The destructive effects of drugs can have lifelong consequences on individuals who are suffering. These individuals turn to drugs as an escape mechanism to avoid life’s difficult moments and do not know how to cope in a positive and productive way. Struggling addicts do not know how to restore their mind, body, and soul from this brain disease alone. Through drug addiction treatment, recovering addicts will learn the skills needed to become aware of the thoughts associated with substance abuse so that they can take action towards lifelong abstinence.
Mindfulness, the state of becoming aware of the present moment, can help individuals struggling with drug addiction find solace in their own thoughts. During drug addiction treatment, individuals will learn to replace the use of drugs as a way to escape from difficult moments with mindfulness techniques. By practicing mindfulness, individuals will learn to cultivate self-compassion and acceptance during their sobriety journey.
What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.” Mindfulness is not about ignoring your feelings, it is about facing them with compassion and understanding.
Mindfulness is essentially a way to ease a busy mind that is filled with unproductive and negative thoughts. Mindfulness is all about embodying the present moment and recognizing the current thoughts and emotions associated with that moment. For individuals struggling with drug addiction, this can be helpful in facing the moment for what it is and establishing a productive method to find inner peace and strength instead of resorting to drugs to deal with that moment.
How Mindfulness Can Help Individuals During Drug Addiction Treatment
According to studies conducted on mindfulness intervention and substance abuse recovery from the National Institute of Mental Health, the following are the benefits of mindfulness in recovery:
1 – Mindfulness promotes awareness.– “Mindfulness meditation limits experiential avoidance by promoting nonjudgmental acceptance of moment-to-moment thoughts.” When individuals use drugs as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, trauma, depression, anxiety, or faltering relationships, they tend to avoid their current thoughts and emotions associated with these painful experiences. By practicing mindfulness and noticing these feelings, individuals can recognize their thoughts and emotions without judgement or shame.
Avoiding unwanted thoughts and behaviors only leads to negative actions. By becoming aware of the present state of mind, individuals can learn to establish a sense of heightened awareness and recognition of one’s own body when it becomes stressed, worried, angry, or hopeless. By recognizing the mental and physical state of experience, individuals can begin to accept their story and with assistance from the treatment team, can find solutions that promote self-care and lifelong recovery.
2 – Mindfulness encourages understanding and forgiveness.– If recovering addicts practice recognizing their thoughts instead of ignoring them, they will be better equipped to understand their causes of unhappiness, shame, or guilt that originally led to drug abuse. The recognition of one’s current emotional, mental, and physical state can help struggling individuals transform their negative thoughts into positive thoughts. By not pushing away their unwanted thoughts and emotions, they will learn to work with a therapist to find ways to respond to difficult moments with reflection instead of impulse.
Mindfulness cultivates self-compassion and allows individuals to forgive themselves for their wrongdoings. By becoming aware of the negative thoughts and current state of mind, individuals can learn to understand the depths of those thoughts and emotions which can lead to inner peace.
3 – Mindfulness enhances the power of positive choice.- According to research studies, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) helps to “interrupt the tendency to respond using maladaptive behaviors such as substance use.” By practicing Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), individuals will learn to face the thoughts and emotions associated with the cravings for the drug.
Once individuals identify their negative thoughts and emotions, they will be able to understand the sources of these difficult moments. By allowing time to process and understand a troubling moment, recovering addicts can begin to empower themselves with the choice to not respond reactively. By working with a therapist through counseling sessions, individuals will finally understand their difficult moments and will be taught the tools needed to replace those unwanted feelings with productive activities that nourish the mind, body, and soul. They will be able to respond to their cravings differently and can choose at that moment, to combat their experience in a positive way.
Choosing a Whole-Person Approach
By practicing mindfulness, recovering addicts will begin to feed their mind, body, and soul with love and compassion. Additionally, through a spiritual based approach, individuals will become connected to a community that welcomes everyone, despite their story or struggles. By following God and committing to a drug treatment program that emphasizes whole-person care, individuals struggling with substance abuse will find the path that leads to a healthy and meaningful life.
Covenant Hills Treatment Center offers a Christian-based approach to helping anyone suffering from an addiction fully recover and live the life of their dreams. Their diverse program options, individually-designed quality care, highly trained professional staff, and prestigious accreditations meets the needs of all individuals. Covenant Hills is equipped in helping anyone struggling with an addiction restore their spiritual foundation by restoring their connection with God.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, call Covenant Hills treatment specialists today at 800.662.2873 for a free and confidential assessment. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/mindfulness/definition