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The Benefits of Meditation in Addiction Recovery


The individual may then evoke the state of mindfulness through focused attention or open monitoring mindfulness practice and choose to respond with a more adaptive coping strategy. Over time, the individual may develop the motivation to reduce substance use or abstain entirely, at which point mindfulness may be useful for preventing relapse. Two primary mindfulness practices are focused attention and open monitoring.

  • Your treatment team can help you to select a type of meditation that will benefit your addiction recovery.
  • In focused meditation, participants choose one of the five senses as the center point of meditation.
  • Unlike many other forms of meditation, reflection meditation isn’t necessarily meant to be practised on a daily basis.
  • Thus little data exists to either support or refute the neural mechanistic models proposed in this section.

It is important to find a mantra that you are comfortable with and that allows you to focus. Recovery Connection is the ultimate addiction recovery resource portal for information on the latest treatments, centers, and programs. Whether you’re looking for treatment or for aftercare options, we can point you in the right direction. Once the basics are down, a recovering person can try all different sorts of meditation practices depending on their unique preferences. They may also consider guided meditation tutorials for recovery on YouTube. Instead of clearing the mind, we use reflection meditation to focus on our thoughts to gain insight, understanding, and wisdom about ourselves and those around us.

The Role of Mindfulness Activities In Addiction Recovery

The evidence of mindfulness in the prevention of relapse is limited by high attrition rates in RCTs. However, they did find statistically significant differences in favor of MBRP on withdrawal/craving symptoms and negative consequences of substance use. The authors call for higher quality RCTs to evaluate the effectiveness of MBIs for relapse prevention.

This website utilizes various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times. We utilize an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs. Mindfulness in connecting means viewing others with compassion and letting go of judgments and stereotypes. Using compassion in connecting with others during recovery will help you build solid and healthy relationships.

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It helps restore a feeling of control and calm, which is important when you’re trying to avoid damaging thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness enables you to recognize when something isn’t right with your physical health. The purpose of this type of meditation is to develop inner peace and calm the mind.

meditation for addiction recovery

Mindfulness-based interventions like mindfulness meditation have been proven effective for reducing relapse rates in those with substance use disorders (addictions). For instance, MBI non-responders might need a supplementary course of motivational enhancement therapy, computerized cognitive remediation, or booster sessions (see “The Need for Dose/Response Research” below) to enhance outcomes. The MOST research process could allow for resource-intensive and complex MBIs to be pared down to their most efficacious elements to maximize efficacy and efficiency by eliminating techniques that do not confer therapeutic benefits and augmenting those that do.

Preventing relapse

Such tailoring is presumed necessary for maximizing clinical effects of MBIs as treatments for addiction, though no quantitative comparisons of tailored (e.g., MBRP) versus general (e.g., MBSR) MBIs have been conducted for individuals with substance use disorders. Comparative effectiveness research or dismantling trials are needed to determine whether such addiction-specific tailoring increases effect sizes. We argue that mindfulness is particularly suited for relapse prevention.

  • In contrast, there is very little research on moderators of MBIs.
  • When meditating, it’s important to be nonjudgmental and give ourselves the freedom to simply exist as we are.
  • Guided meditation is a great tool to help you stay focused when your thoughts feel like they’re swirling.
  • At the heart of all recovery programs is the goal of rewiring the brain.
  • Mindfulness can also reduce your stress, thus helping your immune system.

Although rigorous trials have been conducted, a number of these studies have methodological limitations that limit the ability to conclusively affirm the effectiveness of mindfulness intervention with SUDs and prevention of relapse. For instance, Sancho et al’s16 recent systematic review raises the concern that MBI intervention effects do not seem to persist at follow-up assessment. Thus, there remains a need for more large-scale, robust RCTs to reveal the clinical outcomes and therapeutic mechanisms of MBIs for addiction. These neurocognitive processes contribute to craving and elicit substance use behavior long after an individual has stopped using substances. Even when total abstinence is achieved, substance-related cues and negative emotional states can continue to trigger relapse.50,58 Thus, interventions are needed to target the manifold processes undergirding substance use disorder and relapse. In general, meditation helps promote a sense of inner peace and calm, increases self-awareness, improves mental functioning, and helps the person detach from thoughts and impulses, which can help reduce cravings and prevent relapse.