Mindfulness in Treatment Approaches for Addiction Underlying Mechanisms and Future Directions Current Addiction Reports
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. With this process, we choose a topic, remember a situation, ask a question, and notice the feelings that come up with it. We may be addicted to smoking, eating, drinking, or drugs; or we can be addicted subconsciously to acceptance, advancement, rejection, emotional love, etc. To make matters worse, government funding for addiction treatment programs has been slashed throughout the United States due to the pandemic’s national economic toll. Cutting the budgets for addiction treatment programs during the worst pandemic in 100 years is incomprehensible, inhumane, and shines an unignorable spotlight on American society’s ignorance, condemnation, and blatant disregard for those afflicted with addiction.
- In deprived smokers that were exposed to a stressor, a brief MBI decreased the anxiogenic stress reactivity as indicated by subjective measures, but a buffering effect on physiological stress responses could not be discovered .
- Another incredible example of the limitless power of meditation, especially for those who want to rid their lives of addiction.
- This article reviews current research evaluating MBIs as a treatment for addiction, with a focus on findings pertaining to clinical outcomes and biobehavioral mechanisms.
- At The Recovery Village, we offer a comprehensive addiction treatment program that includes holistic treatment options, including mindfulness meditation, recreational therapies, self-care activities, aftercare services and relapse prevention programs.
- Meditation is about being mindful, just tuning into your feelings and thoughts without slapping any labels on them.
Uncovering them through reflection meditation creates a new path for us to actively follow and shift those beliefs to ones that are more beneficial. One way that we can practise reflection meditation is by reviewing a situation that previously occurred. Replaying a situation in our mind from an internal third-party perspective helps us identify limiting beliefs or deep seeded beliefs we have about ourselves.
Sequencing of mindfulness as a part of multimodal treatment packages
By practicing mindfulness to savor everyday pleasant activities, an individual in recovery from a SUD can self-generate feelings of contentment, relaxation, and joy. Consider an individual with cocaine use disorder in full remission who practices mindful savoring when his grandchildren visit on the weekend. By using mindfulness to focus on the positive emotions and the sense of meaningfulness that emerge from spending time with his grandchildren, this individual may feel addiction meditation more satisfied and contented than he ever did when using substances. Consistent with the reward restructuring hypothesis, by practicing mindful savoring over time, the experience of natural reward may outweigh the drive to use drugs to obtain a sense of well-being – fortifying the individual against relapse. Given that SUDs are chronically-relapsing conditions,50,58 any intervention for substance use should acknowledge the risk of relapse and take steps for prevention.
- As people gain experience in recovery they still face the stresses of everyday life.
- Maynard et al.  examined the efficacy of MBIs in the treatment of gambling disorder and included seven studies in their meta-analysis.
- Part of that growth comes from taking time to step back from the outside world, and to reflect on ourselves.
- A 2005 study published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (Scott et al) looked at 121 patients going through an inpatient substance abuse program.
One year later, the mindfulness-based program proved to be more effective than the other two in reducing drinking and drug use. In pharmacological research, it is imperative to examine dose–response relationships to identify the optimal therapeutic dose. Dose–response curves can help to identify the dose needed to achieve a satisfactory clinical outcome while minimizing the side-effect profile of the drug. Although MBIs delivered in clinical settings appear to have few adverse effects , the costs and time required to deliver complex behavioral treatments like MBIs necessitate dose–response considerations to identify the minimal therapeutic dose. Null effects of MBIs observed in Stage II or III clinical trials might very well be qualified by extent of mindfulness practice, and thus mindfulness practice engagement should be tested as a treatment outcome moderator. Furthermore, responder analyses might reveal that individuals classified as non-responders are those who do not meet the minimal therapeutic dose of mindfulness skill practice whereas individuals classified as responders are those who surpass this minimal therapeutic dose of practice.
Current state of the field: a review of clinical outcomes of mindfulness-based treatments for addiction
Individuals who practice meditation gain insights into themselves that help them make decisions that support their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Recovering addicts who keep in touch with themselves through daily meditation are more likely to recognize early warning signs that they may be headed for relapse. They can then use their other recovery tools to keep destructive behavior at bay. Meditation can be an effective tool for those suffering from withdrawal symptoms from addiction. It is an excellent way to relax when you feel anxious or depressed, stabilize your mood, get more quality sleep, and take care of yourself. In the course of withdrawing and recovering, meditation can be very beneficial in helping you stay calm and focused.
The most prominent MBIs (i.e., MBRP, MORE, mindfulness training for smokers) for addiction were modeled after the first generation of mindfulness-based therapies like MBSR and MBCT in terms of their structure and format. MBIs for addiction tend to be multi-week interventions (approximately 8 weeks in duration) usually delivered in a group therapy format. Each week, participants are guided by a trained clinician in various mindfulness practices, including mindful breathing and body scan meditations.
Additional Benefits of Reflection Meditation:
The prefrontal cortex controls our decision making, our self-awareness, and our ability to pay attention. Another recent physiological study revealed that MBRP in SUD patients led to higher cardiac vagal control reflected by higher heart rate variability (HRV) and lower anxiogenic stress reactivity . In deprived smokers that were exposed to a stressor, a brief MBI decreased the anxiogenic stress reactivity as indicated by subjective measures, but a buffering effect on physiological stress responses could not be discovered . Although mindful meditation cannot cure cancer, studies have found it helps lung cancer and breast cancer patients deal with pain, stress, low self-esteem and fatigue. 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.