Substance abuse treatment programs use a variety of treatments, including evidence-based and holistic therapies, to provide you with the tools, education, and skills needed to recover. Holistic therapies, like mindfulness meditation, decrease stress and improve cognition. But can mindfulness meditation work for addiction?
Substance abuse, alcoholism, and addiction can damage your relationships, health, and finances. Although 20.7 million Americans ages 12 and older met the criteria for a substance abuse disorder in 2017 alone, only 4 million ultimately received treatment. Addiction is a chronic and incurable condition, meaning that the reason why treatment is essential is because you must learn how to manage your symptoms throughout your lifetime to achieve long-term sobriety.
How Addiction Works
Addiction doesn’t discriminate, meaning that anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender, can develop a psychological and/or physical dependency. While genetic factors can increase your risk of acquiring a substance abuse disorder, there is no known cause for why some people develop an addiction while others don’t. All psychoactive substances carry the risk of addiction because they’re mood-altering neurotransmitter inhibitors.
When you use drugs or alcohol, your brain associates it with pleasure because it forces your brain to release an overwhelming rush of pleasurable neurotransmitters. Once intoxication ends, you’re left with a sudden and significant depletion of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Your brain then craves more, especially when you’re exposed to triggers. Triggers include people, places, and things that remind you of your substance of choice.
Addiction creates changes in your brain chemistry and impairs your judgment, which can lead to irrational and reckless decisions. As your tolerance builds, you can end up spending excessive amounts of money acquiring your substance of choice. Altered decision making can lead to you choosing to spend money on drugs and alcohol instead of paying bills, which can cause housing instability and financial problems.
Substance abuse disorders can also cause:
- Liver and organ damage
- Mental health problems
- Increased risk of infections and other medical problems
- A shortened life expectancy
- Trouble getting along with friends and family members
Can Mindfulness Meditation Work for Addiction?
Treatment is the best way to recover from an addiction, as substance abuse programs offer a combination of evidence-based and holistic therapies. But can mindfulness meditation work for addiction? Mindfulness meditation is a safe and effective holistic therapy that can be combined with other treatments, such as an individual therapy program and group counseling. Mindfulness meditation helps you relax and focus, which improves cognition.
Stress, anxiety, and depression are all common negative emotions that serve as powerful triggers during addiction and recovery. So if you’re wondering can mindfulness meditation work for addiction, the simple answer is that it can strengthen your recovery.
Mindfulness meditation provides you with a healthy way to cope with a variety of triggers, which decreases your risk of relapsing. One of the benefits of mindfulness meditation is that it creates a way for you to slow down your thoughts and feelings, which can make it easier to handle conflict. Mindfulness meditation also improves cognition and helps your brain heal from addiction.
Mindfulness meditation can be practiced almost anywhere, which makes it an excellent coping strategy. If you have a co-occurring disorder, mindfulness meditation is especially beneficial, as it can help alleviate symptoms like anxiety.
Reaching Out for Help Today
If you’re wondering can mindfulness meditation work for addiction, chances are you’re struggling with a substance abuse disorder. Treatment programs use mindfulness meditation because it can improve your mood, cognition, and ability to handle stress. Since recovery requires knowing how to cope with triggers and cravings, mindfulness meditation is an excellent way to improve your chances of recovering. To find out more about our substance abuse programs, or to discuss your treatment options, reach out to Promises Treatment Center today at [Direct.]