The importance of meditation to recovering alcoholics and addicts

The importance of meditation to recovering alcoholics and addicts

In order to be successful in your recovery from drugs and alcohol there are a lot of different things we are encouraged to do differently with our lives. We are suggested to attend 12-step meetings, be honest, live our lives doing the next right thing, clean up the wreckage of our past and continue to be of service to others who may be struggling. When you think about it, they really are simple guidelines to living a better life. At Banyan treatment we also believe that meditation is a huge part of the recovery process.

When we get sober it isn’t just about getting the drugs and alcohol out of our bodies. We have to work on recovery for our mind, body and spirit. Meditation is believed to be a key part of getting sober and staying sober. Study shows that meditation silences the mind while decreasing cravings in addicts. Today, there are numerous clinical trials being directed that are concentrated on meditation, mindfulness and visualization to help addicts fight the emotional and spiritual side of addiction.

Through neuro feedback, scientists are measuring the effects of meditation on the minds of addicts, in real time. According to the researchers at University of Massachusetts Medical School, it is believed that active meditation essentially deactivates the part of the brain (the posterior cingulate cortex) in control of addiction.

The Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute is leading several initiatives to acquire more information about how the brain shifts with addiction and how to help addicts overcome addiction. They presently are reviewing brain movement and chemistry at numerous points in the addiction journey. It has been found by a recent study that the part of the human brain that is in charge of the “craving” response, essentially is altered during an addiction. Scientists now believe that the brain is revamped to believe a “craving” is a factual physical necessity. As an example, smokers observed carefully by MRI’s shows brain activity are identical whether craving a cigarette or when hungry; and the brain will not stop until that need has been fulfilled.

Addiction physically deteriorates some connections in the brain – mainly from the anterior cingulate to the frontal cortex, new studies have pointed out. The outcome is withdrawal symptoms, some quite intense, which can rapidly spiral to relapse. While research is not yet to the point where they can stop relapse or addiction from taking hold, it does point out that any effective addiction treatment program must take the brain into consideration.

This is where meditation comes in and can be super beneficial. Nothing is better than being able to quiet the mind and meditation can do that. Meditation is known as one of the most effective ways to control stress. It gives the mind, body, and spirit moments of stillness and peace. It supports the brain in retraining itself and generating new passageways for relaxation and pleasure that are separate from drugs and alcohol. Most of the time, persons start abusing alcohol or drugs as a way to self-medicate a physical pain or emotional distress such as grief, depression or trauma. Through mindful meditative exercise, therapy, yoga or other similar activities, individuals can absorb how to harness the power and energy that lives inside of us all.

Countless recovering addicts also find that when in the middle of a physical or emotional craving for drugs or alcohol, that they can silence their minds, unwind, and reengage with what is most imperative, continuing to be alcohol and substance free. Meditation is influential in helping to heal emotionally and mentally permitting you to live strong without being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Meditation can also help to improve your immune system’s reaction and along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, can help to reeducate your mind.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance abuse and needs help, please call toll free 1-844-422-6926 today.

Source:

http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/07/addiction-brain

Alyssa
Alyssa
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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