A new study released by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) shows that “mindful meditation” can help those suffering from cocaine and meth addiction, as well as other stimulants.
The study found that those addicted to stimulants, like cocaine or meth, showed decreased levels of anxiety and depression, as well as the severity of those conditions when undertaking the “Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention” (MBRP) program, The Fix reported Tuesday.
“I developed an interest in using mindfulness to treat stimulant addiction,” Dr. Suzette Glasner, lead author of the study, told The Fix. “Because one of the most difficult hurdles a stimulant user often faces in early recovery is managing the sadness and anxiety that comes to the surface.”
MBRP differs from conventional meditation in that normal meditation focuses on “ultimate consciousness and concentration,” whereas mindful mediation is about “focusing on the present.”
The study found that those who partake in mindful meditation used stimulants at a lower rate than those who did not, especially those who suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, which are among the most common symptoms that stimulant addicts note.
“Mindfulness has been used effectively in helping non-addicts cope with depression and anxiety,” Glasner said. “More often than not, people with drug addiction also suffer from mental health problems.”
Glasner goes on to say mindful meditation could give addicts the skills needed to deal with the anxiety and depression associated with relapse.
“[R]ather than giving up because of that intolerable emotional discomfort in early recovery, they could develop the coping skills and confidence needed to motivate them to stay in treatment.”
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