Study: Positive Influence of Meditation for Addiction Recovery

MBV   January 20, 2017

Meditation for Addiction

Did you know that 40-60% of people America who go through addiction treatment relapse within one year? (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Reintegration into society and detoxification are the most painful times in an addict’s journey to recovery.

According to various psychologists who specialize in addiction, the reason it is so difficult to adapt is because users tend to quickly revert back to old habits influenced by their environmental cues including particular places, people, or circumstances.

If the pull of environmental influence is not hard enough, detoxification is yet another challenge for the addict to overcome due to the heavy withdrawal symptoms associated with such dependencies as alcoholism and heroin addiction. These variables create a dynamic in which relapse becomes almost impossible to escape.

In a study conducted between 2009 and 2012, 286 people underwent treatment for addiction in different ways. One of them was group discussion therapy. The other one focused on teaching addicts how to avoid drug-related temptations, and the third approach involved meditation.

After one year, participants in the meditation group experienced fewer cases of drug abuse as compared to addicts exposed to other treatments.

Meditation taught these participants to become aware of not only their cravings, but their emotions and inner dynamic as well. According to the participants, this was a very unique opportunity to recognize and accept some of their more compulsive and challenging thoughts from a new perspective.

This process enabled them to begin understanding the root cause of their impulses, which studies are beginning to reveal have less to do with the chemical of the drug and more about the environment and behavioral patterns of the individual, often driven by the inner dynamic, self-awareness, and level of presence demonstrated by the person struggling with addiction.

The Relationship Between Mindfulness Meditation and Addiction

Your mind determines your thoughts, feelings, and reflexes. With the ability to ignite your imagination, your mind also stores memories which are used to recognize patterns and develop conclusions based on our surroundings.

Unfortunately, we are never in full control of the mind, which allows our physical impulses to sometimes overwhelm our decision making process and the level of discipline we are able to apply towards our behaviors.

Meditation trains the mind to overcome our natural impulses by expanding our awareness beyond the reflexes of the brain. In fact, modern-day research suggests that meditation could play a critical role in helping addicts recover from their condition.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin were quick to point out a link between addiction and stress. They argued that the higher the level of stress a person has, the greater the risk of him abusing drugs.

A case study published in The National Library of Medicine highlighted the significance of meditation in treating addiction.

It revealed that those who exhibited a heightened state of mindfulness were the same individuals who expressed a willingness to accept their social, financial, and psychological problems.

Positive Psychology Terms

Acceptance was identified as a key factor in recovery because many addicts abuse drugs based on ‘experiential avoidance.’ In other words, they have developed an impulsive need to avoid stress in their life.

These findings indicate that those who accept societal pressure as an ordinary part of life are more likely to end their drug habits than those who do not.

As it turns out, meditation for addiction can be very beneficial throughout the process of recovery. Remember, meditating has many benefits other than helping someone fight addiction.

They include improving your concentration at work or in school, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and increasing your level of happiness. However, the influence of meditation for fighting addiction might one of the most positively life changing implications of cultivating a calm and clear mind.



From the Darkness of Addiction to the Happiness and Freedom of Deep Recovery
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