Recent research has shown that Mindfulness can also help those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction to find lasting recovery. Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), an eight-week programme developed at the University of Washington, offers hope even for addictions with the lowest recovery rates, such as opiate and crack cocaine addiction.
Modelled after mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression and mindfulness-based stress reduction, MBRP tackles the very roots of addictive behaviour by targeting two of the main predictors of relapse: negative emotions and cravings. Many Rehabilitation Programmes, Treatment centres, prisons and Military Centres across the country have implemented the program.
There’s reason to believe that these benefits can be seen on the neurological level, too, as research has shown that mindfulness training affects areas of the brain associated with craving, negative affect, and relapse
“There’s a tremendous amount of trust and respect in this program. Where it’s really different is that we’re looking at the human condition and what it means to be human, much more than simply asking, “How are you going to not use drugs again?” That’s where it’s a radical shift. We’re all sitting in the same circle, we’re all swimming around in the same human mess, and we’re all struggling with things — whether or not we’re addicts. Maybe one person has particular tendencies that are manifesting in addiction, and another person can have the same basic makeup but their problem is different. It could be working too much or eating too much.”
Dr Sarah Bowen, Huffington Post