Mindfulness and Recovery
Mindfulness is an idea first conceived over 2,500 years ago.
So what is it exactly?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, it’s “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”
Researchers have long wondered – could mindfulness aid those in recovery from addiction.
Neuroscientists at the University of Utah are beginning to answer that question.
In a study just published in Science Advances,[i]
the most extensive neuroscience study on the topic, the “neurobiological” mechanisms by which mindfulness supports treatment for addiction, are explored.
The research team recruited 165 adults suffering from opioid use disorder to conduct the study. Participants were randomly placed in a group that received just psychotherapy (the control group) or in a group taught mindfulness meditation (called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) for this study. In a large clinical trial published in Science Advances, MORE reduced opioid misuse by 45%, double that of standard therapy alone).
Participants were evaluated for opioid use disorder for nine months after the treatment ended. Those in the MORE group saw a substantial reduction in opioid use compared to controls.
The research team believes reductions in opioid misuse result partly from increases in frontal midline theta brain waves that are common to those practicing mindfulness.
Other researchers have found that people with low theta waves often experience obsessive thoughts about themselves and have difficulty concentrating. They also tend to experience a loss of self-control because, in this state, the brain tends to shift into automatic (and sometimes destructive) habits.
The exciting news here is the findings point to a promising, inexpensive, and safe treatment option for those battling addiction. At Aware Recovery Care, we teach mindfulness to our clients – because it works!
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. And we come to you, regardless of where you live. Our unique in-home treatment model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Recovery Specialists to learn more.