Relapse is common in early recovery from drug or alcohol abuse. Many long-term alcoholics and drug addicts fail the first time they attempt to quit. This is because the intense cravings experienced by substance abusers are actually due to changes in brain chemistry.

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Mindfulness meditation is the practice of placing one’s attention to their breathing, being anchored to the present. It brings awareness to one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. Hundreds of researchers have studied the benefits of mindfulness meditation in treating patients. Most commonly, it is prescribed for addiction to alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes.

Unfortunately, relapse is common in early recovery from drug or alcohol abuse. This is due to the intense cravings experienced by substance abusers. Cravings are caused by changes in brain chemistry that promote feelings of anxiety and depression. Because of this, the practices of mindfulness mediation can help to improve a recovering addict’s capacity to cope with the withdrawal and improve their likelihood of achieving sobriety.

The facts:

  • Over 2 million Americans in 2012 developed an opioid addiction after being prescribed pain relievers.
  • Excessive alcohol intake activates the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which increases feelings of relaxation and well-being. Then, in alcoholics who stop drinking, that heightened serotonin level suddenly drops, resulting in experiences of insomnia and depression.
  • The neurotransmitter most affected by drug abuse is dopamine.
  • The combination of abusing drugs and alcohol is typical among heroin addicts. This is a reason why relapse among heroin addicts is most common among substance abusers.

A primary therapy used to treat alcohol and drug addicts is Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Generally, this focuses on recognizing and changing addictive behaviors. Incorporating mindfulness meditation practices can help patients to experience better self-awareness and to cope with negative outcomes. Ultimately, this practice is only one part of this larger, widely used therapy method. To learn more about Cognitive Behavior Theraphy and mindfulness mediation visit the source content at the Choose Muse website.

At Hayver we emphasize our unique Circle of Support, which connects those in recovery with the people who support them the most. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about treatment options available to recovering addicts, contact info(at)