Meditation: A Tool for
Addiction Rehab & Recovery
Mindfulness Meditation in addiction treatment is more than just a good idea. It is proven to help the brain restore itself to optimal functioning and better client improvements while in treatment. Recent research and studies prove its value in brain function leading to measurable stress reduction and improved lengths of recovery.
Meditation Found to Heal Addiction Damage to Brain
In a NeuroReport published in 2005¹, researchers discovered that the more one practices meditation, the thicker the brain becomes in the mid-prefrontal cortex, an area damaged from substance abuse; and in the mid-insular region of the brain where the brain’s reward center is found. Meditation actually helps the way one thinks which then causes changes in the brain.
Even beginners who meditate as little as four hours a week can achieve and sustain a state of mindfulness that leads to a more peaceful and serene state of mind. The report states: “Regular practice of meditation is reported to produce changes in mental states…that persist beyond the time period of regular practice.” The report concludes with: “Our initial results suggest that mediation may be associated with structural changes in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing.”
Mindfulness Mediation Reduces Stress and Intrusive Thoughts of Addictive Patterns
In another study², two groups of alcoholics in long-‐term treatment were studied to determine the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation training. One group’s treatment plan included mindfulness meditation while the second group’s treatment plan did not. After ten weeks researchers found that those who practiced mindfulness mediation experienced significantly greater stress reduction and frequency of alcohol treated thought suppression than those who participated in a support group alone.
Modern Hyper Mode Living + Addiction = High Stress, Anxiety
The average adult in our society is bombarded with an incredible amount of data, whether from email, texting, gaming or other electronic inputs. Add a substance addiction to this modern day fact of life, and you have brain functions that are compromised by years of substance abuse coupled with a mind that is in hyper mode. This results in high levels of stress and anxiety and decrease in cognitive functions. Mindfulness meditation is a natural solution that improves the brain’s cognitive functions while decreasing symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Mindfulness Program
At Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, we teach our clients simple breath work early in their treatment experience. This helps immediately reduce symptoms of anxiety in the client. We also educate our clients regarding basic brain physiology and function so that they not only understand the devastating effects of addiction in their brains, but so they may also understand how meditation and mindfulness may restore their brain to normal functioning levels while quieting the busy mind. The result is a sense of calm, well-being and hope for a life free from their chemical addiction.
We have seen our clients improve in many ways during their course of treatment as the result of this approach. They are more present in group therapy, they interact better in the residential setting and they become less anxious and less interested in engaging in their addiction. In short: they get better, faster.
Mindfulness Works If You Work It
It goes without saying that clients must be well motivated for change and be willing to discipline themselves to engage in mindfulness meditation daily. Clients who are less mature may not appreciate the discipline required for mindfulness meditation to be effective. More mature clients appear more inclined to practice the techniques on their own and therefore improve more quickly.
If you, or a loved one, have a problem with substance abuse, we encourage you to seek out a treatment provider who incorporates brain function education and mindfulness mediation in their curriculum.
Addiction Rehab and Core Recovery at Arrowhead Lodge Recovery
Arrowhead Lodge Recovery provides long-term residential treatment for adult men who suffer from alcoholism and/or drug addiction as well as a co-occurring mental disorder, trauma, grief and loss. By including mindfulness meditation in our program, we help our clients experience firsthand the benefits described above.
Addiction Recovery Journey to Wholeness and Healing
At our mountain retreat facility near Prescott, Arizona – men find and strengthen inner peace, and experience tranquility.
We equip our clients with the depth and stability to handle all the curves and disappointments – as well as joys – in their regular daily lives once they leave Arrowhead Lodge Recovery.
Start your journey to alcohol recovery by contacting Arrowhead Lodge Recovery.
Your confidentiality is assured when you contact us.
Speak personally and privately with Executive Director Dr. Kenneth Chance at 888-654-2800.
¹ “Meditation Experience is Associated with Increased Cortical Thickness” NeuroReport 16:1893-‐1897, 2005, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.
² Research on Mindfulness and Substance Use, Mindfulness Relapse Prevention, Sara Bowen, Ph.D., Neha Chawla, Ph.D., Joel Grow, MS.
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