Mindfulness-based treatment of addiction: current state of the field and envisioning the next wave of research PMC

Self-inquiry and related styles of meditation can help you “know yourself.” This can be a starting point for making other positive changes. Additionally, experience in meditation may cultivate more creative problem-solving skills (21). One review concluded that meditation lives up to its reputation for stress reduction (1).

meditation for addiction recovery

Behavioral Research to Improve Medication-Based Treatment

meditation for addiction recovery

Effective, lifelong recovery starts by treating the whole person, not just the substance use disorder. This means treating the underlying mental health issues at the root of addiction and providing patients with tools they need for a healthier, more satisfying life. The National Institutes of Health will award 12 grants to form the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) to support research on quality addiction treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) in criminal justice settings nationwide.

Mindfulness-based treatment of addiction: current state of the field and envisioning the next wave of research

With time and practice, meditation can become an integral part of your recovery journey. While you’ve likely heard the chatter about meditation and mindfulness, it goes beyond a trend – it’s a powerful tool in treating substance use disorders and behavioral addictions. By incorporating meditation into a comprehensive treatment plan, individuals can address the multifaceted aspects of addiction, promoting a more thorough and enduring recovery.

#6 — Most Addictions Stem From Stress. Meditation Makes You Immune To Stress

  • People in early recovery typically experience mood swings, described by some as an emotional rollercoaster.
  • Meditation has been around for thousands of years, and you may have practiced it without even realizing—many religions use some form of meditation to become closer to or communicate with their Higher Power.
  • 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.
  • Figure 1 depicts hypothesized neural functional mechanisms of MBIs for addiction.

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.

meditation for addiction recovery

Contact us today to embark on your journey to recovery with a partner you can trust for excellence and compassionate care. In fact, philosophers have always known—and science has more recently confirmed—that there is tremendous value in allowing ourselves to step away from the busyness of daily life and simply be. It is in stillness, not in continual activity, that we are free to discover our own personal truths that give meaning and purpose to our life. Addiction limited our ability to connect with others in any meaningful way. Compassion strengthens our ability to build healthy, healing relationships that positively affect our inner emotions.

Verify Benefits

The purpose of this type of meditation is to develop inner peace and calm the mind. It is usually done while sitting in a comfortable position with eyes closed. If your mind starts to wander from the present, bring it back by refocusing on your breathing. If you’re in professional addiction treatment, you can consult with your care team to incorporate meditation into your treatment and even learn advanced skills. Building new skills does not happen quickly, so patience while learning and practicing this new coping technique is essential.

  • This deliberate introspection fosters a clearer understanding of one’s inner workings, unveiling patterns and facilitating personal growth.
  • One study also found people with chronic pain who meditated were able to reduce their pain by up to 42%, which led to better sleep, improved mood and better activity levels.
  • These in-session mindfulness practices are debriefed during a subsequent group process, after which new psychoeducational material is typically presented.
  • This type of meditation requires a person to examine thoughts, feelings, and experiences without labeling them as “good or bad” or “right or wrong.” The person allows sensations and thoughts to pass without judging them as they breathe deeply and rhythmically.

In the past decade, mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have been studied as a treatment for an array addictive behaviors, including drinking, smoking, opioid misuse, and use of illicit substances like cocaine and heroin. This article reviews current research evaluating MBIs as a treatment for addiction, with a focus on findings pertaining to clinical outcomes and biobehavioral mechanisms. Studies indicate that MBIs reduce substance misuse and craving by modulating cognitive, affective, and psychophysiological processes integral to self-regulation and reward processing. This integrative review provides the basis for manifold recommendations regarding the next wave of research needed to firmly establish the efficacy of MBIs and elucidate the mechanistic pathways by which these therapies ameliorate addiction. Issues pertaining to MBI treatment optimization and sequencing, dissemination and implementation, dose–response relationships, and research rigor and reproducibility are discussed. MBIs for addiction are usually tailored to address pathogenic mechanisms implicated in addiction by targeting mindfulness techniques to addictive behaviors (e.g., mindfulness of craving) and by discussing the application of mindfulness skills to cope with addiction in everyday life.

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It serves as a powerful tool for individuals traversing the challenging path of overcoming addiction. Addiction is a complex and multifaceted challenge, deeply affecting individuals and their loved ones. Navigating meditation for addiction recovery the path to recovery often requires a combination of strategies. At any moment, someone’s aggravating behavior or our own bad luck can set us off on an emotional spiral that threatens to derail our entire day.

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