The use of mindfulness in addictions

Drug addiction is a current problem that affects millions of people, so it makes sense to invest a lot in finding ways to reduce it through various types of therapy.

If there is no magic cure that can eliminate the problem in a very short time and work optimally and effectively in all patients, promising forms of therapeutic intervention emerge that do not have the disadvantage. side effects, typical of the use of psychotropic drugs.

here we’ll see how mindfulness, or mindfulness, can help you deal with addictions with and without substance., And how they have a beneficial effect on the psychological state of patients with substance abuse problems.

    What is mindfulness?

    First, let’s see what mindfulness is, commonly referred to by its English name: mindfulness. It is a set of practices based on Vipassana meditation that has been developed over many years of scientific research by specialists in physical and mental health.

    In the early days of its existence (in the 1970s), the leading researcher on the subject, Jon Kabat-Zinn, used mindfulness primarily to help people who needed help regulating their stress levels, but over time it became clear. this mindfulness is useful for dealing with other types of problems, such as drug addiction.

    So mindfulness differs from what we normally hear by meditation in that it is not a practice related to religion or mysticism (Or what is the same, it is secular in nature), in which it has therapeutic purposes that can be objectively measured, and in which it has been designed so that it is systematized and that everyone does these exercises following the same guidelines, it is easy to study, thanks to science, the impact this has on the well-being of people.

    Mindfulness is becoming more and more popular because it has several benefits that we will see later, and that makes In recent years, psychologists and health professionals in general have integrated this tool into their repertoire.. This is why there is today a very active line of research dedicated to studying the benefits of mindfulness in the treatment of people with anxiety, although it is not the only therapeutic application of mindfulness. .

      Mindfulness applied to addictions

      Now that we’ve seen even if it’s above what mindfulness is, let’s take a look at the different ways it helps fight addictions.

      1. It helps to not give in to impulses

      One of the hallmarks of mindfulness is that it affects a person’s mastery of attentional focus, that is, it helps them choose the type of stimuli or ideas and sensations that she needs to focus on at all times.

      this is very important in resisting the temptation to use drugs or fall into the addictive behavior (For example, betting money), and allows you to look beyond these impulses and think more about medium-term goals that include taking care of your own health.

      2. Helps focus on projects

      When it comes to regaining good health and taking control of their lives, people with drug addiction find powerful allies in hobbies that allow them to step away from the routines that led them to fall. again and again in the trap.

      Mindfulness, combined with the existence of such hobbies or personal projects, allows you to focus on something that motivates the person and which makes it easier to start the process of getting out of addiction to that harmful substance or habit. This helps him to adopt a relatively neutral point of view in which he does not easily give in to cramps when you know that they will be harmful.

      3. It allows you to keep anxiety under control

      Many people who have developed one or more addictions suffer greatly from anxiety caused by abstinence.. Mindfulness also alleviates this discomfort, as it is designed, among other things, to regulate the state of activation of the nervous system.

      Are you interested in learning to practice mindfulness?

      If you think it’s time to harness the potential of mindfulness to overcome addictions and want to jump into the practice or hone what you already know, we invite you to come to the Madrid Mindfulness Center, Reference entity in Madrid in terms of Full Care and linked to the IPSIA Psychology Therapy Center.

      We offer both courses and professional psychological intervention, so that you can improve your quality of life from habits and practices that you can resort to on a daily basis, in a wide variety of situations. You can consult our contact details by clicking here.

      Bibliographical references:

      • American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
      • Garland, EL and Howard, MO (2018). Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment: Current State of the Field and Anticipation of the Next Wave of Research. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2018; 13 (1): 14.
      • Kauer, JA; RC Malenka (2007). Synaptic plasticity and addiction. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 8 (11): pages 844 to 58.
      • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2009). Mindfulness on a daily basis. Wherever you go, you are here. Barcelona: Paidós.

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