Home Health How Meditation and Substance Abuse Treatment Can Work Together

How Meditation and Substance Abuse Treatment Can Work Together

A girl meditating while sitting with her legs crossed on some rustic looking floor outside.

Substance abuse is an incredibly serious issue that frequently occurs regardless of age. This is why many people strive to find different techniques to treat it and finally answer one of the most commonly asked questions: can it truly be treated? The answer, of course, is yes – yes, it can. Although many substance abuse rehabilitation centers offer different kinds of professional help, from detoxification to counseling, some leading ones incorporate other kinds of unique practices. For example, many of them combine meditation and substance abuse treatment to create a program that will ensure the individual gets the perfect help they need to live the life they always wanted. So, how do these two seemingly different treatments work together?

Brings calmness

There is no better feeling than meditating and feeling the slow rush of calmness flood all over you. Such calmness cannot be compared to almost any other kind of treatment. And since an abnormal amount of stress often accompanies alcohol and drug withdrawals, something that calms their nerves is always welcome. However, with the decrease in stress, an improvement in mood will also be present. This makes your recovery go much more smoothly. Different kinds of meditation may also help reduce anxiety and depression, making the person feel more at peace than ever. (1)

Increases focus

By honestly acknowledging any thought that comes through a recovering addict’s mind, they’ll be able to finally get over the things they’ve been avoiding. This is why professionals often talk about dealing with issues and troublesome thoughts rather than constantly pushing them away. Once they genuinely overcome such thoughts through meditation, they will find focus. This state of mind will help them deal with any other issues that may arise when they push toward their goals. Whether that is complete recovery and/or improving the relationship with their loved ones, such a focus can be a driving force to everything they’ve always wanted.

Helps with insomnia

Many individuals that have struggled with substance abuse will most likely deal with insomnia at one stage or another. Insomnia can have multiple adverse effects on a human’s mental and physical state. Frequently insomnia may cause their work performance to worsen, their energy levels to plummet, and irritability to set in. Furthermore, it can cause them to have slower reaction times that could be detrimental during specific tasks, such as driving. Therefore, by meditating, many patients may be able to find the calm they need for their minds to slow down and let them rest.

Decreases the strength of unhealthy impulses

Over time substance abuse can significantly decrease gray matter in a person’s brain. This part of the brain is in charge of many mental processes, such as memory, learning, and impulse control. However, such individuals can build back this gray matter by practicing meditation! By getting their impulse control back, recovering addicts can fight back against this dangerous addiction and even win the fight. Yoga for addiction tends to be one type of meditation that works particularly well as an outlet for frustration while also assisting people in controlling their unhealthy impulses. After all, yoga is a tool often used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Such a practice aids people in recovery from obsessive, reactive behavior patterns by learning, memorizing, and adopting better, higher, and healthier thinking. 

Makes individuals more present

In general, meditation therapy enables people to find calm in the present. This exercise can help those who struggle to focus because of substance abuse triggers since it teaches them to be present in the current moment. Furthermore, meditation allows individuals to embrace the present, put the past into perspective, and make plans for the future. Since many individuals who have dealt with substance abuse may be more inclined to run from their troublesome past, speed through their recovery, and reach the other side, this sort of mindfulness can help them live their life day by day until reaching their destination. By truly being present, they will be able to enjoy the entire recovery process while also being grateful for every little step they may be making.

Increases creativity

Meditation and substance abuse treatment can unite and quiet a person’s mind while letting their soul speak. By acknowledging and understanding all of their thoughts, such individuals can channel their creativity and express themselves using different kinds of art forms. Some may paint, some may write poetry, while others may express themselves through dance. Whatever the case may be, meditation will help them find the courage and outlet they need to be creative.

Meditation and substance abuse treatment give hope

Meditation can help create a sense of hope in those who may have lost it along the way. By putting their thoughts and feelings into perspective, they may come to terms with the bad decisions they may have made. Such revelations will give an individual hope that better days are coming. And hope is one weapon that recovering addicts will need when dealing with their past mistakes and looking toward a brighter future. Interestingly enough, hope seems to be one of the hardest things to acquire while in recovery. That’s why individuals need to use all the available tools to get even a glimmer of hope. (2)

Reduces risk of relapse

One thing that every recovering addict fears is relapsing. After all, no one wants to return to where they started at the beginning of their recovery journey. Such a thing may break someone’s spirit and will to start again, leaving them right back where they have started. However, meditation and substance abuse treatment can help an individual reduce the chances of relapse. There are many ways that these treatments help achieve that. They can boost an individual’s confidence in themselves which can help them make better choices. Furthermore, meditation can also help make self-care a priority in their lives, which will deter them from ever relapsing. Paired with all of the other benefits of meditation we’ve mentioned, it is easy to see that relapse may not even seem like a genuine possibility to those who practice it.

Marianne Marson

Marianne Marson is a devoted secretary by day and a professional writer in her free time that enjoys talking about meditation and all of the benefits this practice can bring with it. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she resides with her husband and their two dogs.

Felicia Wilson


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