This large body of research suggests that addiction is best regarded as a cycle of compulsive substance use subserved by dysregulation in neural circuitry governing motivation and hedonic experience, habit behavior, and executive function [1]. Though findings from the basic science of addiction have yielded novel treatment targets that may inform the development of promising pharmacotherapies, the behavioral treatment development process often lags behind the ever-accelerating pace of mechanistic discovery. In that regard, the mainstays of behavioral addictions treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing, were developed decades ago and prior to the current understanding of addiction as informed by neuroscience.

If your mind drifts during the meditation, return your focus to the chosen sense. This form of biofeedback has become an essential aspect of recovery for many with SUD. The noninvasive procedure can help evaluate and manipulate brainwave activity to improve self-regulation among those in treatment. It normally requires six to eight sessions at first, then less frequent “tune-up” sessions as patients progress through treatment. Sustained substance use can have a major effect on a person’s nutritional status, so it is vital to address this likelihood during addiction treatment. Again, as with physical activity, it’s no surprise that meditation practice helps with recovery.

If you need to improve your focus and learn to identify body sensations, focused meditation might be suitable. Your treatment team can help you to select a type of meditation that will benefit your addiction recovery. When you incorporate meditation as a long-term habit in your aftercare, you will help your brain improve memory, control emotional responses, and rebuild connections in the reward center that have been damaged by drug abuse. Best of all, you can get the benefits of meditation anywhere and at any time. Meditation can help you to change negative and destructive patterns of behavior like substance abuse. The more you practice meditation, the more you will become mindful of your thoughts and actions, and the more confident you will feel of avoiding automatic behaviors.

  1. Seemingly originating in South and East Asia at around the same time, meditation’s earliest practitioners were followers of the Vedic and early Hindu schools as well as the Taoist monks of China.
  2. Meditation and mindfulness groups can help treatment center residents live in the moment and not feel so restless.
  3. Researchers found that this form of meditation may also help those with addictions to generate more positive emotions and contemplate their reasons for sober living.
  4. Terry Hurley is a retired educational professional and freelance writer with more than fifty years of experience.
  5. By aiding in the rebuilding of positive neural connections in the brain’s reward center, meditation can be a very effective secondary therapy in treating and alleviating the symptoms of substance abuse and withdrawal.

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. Results indicated that studies with samples of only men experienced larger reductions in levels of craving and stress, and significantly larger increases in levels of mindfulness, compared to studies with samples comprised only of women or studies with samples comprised of women and men. Although the authors did not include a formal search for “gray literature” related to MBI treatment of substance misuse, they noted that funnel plots and Egger’s test analyses suggested that their findings were not likely due to publication bias.

The Guided Meditation Script for Addiction Recovery

In spiritual meditation, you will use silence as your connection with the universe or God. This type of meditation often involves essential oils to intensify the the experience. The goal of breathing of meditation is calm the mind while developing inner peace. You close your eyes and sit in a comfortable position and then focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale.

More than a decade of research has demonstrated the promise of MBIs for intervening in SUDs and preventing relapse. 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.

Now, bring your focus to the present moment, and if you find your mind wandering, gently guide it back to your breath as your mental anchor. In this post, we’ll provide a guided meditation script specifically designed for addiction recovery. 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.

I’m In Recovery

You sit in a relaxed position with your eyes closed and take several relaxing deep breaths. The facilitator takes you through a scenario as you use your imagination to feel various states such as happiness, peace, connection, or growth. This type of meditation helps you to explore your inner feelings, thoughts, and reactions.

How Can Meditation Therapy Help Treat Substance Abuse?

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. Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, or MBRP, was created in 2010 at the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington. MBRP combines mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention skills to help individuals maintain sobriety, prevent relapse after having undergone initial SUDS treatment programs.

Breathing Meditation

Seemingly originating in South and East Asia at around the same time, meditation’s earliest practitioners were followers of the Vedic and early Hindu schools as well as the Taoist monks of China. Co-occurring conditions include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, personality disorders such as schizophrenia, and more. They just weren’t routinely tested for or identified until the last decade or so. Most types of meditation have three common components that are the key to their effectiveness. Mindworks goal is simple—we want to help you discover the transformative power of meditation so that you can live your best life. As a 501c3 nonprofit, your support enables us to bring accessible, authentic meditation guidance to a worldwide community.

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. Studies have shown that when we feel emotionally connected, we thrive mentally and physically.

Transcendental Meditation

He could interpret this lapse as the beginning of a downward spiral into his alcohol use habits, with attendant feelings of shame and hopelessness. Alternatively, he could use mindfulness to disengage from this negative emotional state, arrest the automatic impulse and concomitant experience of craving, and then re-commit himself to recovery by contacting his 12-Step fellowship sponsor. Thus, mindfulness may help to prevent demi lovato shows off new tattoo to celebrate sobriety relapse by increasing awareness of high-risk situations, supporting positive hedonic tone, and preventing a singular lapse from becoming a full-blown 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. In addition to relapse prevention, individuals with SUDs must also prepare for coping with a relapse.

Mindfulness practice may also reduce the risk of relapse, as it teaches the practitioner coping methods for discomfort such as drug cravings or the negative effects of substances. Two primary mindfulness practices are focused attention and open monitoring. For many art therapy for addiction years, scientists believed that the brain’s plasticity, that is, its ability to create new structures and learn, was limited after childhood. However, new research shows that we can alter the structure of the brain and reap the benefits well into adulthood.

In guided meditation, you will work with a trained meditation or mental health professional. When people with SUD hear that their addiction treatment plan may include four, five, six, or more distinct components, some get turned off by the idea. These days, an addiction treatment program that touts itself as “comprehensive” will likely include treatment for co-occurring conditions as standard operating procedure. But the platinum standard of addiction treatment involves more than those three pieces.

These questions can be answered by investigating how mindfulness training influences the time course of neural responses to drug cues. These findings supporting of the restructuring reward hypothesis were paralleled by preliminary functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evidence of the effects of MORE on nicotine dependent smokers. In a pilot study of MORE as a smoking cessation sober living recovery housing addiction alcoholic intervention [34], smokers viewed cigarette images during a cue-reactivity task, and then in a separate positive emotion regulation task, either viewed or savored images representing natural rewards. Furthermore, resting state functional connectivity between rACC and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) significantly increased in the MORE group relative to the comparison group.