Mindfulness could be a key to recovering from substance abuse

From USC News:

Mindfulness might offer more than relief from daily stress. Research now suggests it can boost recovery from addiction and trauma. Investigators at USC believe the contemplative practice could represent the next major breakthrough in the treatment of substance use and major mental health issues. “It’s a very different way of doing therapy and being in therapy,” said Jordan Davis, an assistant professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. “But it’s like the Wild West right now. We just don’t know that much yet.” That is slowly changing, thanks in part to the work of Davis and other experts at USC. Results from their recent studies are encouraging. In one project at an inpatient drug treatment program for young adults, Davis found that completing just eight weeks of mindfulness training led to drops in stress and cravings — and improved chances of staying clean — even six months later. Now he will put those initial findings to the test. Davis is recruiting participants for a two-year study that will examine whether mindfulness has benefits for young people who have experienced trauma and are receiving outpatient treatment for drug use and mental health challenges. His team expects it will help participants control their urges and emotions. “So much of the internal narrative around cravings is not being able to handle it,” said Nicholas Barr, the study’s head clinician and a postdoctoral scholar at USC. “What you get from mindfulness is the realization that you can deal with this, you can tolerate this.”…

To read more of this article by Eric Lindberg for USC News, click here!

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