Substance abuse is one of the most widespread and costly health problems in modern societies. Customary medical treatments are often ineffective and relapse is prevalent. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and mindfulness-based substance abuse treatment (MBSAT) to improve executive functions in adolescents with substance abuse.
The research design was experimental with pretest-posttest and control group. Sixty adolescents (aged 18-21) with substance abuse disorders were selected according to including and excluding criteria and randomly assigned into the tDCS group (n=20), MBSAT group (n=20) and control group (n=20). To collect data, we used of the neurosciences tasks including N-Back Test, Wisconsin card sorting test, Go/ No Go Task and Balloon Analogue Risk Taking Task (BART). Data analysis was performed using mixed analysis of variance with repeated measures in SPSS 22.
The results showed that both transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and mindfulness-based substance abuse treatment (MBSAT) therapy improved the executive functions of adolescents with substance abuse disorder. Analysis showed no significant difference between two treatments.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) and Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment can be used as an effective intervention to improve executive functions in adolescents in adolescents with SUD.