Mindfulness Training is rapidly changing the standards of addiction treatment. It has become a go-to therapy for a variety of psychological disorders. Recent research has shown mindfulness training to be highly effective in combating addictions to opioids, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine.
Many treatment centers incorporated meditation in their therapeutic programs even before there was research to support it. Before science took a stance, it was clear that mindfulness techniques help people connect to their bodies’ internal regulation systems. This can help clients combat the psychological difficulties that are often numbed by the use of illicit substances.
Mindfulness Training is a crucial piece of relapse prevention. The ever-present dangers for recovering clients are encounters with triggers that could set off relapse. Mindfulness Training targets the roots of addictive behavior by focusing on the two main predictors of relapse – negative emotions and cravings.
Mindfulness Training has been shown to positively alter areas of the brain associated with cravings, negative affect, and relapse. The body is a machine with an internal calibration system that must be monitored and maintained. Should that system get out of whack, a person is more likely to succumb to relapse. Mindfulness Training connects people to their intuitive ability to recognize and respond when their system needs recalibration. After recognizing their needs, they are better able to apply strategies to keep them on a healthy and productive path.