While there are several different forms of meditation out there, one in particular is establishing a good name in the addiction recovery
field. Vipassana meditation works by training the mind to observe without instinctively reacting. Practitioners learn how to see things as they truly are and embrace the idea of living in the moment. This principal thought process works well during drug and alcohol detox
, especially when the goal includes focusing on day-by-day sobriety.
Vipassana Meditation and Addiction
Vipassana is a type of insight meditation that aims to retrain harmful thought patterns - a problem that most addicts struggle with during the detox process
. And that's not all; recovering addicts also experience natural stress-alleviation and a decrease in the severity of addiction-related triggers or cues by practicing Vipassana.
Insight meditation has been associated with lowered relapse rates and fewer psychiatric complications during addiction treatment.
Insight meditation has been associated with lowered relapse rates and fewer psychiatric complications during addiction treatment. In fact, one study
established the effects of prayer and meditation on the brain’s dopamine levels, servicing the mind and body by creating a sense of calm throughout the brain’s pathways – an effect formerly produced by drug use.
conducted in 2007 showed that individuals who participated in meditative practices during detox gained better coping skills.
Vipassana Behind Bars
In order to better understand the ways in which this special form of meditation benefit recovering addicts, a four-year Vipassana study
was conducted by the University of Washington. The research was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, while the results were published in American Jails Magazine in 2003.
A group of UW researchers closely monitored a select number of drug-addicted prisoners in Washington State’s King County North Rehabilitation Facility. According to their data, drug-addicted prisoners who took up Vipassana meditation were 20 percent less likely to use drugs and commit crimes upon release. And the benefits didn't stop there. Inmates practicing Vipassana "used significantly less marijuana
, crack, and powder cocaine
in the three months following release."
A Chili Pepper's Detox Tool
Plenty of recovering addicts sing the praises of Vipassana meditation. One of the most outspoken Vipassana fans is John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Pepper’s fame. In a 2006 interview
with Guitar World
, the talented musician spoke openly about his long struggle with drugs and his surprising success with this specific form of meditation.
"It stops your mind from interrupting all the time and getting in the way…it's also created an open space inside me; there's this light that shines through that wasn't there before," he said.
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