Addiction Avoider

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About half the people around the world are addicted to one or more addictive substances. Addiction is one of the chronic disorders that are characterized by the repeated use of substances or behaviors despite clear evidence of morbidity secondary to such use. It is a combination of genetic, biological/pharmacological and social factors. Example: Overeating, Having sex, Gambling, Alcohol drinking, Taking Narcotic Drugs and Certain Mannerisms. In this paper we are going to see about a design of device that can entirely avoid addiction. The device Addiction Avoider is based upon the principle of controlling “Brain waves”.

Before going on to details we are supposed to know the basic terms that this paper is based upon. These are the terms ‘The Brain’, ‘Brainwaves’ and ‘Addiction’.

1. The Brain:
It is well known that brain is an electrochemical organ. The Brainwaves are produced by the temporal lobe of the brain. It processes auditory information from the ears and relates it to Wernicke's area of the parietal lobe and the motor cortex of the frontal lobe. The amygdala is located within the temporal lobe and controls social and sexual behavior and other emotions. The limbic system is important in emotional behavior and controlling movements.

Fig.1. Side and top view of the human brain with parts

Researchers have speculated that a fully functional brain can generate as much as 10 watts of electrical power. Even though this electrical power is very limited, it does occur in a very specific ways that are characteristic of the human brain.

Electrical activity emanating from the brain is displayed in the form of brainwaves. There are four categories of these brainwaves, ranging from most activity to least activity. These are delta waves, theta waves, alpha waves and beta waves. Delta waves are waves with high amplitude. It has a frequency of 0.5 – 4 Hertz. They never go down to zero because that would mean that you were brain dead. But, deep dreamless sleep would take you down to the lowest frequency. Typically,2 to 3 Hertz. Theta waves are waves with amplitude lesser than that of delta waves and have a greater frequency of 5 – 8 Hertz. A person who has taken time off from a task and begins to daydream is often in a theta brainwave state. Alpha waves are waves with amplitude lesser than that of theta waves and have a greater frequency of 9-14 Hertz. A person who takes time out to reflect or meditate is usually in a alpha state. Beta waves are the waves that have he lowest amplitude and have the highest frequency of 15 – 40 Hertz. These waves are again classified into low beta waves and high beta waves according to their range of frequencies. The low beta waves have a frequency of 15 – 32 Hertz. A person making an active conversation would be in the low beta state. The high beta waves have a frequency of 33 – 40 Hertz. A person in a stress, pain or addiction would be in the high beta state. TABLE 1:

S. No. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Brainwaves Delta Theta Alpha Low Beta High Beta

Frequency range (Hertz) 0.5 - 4 5-8 9 – 14 15 – 32 32 - 40

Fig. 2. Different brainwaves with their names and the situations when it occurs.

There are two types of addiction: Physical dependency and Psychological dependency.

A) Physical dependency :
Physical dependence on a substance is defined by appearance of characteristic withdrawal symptoms when the drug is suddenly discontinued. Some drugs such as cortisone, beta blockers etc are better known as ‘Antidepressants’ rather than addictive substances. Some drugs induce physical dependence or physiological tolerance - but not addiction - for example many laxatives, which are

not psychoactive; nasal decongestants, which can cause rebound congestion if used for more than a few days in a row; and some antidepressants, most notably Effexor, Paxil and Zoloft, as they have quite short half-lives, so stopping them abruptly causes a more rapid change in the neurotransmitter balance in the brain than many other antidepressants. Many non-addictive prescription drugs should not be suddenly stopped, so a doctor should be consulted before abruptly discontinuing them.

B) Psychological dependency:
Psychological addictions are a dependency of the mind, and lead to psychological withdrawal symptoms. Addictions can theoretically form for any rewarding behavior, or as a habitual means to avoid undesired activity, but typically they only do so to a clinical level in individuals who have emotional, social, or psychological dysfunctions, taking the place of normal positive stimuli not otherwise attained. Psychological addiction, as opposed to physiological addiction, is a person's need to use a drug or engage in a behavior despite the harm caused out of desire for the effects it produces, rather than to relieve withdrawal symptoms. As the drug is indulged, it becomes associated with the release of pleasure inducing endorphins, and a cycle is started that is similar to physiological addiction. This cycle is often very difficult to break. We are going to solely consider the psychological addictions in designing the addiction avoider device.

4.Recovery Therapy from Addiction:
Some medical systems, including those of at least 15 states of the United States, refer to an Addiction Severity Index to assess the severity of problems related to substance use. The index assesses problems in six areas: medical, employment/support,

alcohol and other drug use, legal, family/social, and psychiatric. While addiction or dependency is related to seemingly uncontrollable urges, and has roots in genetic predisposition, treatment of dependency is conducted by a wide range of medical and allied professionals, including Addiction Medicine specialists, psychiatrists, and appropriately trained nurses, social workers, and counselors. Early treatment of acute withdrawal often includes medical detoxification, which can include doses of anxiolytics or narcotics to reduce symptoms of withdrawal. An experimental drug, ibogaine, is also proposed to treat withdrawal and craving. Alternatives to medical detoxification include acupuncture detoxification. In chronic opiate addiction, a surrogate drug such as methadone is sometimes offered as a form of opiate replacement therapy. But treatment approaches universal focus on the individual's ultimate choice to pursue an alternate course of action. Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant SSRI drugs such as Lexapro are also often prescribed to help cut cravings, while addicts are often encouraged by therapists to pursue practices like yoga or exercise to decrease reliance on the addictive substance or behavior as the only way to feel good. Therapists often classify patients with chemical dependencies as either interested or not interested in changing. Treatments usually involve planning for specific ways to avoid the addictive stimulus, and therapeutic interventions intended to help a client learn healthier ways to find satisfaction. Clinical leaders in recent years have attempted to tailor intervention approaches to specific influences that effect addictive behavior, using therapeutic interviews in an effort to discover factors that led a person to embrace unhealthy, addictive sources of pleasure or relief from pain.


The principle behind this device is ‘ Binaural Beats’. Binaural beats or binaural tones are auditory processing artifacts, which are apparent sounds, the perception of which arises in the brain independent of physical stimuli. The brain produces a similar phenomenon internally, resulting in low frequency pulsations in the loudness of a perceived sound when two tones at slightly different frequencies are presented separately, one to each of a subject's ears, using stereo headphones. A beating tone will be perceived, as if the two tones mixed naturally, out of the brain. The frequency of the tones must be below about 1,000 to 1,500 hertz. The difference between the two frequencies must be small (below about 30 Hz) for the effect to occur; otherwise the two tones will be distinguishable and no beat will be perceived.

Block Diagram:
Sensor 1 Sensor 2 Sensor 3

Head bands
Oscillator 1 (1000Hz ) Oscillato r 2 (1010H Right Side Stere oLeft Side Stere o-

Amplifier 1 Amplifier 2 Amplifier 3 Atmel 8515

Fig.4. Block diagram of the device Addiction Avoider

The block diagram consists of the following parts whose operation is as below


These sensors consist of a 0.7 inch diameter hard plastic outer disc housing with a pre-jelled Silver chloride snap style post pellet insert. These sensors do not contain any latex and don’t need any conductive gel.

Fig. 5. Electroencephalography (EEG) sensors
The sensor sends the analog brainwave signal into the 8515 microcontroller.


Fig. 6. Circuit diagram of a basic Inverting amplifier using Operational
amplifier. Basically the amplitude of analog brainwaves is in terms of 10 – 15 micro volts. But the Atmel 8515 microcontroller has an operating voltage of about 2.7V – 6.0V. So we are using amplifiers.

Gain (A) = (-R2/R1)


Where, negative sign represents change in phase by 90◦

Fig. 7. Circuit diagram of cascaded inverting amplifier with a gain of 2, 00,000.
It is designed in such a way that it amplifies 15 micro volts to about 3.5V. Here we are using basic cascaded inverting amplifier using operational amplifier with a gain of about 2, 00,000, embedded in a small Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Here we are using four inverting amplifier cascaded with each other. So let the gain of each inverting amplifier from left to right be A1, A2, A3 and A4. And let Vi and Vo be the input and output voltages of the amplifier. Now, A1 = (-R2/R1) = (-2/1) = -2 A2 = (-R4/R3) = (-10/1) = -10 A3 = (-R6/R5) = (-100/1) = -100 A4 = (-R8/R7) = (-100/1) = -100 Now Total Gain of the amplifier (A), A = A1 * A2 * A3 * A4 (2)

Vo =Vi *Av = 3V

A = (-2)*(-10)*(-100)*(-100) A = 2, 00, 000 Here we have amplified an 15uV signal to an 3V signal so that the signal is in the operational range of the microcontroller. There are four negative signs in the gain equation which add up to give 360◦ phase shift.

The oscillator is basically a Wein bridge audio oscillator. The oscillator is designed in such a way that it produces a particular audio wave below 1500 Hz. The oscillator will be designed such that it has 10 – 13 Hz difference in frequency with oscillator 1. This difference in frequency creates Binaural Beats. Thus if the brain of an individual produces 32 – 40 Hz (High Beta waves) i.e. if he/she is in stress or addicted to some substance, the binaural beats having a frequency of about 10-13 Hz creates a stimulus making the brain to move towards the stimulated frequency.


This is done by sending audio waves from one oscillator to one of the two sides of the headphone and another oscillator to another side of the headphone

Addiction avoider can be used to cure stress or tension on any individual. The concept of binaural waves can be further researched and used to find a device for communication with deaf and dumb

individuals. It can be further used to study the resonance of brain during brain diseases.

1) The headband used is made of rubber or any clothing (better to be an insulator) provided it must be designed such that the sensors touch the skin. 2) The whole device is light weight and can be carried anywhere we want. 3) The whole device including sensors microcontroller and headphone is cheap and costs only about Rs. 3000 and above.

Those meeting any of the following criteria/conditions should not use binaural beats: a) Epileptics b) Pregnant women c) People susceptible to seizures d) Pacemaker users e) Photosensitive people.

Addiction Avoider is the safest and simplest device to use in prevention of Addiction. It is used for any type of addiction like addiction caused by taking narcotic drugs or alcohol and simple addictions like overeating, sexual intercourse and mannerisms.


[1] ‘Detection of seizures in epileptic and non-epileptic patients using GPS and Embedded Systems’ by Abhiram Chakraborty – Ukranian Journal of Telemedicine and medical Telematics (TOM 3 No.2 Pg 211) [2] [3] Ercim_News/enw51/bielikova.html [4] Binaural beats [5] ency/article/003931.htm

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