Mindfulness and Recovery from Street Drugs

Teen enjoying time with Dad

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Many people who have struggled with an addiction to street drugs may question their ability successfully maintain long-term recovery. Having the support of a treatment center may be particularly helpful in the initial phases of recovery, especially when there is a strong support system in place to help a person maintain abstinence and sobriety from street drug use.

Even when a recovering addict has effectively withdrawn from the street drug being abused, has developed healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with overwhelming emotions, and has gained insight into their using behaviors, the choice to use street drugs once again will always be there.

Growing Skills to Stay in Recovery

Refining, developing and growing in skills as an individual can help fortify recovery efforts from street drug addiction, making it possible to sustain recovery for the long term. One approach that a recovering addict might consider integrating into his or her daily life to support their recovery is the practice of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that can be defined as a mental state that is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting one’s thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Some recovering addicts may have had aspects of mindfulness training as part of their treatment while others may not be sure about how this approach works.

Urges Happen – It’s How You React to Them That Matters

Healthy teen girl walking with a bike in summerThe main take away point is to understand that as a recovering addict, you may continue to experience urges to use street drugs as you did in your addiction. This is not something to fear or be frustrated with but rather to apply an attitude of mindfulness towards.

While urges may diminish over time or resurface unexpectedly, being aware and conscious about your thoughts, feelings, emotions and behavioral tendencies in a non-judgment way can help you better understand what you may be experiencing. An urge to start using street drugs again can in fact be a warning sign that something is amiss, or perhaps a signal that you need to call for help, reach out for support, or revisit your therapist or counselor.

Practicing Awareness

Learning and practicing awareness and applying gentle effort to acceptance in the present moment can be a valuable tool for establishing long-term recovery from a street drug addiction.

If you are interested in learning more about this therapeutic technique and how it may apply to your recovery, be sure to discuss this process with your counselor or therapist.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

How has mindfulness helped you in your recovery from an addiction to street drugs?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 17th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com