5 Ways to Use Mindfulness to Sustain Recovery

Recovery experts agree that there is a powerful link between stress and cocaine addiction. To put it another way, an inability to handle pressure increases the likelihood of alcohol and drug abuse, which is why stress is a common relapse trigger. For this reason, learning stress management techniques is a critical component of recovery and a focus of many treatment programs. Individuals who learn to cope with pressure by using healthy coping skills instead of drug abuse benefit from improved treatment outcomes. They also stay abstinent longer.

Meditation: A Sobriety Key

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) is a promising form of therapy for addictive disorders. It can help prevent relapse while laying the foundation for a more peaceful, productive life. Rooted in Buddhist tradition, MBSR is a proven scientific approach to treating chronic physical and mental health problems and has been used as an adjunct treatment since the late 1970s. Today, MBSR is also gaining popularity among recovery experts as a tool that lowers emotional reactivity and boosts resilience among individuals addicted to cocaine.

Mindfulness advocates tout meditation as a powerful antidote to the frenetic pace of modern life and a lifestyle well suited to sustaining recovery. Defined as the practice of paying attention to the present moment, mindfulness is characterized by paying focused intention to the “here and now” without labeling, judging or creating a narrative to explain the present moment. In MSBR, thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations are recognized as impermanent. Even emotions that evoke pain or distress are deemed worthy of acceptance and exploration—not suppression.

This concept is essential for cocaine addicts who are used to numbing painful feelings with drug and alcohol use. For instance, a person overcoming cocaine abuse can take the urge to use as a cue to meditate. Instead of escaping stress by getting high, he or she can identify the pressures at hand and take more mindful steps to managing them. Five particular ways mindfulness and meditation subdue cocaine cravings include the following:

  • It lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, thereby increasing blood flow to the area of the brain that is vital to self-control
  • It teaches individuals to observe cravings with curiosity instead of acting upon them destructively
  • It breaks the habit of responding to triggers automatically, and instead teaches addicts to pause, evaluate, and sidestep sobriety booby traps
  • It naturally generates pleasure hormones in the brain
  • It reconnects people with basic physical, spiritual and emotional needs, allowing them to nourish, strengthen and honor themselves on a holistic level

Sustaining recovery from cocaine addiction by meditating requires a significant paradigm shift for people who are used to the chaos and intensity of the drug culture. By attending a professional rehab center, you’ll get help to make the transition from people with expert training. Figuring out how to stay sober without help is an impossible task, but with professional help and education about potent tools such as MSBR, sustained recovery is possible.

Help for Cocaine Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with cocaine addiction, you are not alone. Admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can guide you to wellness. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call. Start your recovery today.

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