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International Drug Awareness Day: Meditation For Addiction Recovery

Today is International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and every year on June 26th, the United Nations commemorates this day to highlight the danger of drug use and their illegal trade.

It also spreads awareness and provides educational material to teachers and public officials all over the world to help spread the message about the harmful effects of drugs. In this article, we will be discussing whether meditation can cure drug addiction.

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking theme for 2018 is 'Listen First - Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe'.

Meditation provides many beneficial results for mental health challenges. It is beneficial in treating anxiety, depression, and age-related decline.

Meditation is helpful in the recovery from addiction and in preventing relapse.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is an ancient practice that dates back to thousands of years. The purpose of it is to enhance spiritual connection and enlightenment and it basically involves quieting the mind and concentrating on a specific thought or idea.

Meditation can be done at any time of the day and anyone can practice it, regardless of spiritual or religious beliefs.

The Connection Of Meditation With Rehab

Meditation and mindfulness strengthen connections in the brain. These also expand pathways in the brain which are frequently used. According to studies, the benefits of meditation and mindfulness are not only limited to the brain, it also reduces blood pressure, lowers the risk of stroke, strengthens the immune system, minimizes pain sensitivity, and enhances cognitive function.

Many alcohol and drug addiction treatment programs have included meditation as a part of their treatment plan because it provides powerful support for addicts in recovering quickly.

What Does The Research Say?

Researchers say that meditation is an effective addiction recovery technique. According to one study, drug users who were recovering, stated that meditation was one of the best therapy tools as it helped them to recover from their addiction. Researchers found that drug users who practiced meditation had lower levels of relapse and more positive outcomes after release.

Research also states that meditation along with physical exercise is helpful in curing alcoholism and drug addiction.

How Does Meditation Help With Addiction?

The American Journal of Psychiatry has stated that there is a correlation between successful addiction rehabilitation and meditation. Detaching yourself from thoughts and observing and calming your inner self is always at the heart of every meditation philosophy.

Meditation teaches a person to put time and distance between themselves and their impulses. This pause between the urge and action actually encourages the brain to rewire and helps establish new behaviours. Drug addicts learn how to calm and soothe themselves without resorting to substance abuse.

Meditation aids the addicted mind in the following ways:

  • A person notices cravings and can address them before they become overwhelming.

Meditation helps a person to observe, experience, and detach from cravings without having to act on them.

  • It also strengthens a person's ability to focus their attention, making it easier to let go of cravings.
  • Meditation can also make you to handles stress in a better way, making drug addicts less likely to turn to addictive substances as a coping tool in the first place.
  • Studies have also shown that meditation can help in cigarette and substance abuse addiction and relapse.

    How Does Meditation Work?

    Meditation is very effective for drug addicts as it rewires critical pathways in the brain. People who meditate regularly for 30 minutes have been shown to have an increase in grey matter in the parts of the brain associated with learning, self-awareness, memory, and introspection.

    By changing how the brain processes self-awareness, anxiety, and stress, it can reasonably evaluate everyday situations without the help of drugs and alcohol.

    Drug addicts may slow down their breathing and calm their nerves when they are feeling anxious and stressed or the urge towards drugs. This aids in reducing the negative feelings that force them towards alcohol and drugs. Meditation can also help addicts to connect in spiritual ways during recovery.

    The Variations Of Meditation

    The two variations of meditation are meditative exercise and mindfulness meditation.

    • Meditative exercise - This kind of practice combines meditation with physical exercise. In this type of exercise, a person moves through a series of poses designed to increase flexibility and strength. Meditative exercise improves a drug addict's self-confidence and well-being.
    • Mindfulness meditation - This type of meditation requires a person to examine their feelings, thoughts, and experiences in a non-judgemental way.

    Meditation for drug addiction and recovery is easy to learn and can be done anywhere. If you are trying to recover from alcoholism or drug addiction, meditation can be an excellent medicine for your treatment program.

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    Story first published: Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 12:24 [IST]
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