To be clear, MORE provides integrated training in mindfulness, reappraisal, and savoring skills, and therefore other MBIs may or may not exert similar effects on restructuring the relative salience of natural and drug-related reward. However, other potential mechanisms of mindfulness as a treatment for addiction have been identified in the literature and are discussed below. Contemporary advances in addiction neuroscience have paralleled increasing interest in the ancient mental training practice of mindfulness meditation as a potential therapy for addiction. In the past decade, mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have been studied as a treatment for an array addictive behaviors, including drinking, smoking, opioid misuse, and use of illicit substances like cocaine and heroin. This article reviews current research evaluating MBIs as a treatment for addiction, with a focus on findings pertaining to clinical outcomes and biobehavioral mechanisms.

addiction meditation

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are a pervasive public health problem with deleterious consequences for individuals, families, and society. Furthermore, SUD intervention is complicated by the continuous possibility of relapse. Despite decades of research, SUD relapse rates remain high, underscoring the need for more effective treatments. Scientific findings indicate that SUDs are driven by dysregulation of neural processes underlying reward learning and executive functioning.

A neurocognitive perspective on the etiology of SUDs

Though mechanistic research on MBIs has begun to amass, there are few psychophysiological and neuroimaging studies of MBIs as a treatment for addiction. Thus little data exists to either support or refute the neural mechanistic models proposed in this section. The mental clarity that comes from the practice of meditation makes it easier for addicts to make healthy choices that support their recovery. Once meditation has rooted out the true source of your unhappiness, your life will transform on many levels — and highly conscious, mindful, addiction free living will become natural.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In summary, MBIs hold promise in treating addictive disorders while larger randomized controlled trials with longitudinal study designs are needed to confirm their utility.
  • 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.
  • Once meditation has rooted out the true source of your unhappiness, your life will transform on many levels — and highly conscious, mindful, addiction free living will become natural.

Studies indicate that MBIs reduce substance misuse and craving by modulating cognitive, affective, and psychophysiological processes integral to self-regulation and reward processing. This integrative review provides the basis for manifold recommendations regarding the next wave of research needed to firmly establish the efficacy of MBIs and elucidate the mechanistic pathways by which these therapies ameliorate addiction. Issues pertaining to MBI treatment optimization and sequencing, dissemination and implementation, dose–response relationships, and research rigor and reproducibility are discussed.

#7 — Meditation Fixes The Deep Rooted Reasons For Addiction

First-generation MBIs (ie, MBSR, MBCT) influenced the development of contemporary MBIs for addiction (ie, MBRP, MORE). Extant MBIs designed specifically to intervene in SUD and relapse prevention differ somewhat from first-generation MBIs in their emphasis, didactic content delivered, duration of home mindfulness practice, and style of debriefing. Modern MBIs for addiction typically provide standard focused attention and open monitoring meditations, as well as mindfulness exercises specifically tailored to address substance craving and substance use habits. Below, we discuss general clinical principles for using MBIs to intervene in SUD and prevent relapse.

addiction meditation

We try to make sense of a new situation based on our past knowledge and experience, behaving in a particular and often consistent way depending on the situation. Meditation can be a powerful, reflective tool for noticing our own behavior patterns. This kind of self-observation eventually allows us to name these behaviors and potentially free ourselves from them if they’re not good for us, expanding our ability to make choices that better serve us.

Clinical application of mindfulness intervention mechanisms for substance use disorder and relapse prevention

Anyone suffering from addiction knows about the “urge” — the overwhelming, tunnel-vision like, super-powerful impulse to satisfy your craving. As numerous EEG studies show, alpha and theta brainwaves dominate during a meditative state. What is the best way to train addiction meditation the brain into the super beneficial alpha-theta state without expensive biofeedback therapy? Incredibly, at a one year follow up, 77% of patients were completely drug free. In mantra meditation, you would select a particular word or phrase and repeat it.