquency, and ultimate death.

Want to Learn More?

For more information on the Synapse System, please visit For more information on which drug rehab facilities in South Florida have begun to utilize this specific program or other similarly structured programs, please contact one of our trained representatives at the Lighthouse Recovery Institute today. We have been using a similar method of cognitive therapy for quite some time and would be happy to discuss implications and past successes with you.

Cite This Article
Lighthouse Editorial Team. "Can the Synapse System Change the Fight Against Drug Addiction?." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on May 27, 2020,


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