Meditation is one of a number of for those in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse or dependence. Teens, too, can reap the benefits of opening the connections between mental health, physical health, and spirituality through mindful meditation as they learn new positive coping skills in treatment.
The teenage years are a stressful time. Changing bodies, expectations at school and at home, difficult relationships with peers and family – it’s not easy to manage all these things as an adult, much less as a developing teenager.
In addition to helping the practitioner to clear his mind and learn self-acceptance, mindful meditation also contributes to stress relief.
Maintaining a lower level of stress overall can help the person to remain calm and in control when faced with acutely stressful issues, diminishing their cravings for drugs and alcohol at times when they might otherwise be tempted to drink or get high in order to handle the uncomfortable feelings.
Emotional Management Tool
Meditation is an emotional management tool that can help a teen better manage triggers for relapse and thus increase his ability to remain clean and sober for the long-term.
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health diagnoses in the United States, and regular meditation practice has been shown to be beneficial in helping patients to overcome symptoms of both disorders. One study, published in the journal JAMA of Internal Medicine, found that daily practice of mindful meditation for 30 to 40 minutes per day improved the symptoms of patients struggling with depression and anxiety by about 5 to 10 percent compared to placebo groups.
In teenagers who are living with substance abuse, depression and anxiety are common issues. Many teens experience these issues due to hormonal shifts. Others have a hard time due to:
- Divorce or other problems at home
- Academic struggles
- Low self-esteem
- Sexual identity issues
- Problems fitting in with peers
- Sexual or physical abuse
Many Teens Revert to Drugs and Alcohol
In an attempt to “self-medicate” the feelings of pain, anger, frustration and discomfort, many teens turn to drugs and alcohol.
In recovery, it becomes imperative for them to not only work through the underlying issues that cause those uncomfortable feelings but also to learn how to manage them in the meantime in a way that is healthy; meditation training is often a key part of this process.
Addressing the connection between the mind, body and spirit is a crucial part of comprehensive treatment for addiction. Learning how emotional pain can translate into physical pain and/or the urge to drink or get high is a big part of learning how to make more healthful choices in recovery.
The incorporation of holistic treatment and alternative therapies like mindful meditation can augment a traditional course of therapy. Though meditation alone is not enough to fight an addiction, it is an excellent way to amplify the efficacy of personal therapy, group therapy and other interventions. It also provides a transitional therapy and a safe haven that can travel with the patient wherever he goes—in treatment and after treatment, when he returns home.
Comprehensive Teen-Centered Treatment
Here at Muir Wood, meditation is one of many holistic treatment opportunities that we provide for patients. An interactive treatment program designed specifically to assist teen boys in overcoming substance abuse and related issues, our program here at Muir Wood offers an integrated treatment plan that is unique to each patient. Contact us today at the phone number listed above to learn more about how your child can benefit from our unique approach to recovery.