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Meditation as a Way Through Addiction

Meditation as a Way Through Addiction

Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs cause untold damage, but their users derive some kind of pleasure from them, or at least relief from the massive stress that they would otherwise feel. But by exposing their minds to a greater source of satisfaction, the natural tendency would be to head away from the addiction, because the greater satisfaction is more appealing. Support for this new view has existed for almost 20 years.

Going back to the early 1970s, studies in the United States and Europe have repeatedly shown that when addicted people are taught to meditate, their level of anxiety decreases, pulling down with it their use of alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs.

If the addiction is caught at an early stage, a large proportion of subjects will stop abusing substances altogether. This is a very important point, because the early stage is where most cures are possible.

By removing the distractions of stress, meditation renews the nervous system’s memory of balance. Repeated meditation, day after day, jogs the memory again and again, until in time the cells return to a normal state, exchanging their abnormal receptors for a more normal pattern. Once the pathways of intelligence are repaired, the cells will automatically select the body’s healthy signals, as once they automatically accepted the distorted ones. The circle broken by addiction has been repaired.

Adapted from Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, by Deepak Chopra, M.D. (Harmony Books, 1990).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

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81 comments

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2:55AM PST on Feb 6, 2015

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9:08AM PST on Jan 19, 2014

Good information - thank you.

3:18AM PDT on May 6, 2013

Great article. Thanks for sharing.

9:10AM PDT on May 4, 2013

thank you! looking for any help I can get.. I always thought meditation somehow could help with this.. now I have something specific I can try..

12:44AM PST on Feb 13, 2013

Thanks for sharing - I think this is something that all anti-drug/alcohol/cigarette institutions should add meditation as one of their daily tools to help addicts. I should even try using it to cut out coffee or sugar...!

8:28AM PST on Nov 30, 2012

Thank you.

7:53AM PST on Nov 30, 2012

Thanks, I should try this!

3:55AM PST on Nov 30, 2012

meditation should be given at school,each morning the school day should start off with a brief meditation!

3:35AM PST on Nov 30, 2012

Thank you

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