Considering the factors that impact addictive disorders, MBIs have been indicated to augment responsiveness to natural rewards in contrast to addiction-related cues as well as to increase top-down cognitive control, decrease subjective and physiological stress perception, and enhance positive affect. One study evaluated the impact of MORE versus a SG on the late positive potential (LPP) index of opioid cue-reactivity relative to reactivity to neutral cues in 135 individuals with chronic opioid use . Garland and colleagues found that for individuals in the SG, post-treatment LPP remained significantly higher in response to opioid cues compared to the neutral cues.
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. 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.
#7 — Meditation Fixes The Deep Rooted Reasons For Addiction
Minority participants did not have significant treatment differences in heavy drinking days but did have lower drug use days in the MBRP condition than control. Racial/ethnic group composition was a significant moderator with participants in groups that were more than half white exhibiting lower heavy drinking days in MBRP than control, whereas participants in groups that were more than half minority showed no treatment difference in heavy drinking days. This latter process is consistent with the ancient soteriological intention of mindfulness as a means of reducing craving by gaining insight into the true nature of the self as impermanent and interdependent —paralleling Bateson’s classical cybernetic model of addiction recovery .
Fortunately, there are now several scientifically-based mind-body medicine options for people in recovery. Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) is a technique that uses meditation as well as cognitive approaches to prevent relapse. It aims to cultivate awareness of cues and triggers so that one doesn’t instinctively turn to using drugs. It also helps people get comfortable sitting with unpleasant emotions and thoughts —their distress tolerance, a person’s ability to tolerate emotional addiction meditation discomfort — without automatically escaping by taking a drug. Improving distress tolerance is a common theme to many, if not all, approaches to addiction recovery, as a large part of the appeal of drug use is replacing a bad emotion with a good emotion — for example, by using a drug. Garland and colleagues also conducted a secondary data analysis to compare the effects of MORE on opioid attentional bias (AB) compared with a SG in 115 individuals who used prescription opioids .
Can Mindfulness Help Stop Substance Abuse?
You can repeat the mantra loudly or quietly, and the repetition allows you to focus on the environment around you.
- Future directions include additional large scale randomized controlled trials, investigation of the most suitable settings and protocols, examination of patient populations that may benefit most from MBIs, and dissemination and implementation research.
- Significant methodological limitations exist in most studies published to date, and it is unclear which persons with addictive disorders might benefit most from MM.
- In a small pilot study, it was found that smokers that underwent the MORE protocol showed significantly reduced smoking as well as increased positive affect.
- Meditation’s positive effect on stress and anxiety is especially important because both are frequent triggers for relapse.