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Mindfulness and Addiction Recovery


Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present, and not worrying about what people said about you earlier, or worrying about how something may turn out in the future. Power your own energy and focus into making that glimmer of light bigger – take back control and overpower the darkness. Addiction has the power to make you feel alone – but you’re not, there are people out there who can help you. So, meditating excessively means you’re failing to live in the moment. It’s all about balance – using meditation to help you find mental clarity is great, but don’t rely on it so much that you lose sight of everything else.

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. We practise reflection meditation to learn about ourselves and gain insight. With newfound insight about ourselves, we can make better choices moving forward. When we think of meditation traditionally, we think of clearing the mind, and perhaps focusing on our breathing. Finding Qualified Guidance  – Learning mindfulness is significantly easier with experienced teachers.

A neurocognitive perspective on the etiology of SUDs

Part of that growth comes from taking time to step back from the outside world, and to reflect on ourselves. 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. The purpose of this type of meditation is to develop inner peace and calm the mind. It is usually done while sitting in a comfortable position with eyes closed. As you breathe, concentrate on each breath as you inhale and exhale.

  • Psychological plus neurological evidence supporting meditation for better addiction outcomes is compelling and expanding.
  • There are also several methods that offer slightly different benefits.
  • The study investigated how effective the Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention program would be compared to a standard relapse-prevention program and a conventional 12-step program.
  • Ask yourself what could have prompted this feeling to come up, or what kind of belief you have about yourself or other people which would have caused the feeling to come up.
  • Feel the feelings you felt in that moment, and notice what feelings or thoughts come up.
  • Meditation is a valuable part of these services for interested clients.
  • Multiple studies have found mindful meditation can reduce these symptoms.

Evidence supporting the efficacy of MBIs as an intervention for SUDs and for relapse prevention is growing. A recent systematic review from Sancho et al16 included 54 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) targeting either substance or behavioral addictions. These findings supporting of the restructuring reward hypothesis were paralleled by preliminary functional meditation for addiction recovery magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evidence of the effects of MORE on nicotine dependent smokers. In a pilot study of MORE as a smoking cessation 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.


Meditation and Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery

As adaptive cognitive control is restored through mindfulness exercises, MBIs may increase functional connectivity between these top-down prefrontal networks and bottom-up limbic-striatal brain circuitry involved in reward processing and motivated behavior [22]. Increased connectivity between top-down and bottom-up brain networks implicated in addiction (e.g., frontostriatal circuitry) may provide the physiological substrate through which mindfulness de-automatizes addictive behavior. Figure 1 depicts hypothesized neural functional mechanisms of MBIs for addiction. 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.

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. According to writer and editor Kristina Ackerman of, relapse is exceptionally dangerous for substance abusers who have abstained from drug use for extended periods due to the loss of tolerance for the drug of abuse. She states, “substance abusers will often attempt to consume the same amount they were accustomed to consuming during the height of their abuse which could result in overdose and even death.”

Addiction Treatment Programs

This type of meditation helps you to achieve clarity and stillness as it calms the mind, reduces stress, and provides a deeper relaxation. It is important to find a mantra that you are comfortable with and that allows you to focus. If you or a loved one is struggling to stay sober, it is essential to seek professional help from a holistic rehabilitation program like Soba Recovery Center. At Soba, we are a certified luxury detox and drug rehab program. Our expert doctors will review your medical history, ask you a few questions about yourself, the substance you have been abusing, and how long you have been abusing it to help us come up with a personalized treatment plan. To learn more about our services and how we can best help you, please contact our recovery support specialists today!

meditation for addiction recovery

Studies show mindfulness practices calm areas like the amygdala and literally alter pathways to reduce reactivity and desires over time. Research shows yoga and meditation can reduce cravings for those battling addiction. If you live in Cincinnati, searching for Cincinnati drug rehab can connect you with localized care providing training on these mindfulness tools. Addiction recovery for most people comes with its own challenges. It can be stressful particularly if you are new to recovery as you will have to deal with constant cravings, cleaning up your addiction wreckage, and rebuilding relationships, all while trying to hang on to your new life in sobriety.



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