Meditation is a powerful therapy that has shown effectiveness in alleviating the symptoms of different health conditions such as anxiety and stress. The various benefits meditation offers have made it an essential part of drug and alcohol addiction treatment as a form of therapy. Drug substance and alcohol addiction are problems that continue to affect millions of people around the world. Addiction recovery requires a comprehensive treatment plan, including psychological counseling, talk therapy, support groups, and meditation to prevent possible relapses. Meditation has proven to be very beneficial in addiction recovery.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a practice that started a long time ago, and people used to do it to boost their spiritual connection. Meditation involves sitting in a quiet place, relaxing the mind, and concentrating on a specific thought or idea. Meditating aims to synchronize the body and the mind to enhance mental well-being and, ultimately, the quality of life. When you meditate, you allow your distractions and thoughts to pass without assessing them to promote a sense of calmness and relaxation. It involves deep and purposeful breathing that increases connection and awareness. Everyone can practice meditation regardless of their spiritual beliefs, and sometimes it is done as a group.
Benefits of meditation in addiction rehabilitation
Meditation is an effective part of residential rehabilitation treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. It is used as an additional therapy to promote addiction recovery. The idea behind it is that the individuals being treated can practice meditation even after the treatment to help them avoid potential relapse and stay sober for the rest of their lives.
Reduces the risks of relapses
Several kinds of research have supported meditation as an effective technique during drug addiction treatment. A study found that individuals who are taught how to meditate during their addiction treatment had more positive outcomes after the treatment and lower levels of relapse than individuals who only underwent conventional addiction treatment therapy. When meditation is incorporated in a setting that involves physical therapy, it is even more effective. It relieves the symptoms of withdrawal, combats triggers and cravings.
Alleviates the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome
In individuals experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability, etc., meditation helps calm the nervous system and helps ground the individual. A calm nervous system is necessary to enhance sleep and stabilize moods. Those suffering from emotionally imbalanced thought also learn how to relax and observe thoughts without attachments. That helps them regain control over impulses and reduce the risks of a relapse.
Boosts brain performance
Meditation alters the brainwaves, which contributes to cortisol reduction and increased psychological function. Increased meditation improves the performance of the brain’s frontal cortex, which regulates thinking and planning. It also affects the amygdala, alleviating fear and activating the anterior cingulate cortex, which regulates motor control and boosts motivation. Other benefits of meditation in addiction recovery include:
- Boosts concentration.
- Reduces stress, depression, and anxiety.
- Improves attention.
- Boosts creativity.
- It promotes emotional stability.
- Reduces the risks of relapses.
- It helps the individual deal with sleep problems.
- Improves academic concentration.
- Reduces brain activity.
- Alleviates post-acute withdrawal symptoms.
- Increases focus and flexibility.
The bottom line
Meditation is a very effective part of addiction treatment and recovery. Training recovering addicts to meditate reduces the risks of relapses by allowing the individual to practice mindfulness and calmness before making decisions.