Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention
Mindfulness is Key to a Wellness Lifestyle
Mindfulness meditation research shows that Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention is effective.
Study results find that mindfulness interrupts reactive behaviors and encourages thoughtful and skillful responses to relapse triggers.
Studies have also shown that alterations in brain and immune function are produced by mindfulness meditation.
With mindfulness practice, new neural networks are created in the brain. Mindfulness meditation is associated with structural changes in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing.
What is Mindfulness – and How Can It Help My Addiction Recovery?
Mindfulness is having the internal focus to be quietly aware of your own thoughts and impulses – without judgment and without acting on the impulses.
New Start Recovery Solutions uses mindfulness-based relapse prevention and mindfulness training as a part of our Northern California Evidence Based Integrated Substance Abuse Treatment program.
Mindfulness is very helpful in relapse prevention and addiction recovery. Long-term addiction recovery is dependent on discarding habitual behaviors to drink or drug – and engage in new sober activities.
With increased non-judgemental self-awareness – impulsive and habitual behaviors can decrease.
Mindfulness Lifestyle for Wellness
Once learned, Mindfulness costs nothing to practice.
Mindfulness can be done anywhere, at any time. It requires no setup. Mindfulness can be practiced while sitting, standing, walking, gazing at the ocean – the possibilities are endless.
One of the best and cheapest ways to become healthier and happier in general is through mindfulness practice.
Mark Williams is a professor of clinical psychology at Oxford; and an expert in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. He is the co-author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World.
According to Williams, after nine weeks of training – participants in a mindfulness program had “an increased sense of purpose and had fewer feelings of isolation and alienation, along with decreased symptoms of illness as diverse as headaches, chest pain, congestion and weakness.”
The Many Benefits of Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery and Relapse Prevention
Can learning to practice Mindfulness help individuals in recovery – and in relapse prevention? The answer is YES.
According to a practice review published in 2010 by the APA (American Psychological Association), What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness? – the practice of mindfulness has multiple benefits in mood regulation, stress reduction and self awareness.
Benefits of Mindfulness in Addiction Treatment and Relapse Prevention Include:
- Reduced Pain – A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience March 16, 2016 concluded that Mindfulness meditation reliably reduces pain. (Mindfulness-Meditation-Based Pain Relief Is Not Mediated by Endogenous Opioids)
- Reduced Rumination – Several studies have shown that mindfulness reduces obsessive thoughts.
- Stress reduction. Many studies show that practicing mindfulness reduces stress.
- Boosts to working memory. Improvements to working memory appear to be another benefit of mindfulness.
- Focus. Another study examined how mindfulness meditation affected participants’ ability to focus attention and suppress distracting information. Mindfulness meditation practice and self-reported mindfulness were correlated directly with cognitive flexibility and attentional functioning (Moore and Malinowski, 2009).
- Less Emotional Reactivity – Research also supports that mindfulness meditation decreases emotional reactivity. This results in being able to ‘catch’ habitual reactions before it becomes an action.
- More Cognitive Flexibility – Another line of research suggests that in addition to helping people become less reactive, mindfulness meditation may also provide greater cognitive flexibility to avoid habitual behaviors.
→ One study found that people who practice mindfulness meditation appear to develop the skill of self-observation, which neurologically disengages the automatic pathways that were created by prior learning and enables present-moment input to be integrated in a new way (Mindfulness Training and Neural Integration, Siegel, 2007a).
- Increased Emotional Resilience – Meditation also activates the brain region associated with more adaptive responses to stressful or negative situations (Cahn & Polich, 2006; Davidson et al., 2003). Activation of this region corresponds with faster recovery to baseline after being negatively provoked (Davis and Hayes, What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness).
- Relationship Satisfaction – Several studies find that a person’s ability to be mindful can help predict relationship satisfaction by increasing the ability to respond well to relationship stress and the skill in communicating one’s emotions to a partner.
USC Researchers Find Mindfulness is Key to Recovering from Substance Abuse
Investigators at USC believe mindfulness practice could represent the next major breakthrough in the treatment of substance use and major mental health issues.
USC researchers Jordan Davis and Nicholas Barr are testing mindfulness as a component of recovery from substance use, trauma and other serious challenges.
Initial studies with young adults show dramatic drops in stress, cravings, impulsivity and risk of relapse after practicing mindfulness.
“Mindfulness based relapse prevention (MBRP) has demonstrated efficacy in alleviating substance use, stress, and craving – but how MBRP works for marginalized young adults had not been investigated. Our results suggest that Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention is a useful and appropriate intervention for marginalized young adults.
Further, our results suggest that the effects of MBRP on long-term substance use outcomes may be partially explained by reduced stress.”
Northern California Evidence-Based Whole Person Addiction Recovery
New Start Recovery Solutions
Addiction Treatment Northern California, Bay Area and the US
2167 Montgomery Street
Oroville CA 95965
• Each patient is evaluated by New Start Recovery Solutions staff and receives a bio-psycho-social assessment; and an individualized treatment plan.
• We use Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention and other whole person evidence-based therapies; including CBT, yoga, tai chi and more.
• If you or your loved one is located in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Bay Area, Sacramento, Chico, Paradise, Redding, Martinez or other northern California area – and are dealing with a drug abuse or an alcohol use disorder – welcome to evidence-based whole person addiction treatment at New Start Recovery Solutions.