January 12, 2019

How meditation is helpful towards drug addiction and alcoholism

Drug addiction is a convoluted condition that takes a toll on millions of people by drawing them into illusionary happiness. The drugs, alcohol and other artificial happiness inducing substances get the mind to succumb to them. The reaction of such chemical compounds is very high on weak minds especially and this leads to severe addiction eventually.

The recovery methods include medication-assisted therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, support groups, and doctor’s assistance. One compatible non-medication method is Meditation which has also proved to aid and support in addiction recovery.

Meditation is a practice that relates to ancient times.  It is an exercise to the brain that essentially calms the mind and helps it to focus and concentrate. It is a strenuous exercise but when one tastes the ‘high’ of it, then Meditation will become a healthy addiction. The best thing about meditation is that it is not timed. One can meditate for minutes to hours and at any place without a designation.

Most of the individuals prefer meditating in the morning as it is proven to keep the entire day active. Nevertheless, for beginners or others who cannot practice in the morning, can allocate any part of the day for meditation. The most important part is to stick to that practice daily.

Research says – Meditation is 6 times more effective than the conventional drug treatment methods.

#1 Meditation induces ‘Natural high’ just like other substances.

Just as the most favorite high inducing substances like drugs, alcohol, coffee, chocolates, food etc cause one to get high and then crash. Researchers, have proved that the same thing happens with meditation in the brain of people with addiction.

The brain’s happiness center – the prefrontal cortex – gets super stimulated in the course of intoxication (the “fix”), and unbelievably under-active during withdrawal (the “crash”).

Meditation will activate and instruct your brain to be cheerful and “naturally high”. Unescorted by the need for alcohol, drugs, marijuana, cigarettes, or any other addictive substance to feel high. Adding up to the research, meditation also super stimulates the brain and the body with endorphins – pleasure inducing brain chemical. This super high is called the ‘meditator’s high’.

#2 Meditation evokes exact brainwaves that the Doctors employ to treat Addiction.

Meditation is the most practiced method to train and instruct the brain to get into a super beneficial alpha-theta state without costly biofeedback therapy.

According to a lot of EEG studies, the alpha and the theta brainwaves influence the brain throughout the meditative state. This, indeed, has helped a lot of researchers prove that meditation can help extremely in overcoming addiction and stay strong and healthy naturally.

#3 Meditation makes you Master of ‘Urge’

Anyone who is in the addictive state understands ‘urge’ – the craving, the desperate need, the overwhelming state – better. It clearly seems that addiction is ‘doing one’ instead of ‘one doing the addiction’.

Meditation is the key to loosen the artificial lock of these self-destructive impulses. It’s also the best way to attesting these impulses by the contrast of being controlled by them. Meditation works by pushing the mind to simply observe the waterfall of thoughts and accepting it more in a detached way instead of suppressing.

#4 Getting the “Fix” allows the Dopamine which Meditation does too, but Naturally.

When an addict gets the “fix”, large amounts of the pleasure chemical called the “dopamine” swarms into the brain regions. As opposed to this, dopamine levels are found to be extremely less at other times “the crash” – which forces the brain into seeking the assistance of drug’s temporary pleasure, i.e. Dopamine.

This study helped the researchers postulate that Meditation was a healthy and a natural Dopamine releasing method to counteract the effects of the drug. The Dopamine levels upsurged by 65% during meditation.

#5 Addictions mostly spring from Stress. Meditation makes you resistant to Stress.

When life puts one on a roller coaster ride, the person tends to shiver and starts seeking temporary reliefs. That temporary relief could be drugs, cigarettes, alcohol etc. Every human being has a threshold to welcome stress and when that goes beyond one’s enduring capabilities, the effects reverse and the stress will come out in the form of frequent mayhem state, anxiety, depression, insomnia, anger, etc. If one doesn’t deal normally with this problem, it is going to get difficult to deal with it later.

And hence, Meditation. It alters the brain and the central nervous system thus shifting the body ’s chemistry out of the survival mode. This way, the stress will be forced to stay away from your reach and already the brain would have got used to calming down in situations like these.


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