Addiction can cause fatal consequences. In fact, drug overdoses have recently become the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, there was a 22% increase in the number of fatal overdoses, while fatal heroin overdoses have increased by more than 400% since 2010. During treatment, rehabs offer mindfulness therapy to help improve your cognition and insight. But can mindfulness help with drug cravings? A mindfulness training program in NJ can reduce stress and improve your self-esteem.
An outpatient rehab center is the most effective way to recover from addiction, but most people who suffer from a substance abuse disorder don’t seek it. What makes addiction so difficult to conquer without help is that it is a chronic condition, meaning that you must learn how to manage your symptoms throughout your life.
Between 40% and 60% of all people who seek treatment from a substance abuse problem relapse within their first year of recovery, meaning that many people need multiple treatment attempts in order to fully recover. Changes to your brain’s pleasure and reward center cause you to experience intense cravings whenever you don’t use, which makes it difficult to avoid a relapse.
How Addiction Works
Addiction is a progressive disease that can impair your judgment, impact your emotions, and damage your physical health, but can mindfulness help with drug cravings and set you on the path to recovery? Drugs and alcohol are neurotransmitter inhibitors and cause your brain to release more neurotransmitters than it should. When this happens, your brain associates your substance of choice with pleasure and rewards your drug and alcohol use and punishes your abstinence by controlling the release of neurotransmitters.
Eventually, your brain can become completely dependent on your substance of choice in order to release neurotransmitters. When you don’t use it, you experience intense cravings, especially when you are exposed to people, places, or things that remind you of the substance. These cravings are caused by the sudden depletion of pleasurable neurotransmitters. If you’re not sure how to start recovering but are looking to regain a sense of self, something to ask yourself is “can mindfulness help with drug cravings?”
Drugs and alcohol can also cause physical dependence, meaning that you can deal with troubling and painful withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using. Withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Seizures, tremors, and shakes
- Exhaustion, insomnia, and mood swings
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps
- Aches and pains
Can Mindfulness Help With Drug Cravings?
So, can mindfulness help with drug cravings? Using mindfulness to prevent relapse is a highly effective coping strategy. During substance abuse treatment, using mindfulness to prevent relapse involves gaining better self-awareness.
Mindfulness requires you to focus on your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Mindfulness can help improve your concentration, cognition, and mood. While mindfulness is an effective way to manage stress, it is an excellent tool during addiction recovery. Learning how to identify and control your emotions can help decrease your drug cravings.
Reaching Out For Help Today
If you are wondering how can mindfulness help with drug cravings, the simple answer is that it can decrease stress and improve your ability to problem solve, which reduces your risk of relapsing. If you would like to learn more about addiction or would like to review your treatment options, call us today at 855.259.1624.