Practicing Mindfulness to Prevent Drug Addiction Relapses

One of the most gnawing complaints of drug rehabilitation centers is frequent cases of relapse in addicts. Disgruntled addicts, despite spending a hefty sum on de-addiction, often get back to the old habit in no time. Drug rehabilitation centers are making consistent efforts to help addicts prevent relapses and lead a normal life. Practicing mindfulness is one among numerous methods used to tackle relapse in addicts. Laden with the treasure of ancient wisdom and philosophies, mindful practices are being acclaimed the world over because of their holistic effects on the human physiology and psyche. Numerous studies have found that the…

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One of the most gnawing complaints of drug rehabilitation centers is frequent cases of relapse in addicts. Disgruntled addicts, despite spending a hefty sum on de-addiction, often get back to the old habit in no time. Drug rehabilitation centers are making consistent efforts to help addicts prevent relapses and lead a normal life. Practicing mindfulness is one among numerous methods used to tackle relapse in addicts.

Laden with the treasure of ancient wisdom and philosophies, mindful practices are being acclaimed the world over because of their holistic effects on the human physiology and psyche.

Numerous studies have found that the benefits of practicing mindfulness techniques manifest on the neurological level, impacting areas of the brain associated with craving, negative feelings and relapse.

Based on the benefits of mindful practices, the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington has developed a program, known as Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), for individuals recovering from addictive behaviors. This is somewhat similar to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy offered to patients with depression. Several drug rehabilitation centers have already incorporated these practices into their treatment methods.

The mindful practices offered through MBRP are designed to help people pause, observe present experiences and be aware of various life choices they make every moment. Participants also learn to respond in ways that make them happy, rather than react in ways that are detrimental to their health and happiness. These practices can be highly effective in gaining freedom from ingrained and often hazardous habits and training minds to help reverse problematic situations.

Benefits of mindful practices

    1. Practicing mindfulness techniques enhances awareness about the surroundings and situations in a person’s life. One becomes observant and sees personal triggers and habitual reactions without any attachment to the outcome. These can help eliminate the seemingly automatic process of harmful reactions and habits.

 

    1. These practices also change one’s equation with discomfort and help in becoming aware of challenging emotional and physical experiences and responding to them in a mature and responsible way. In short, they teach how to handle inner turmoil or emotional upheavals.

 

  1. Practicing mindfulness also helps practitioners reflect good thoughts and be non-judgmental and compassionate toward self.

How it benefits addicts in a rehab

The sole aim of mindfulness techniques is to raise the awareness level in a person. For instance, whenever an addict feels low or depressed, he or she immediately reaches out to the substance of abuse for an instant relief or gratification. But with a heightened awareness, the person sees the craving from a detached point of view, and it is no longer an automated response. This breaking of a destructive habit is the beginning of a journey toward complete recovery and sobriety.

 

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