Can Mindfulness Help to Stop Substance Abuse and Addiction?

emily-blunt  Health & lifestyle blogger, Navishealth.

  WWS contributor


Aside from modern treatment options, the ancient practice of mindfulness can indeed also be key to restoring cognitive and emotional health, and overcoming addiction.



Addiction is a serious problem that affects many people from all over the globe—it affects all age groups, whether they are adolescents, adults, or older adults.

According to Addiction Center, almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment. Alcohol is the most widely-abused substance in the United State.

There are many reasons an individual gets dependent on and starts to abuse substances such as alcohol, opioids, and cocaine. Usually, the reason behind this is stress, depression, and anxiety. When a person suffers from stress or depression, they may seek relief in these substances.

In teenagers, a notable reason behind addiction is usually because of peer pressure from their circle of friends. If a teen is involved in a group where they are on the wrong path of abusing drugs, it’s easy for them to abuse drugs too and develop an addiction.

Although there are a lot of treatments for addiction, rehabilitation centers are the best places for a person to find professional help and all the drugs and substance abuse treatment options they need in one place. Treatment options for substance abuse and addiction include therapy, counseling, detoxification, and medication.

Other than those options, people are turning more towards alternative treatment options such as mindfulness - a type of meditation where you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.


Power of Mindfulness for Substance Abuse Treatment



Mindfulness is one of the oldest practices in the world that people use to develop awareness, clarity, and focus in their lives. Today, therapies based on mindfulness are increasingly common and also being used to effectively treat addiction.

Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your mental, emotional, and physical experience in the present situation. Because of that, the practice of mindfulness is gaining a lot of ground, including in the area of adolescent substance abuse treatment.

Of importance to note here is that mindfulness can be cultivated via meditation. By practicing mindfulness meditation, you can not only beat addiction, but also reap its many other benefits, including reducing stress, depression, and anxiety.

Because of its ability to improve your awareness and reduce stress and anxiety, mindfulness is a powerful, readily available option for substance abuse control and general wellness for everyone.

The overall aim of mindfulness is to synchronize the mind and body for improved health and well-being. Mindfulness activities like deep breathing, chanting mantras, walking, and even conscious running can result in wholesome awareness and control. 


Mindfulness Therapy for Addiction & Substance Abuse Control


Meditation is commonly characterized by a cross-legged seated posture, also known as the lotus pose, usually accompanied by deep and slow breathing. This is what usually comes to mind when most people think of meditation. You can use this posture to practice mindfulness.

Similar to yoga, mindfulness in the lotus posture greatly helps to reduce the feeling of depression, anxiety, and stress. It’s a wonderful way to calm yourself down.

When a person is calm and free from all of their stress and anxiety (even just for a short time), they are able to see and think through things more clearly and soberly. That can empower them with the clarity and fortitude they need to get back to productive life and beat their substance abuse and any other types of addiction.

Moreover, practicing mindfulness increases your attention and makes it possible to actively monitor your thoughts, emotions, and moods without letting them get out of control or letting them develop into uncontrollable urges. You feel at peace, in control, and in the moment.

With mindfulness therapy and controlled breathing, someone with difficulty attending to their daily activities can learn how to calm down, be in the moment, in control, and reign in their mental activity. 


Types of Mindfulness Practices and Their Benefits



Here’re some types of mindfulness practices and the benefits they offer you should consider:

  • Mindfulness meditation is among the most popular techniques of meditation that aims to focus concentration and awareness.
  • Zen meditation brings about calmness and encourages non-reactivity. It reinforces attention to the present moment, enabling practitioners to focus on the here and now and clear their past.
  • Guided meditation can stimulate someone to visualize peaceful mental images as someone facilitates it with guidance.
  • Transcendental meditation involves a silent mantra and teaches effortlessly as a means to achieve peace and reduce stress.

Considering the many benefits of meditation, it is clear that mindfulness can be a powerful tool for substance abuse management and relief, helping to fight symptoms of addiction like withdrawal, triggers, and cravings.

In a nutshell, some of the  benefits of meditation include:

  • Reduced depression and anxiety
  • Significantly reduced stress
  • Improved mood
  • Increased concentration
  • Increased attention and creativity
  • Reduced distraction
  • Decreased insomnia
  • Increases muscle strength and flexibility
  • Reduced risk of relapse to substance abuse

For those of us battling substance abuse and addiction, integrating the ancient practice of mindfulness can help you beat addition and take control of your life faster.

Combined with modern treatment options, mindfulness can be the key to regaining cognitive and emotional control, as well as restoring healthy habits and behaviors for lasting recovery and health. 

Emily Blunt is a health & lifestyle blogger who spends her days writing blogs for brands like She is also a passionate reader who loves to share quality content with all of her fans, friends, and followers. Follow Navishealth social profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn.