Mindfulness as a wellness practice to treat populations who suffer from addiction

Mindfulness as a wellness practice to treat populations who suffer from addiction





History of mindfulness

The notion of using mindfulness in the treatment of addiction was first proposed by the American psychologist Professor known as Allan Marlatt at the beginning of the 1980s. Professor Marlatt used an original form of mindfulness known as Vipassana to assist the heavy alcohol and other drug users to get rid of their addictions that was much comprehensive since they had nothing to do about the situation.  The professor taught the addict for eight weeks on the ways of meditating in the Vipassana tradition according to the phrasing of the words at that time. The participants in the study in the power of meditation were prison inmates who could not do without drugs, and they were suffering from the addiction. The study indicated a definite improvement on the participant’s mental outlook and a corresponding decrease in the substance abuse upon their release to the society after the prison term (Hsu, Grow & Marlatt, 2008).


The Mindfulness is believed to have begun in the United States of America through some psychologists under the American Psychology. It practices already started the Professor Marlatt in the early 1980s in a society that was being destroyed by drug addiction. The American culture had a more trouble of mental health, families’ separation and increased crime rates among much other influence of drug addiction. The American healthcare tried to recover the addicts through various medication or isolation from the drugs, but it was not possible. The addicts could suffer and some especially the ones who were using the Cocaine and heroin since they could not do without. Therefore, the American psychology association thought that the situation could be a mental problem and the solution is there within the mind. Thus, they began a study through professor Marlatt in using the mindfulness to treat the addition. The professor took the survey to the prison to ascertain the change in the case the prisoners would begin a new life after being released to the society (Appel & Kim-Appel, 2009).

Theoretical underpinning

The mindfulness –Based on cognitive therapy is a technique that assists us to learn to recognize our thought and feeling patterns with the objective of new and more efficient designs in life. The theory is based on the belief that the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that perhaps we experience every day usually shape the nature of our reality. Therefore, the addicts have the power of their minds to change the situations of drug addiction. Accordingly, the psychologist thought to deal with the thoughts and emotions of the victims is the best option that can treat the entire addiction process other than the earlier use of drugs which have failed. Moreover, through the study of the cognitive theory, we come to understand that we are definitely what we think of ourselves. If we think we are drug addicts that are what we are and if we believe we are separate from the drugs, then he begins to separate through the thoughts.

Process of mindfulness

It takes a different approach than the traditional method that was used before the 1980s. The practice tends to uncouple the links that are between cravings and drugs or perhaps the use of alcohol and also tries to prevent the needs from coming up in the first place. The practice controls self-regulation of the individual’s attention to maintain an immediate experience which allows for the increased recognition of the events in mind at the present moments. The practice does not attempt to encourage the patients the individuals to shun or replace the addictive behaviors. However, mindfulness promotes a wedge between the issue of cravings and the possible existing behaviors. The process allows for the individual to begin a positive thought about the situation and his or her life and the addiction attitude including the potential effects.

Discuss research evidence of effectiveness for the mindfulness

The research is based on the cognitive behavior analysis of the drug victims and the possible solution to the rehabilitation process. The practice assists to replace the traditional methods and the medical based process that has not assisted the addicts to give up on taking the drugs. The process has proved to be active on rehabilitation process through the use of various tools and techniques of the mind process such as thoughts, feelings, and actions to counter the cravings of the drugs. Therefore, it is a useful means of reducing the addiction in an individual based on the cognitive reactions of the mind and reasoning capability (Garland, Roberts-Lewis, Kelley, Tronnier & Hanley, 2014). Moreover, it’s perhaps diverse from other methods since it does not decide or prompt the individual or patient to stop taking the drugs but instead, come in between the cravings and the behavior that is based on the influential factors of code behavior. The process does not involve much of the intervention and the financial considerations. It consists of the power of cognitive theory based on the mindset and the behavior process.

Perception of effectiveness

I believe that mindfulness is the essential aspect of dealing with the addiction of drug and other substances. It has proved that the addiction process or behavior is a mental problem that needs the solution based on the mindset factors (Katz & Toner, 2013). Therefore, based on the intervention analysis the actions and behavior are determined by our thoughts and feelings. The caption of the result that was performed on the prison addicts on the response or the addiction process. The role of the practice to transform and rehabilitate the victims of drug addicts makes it more efficient since it is socially oriented.

How you might educate and interest others in using the practice

The education involves ensuring that the society especially the rehabilitation center in the use of the method. Therefore, to teach them I will write my blog about the effectiveness of the practice and conduct a free study example in those areas to act as a testing situation. Moreover, I will also propose the materials and the societies or perhaps organizations that have used the process. The learning activities should involve applying the addicts in the area of jurisdiction and perform the analysis process using the mindfulness process (Young, DeLorenzi & Cunningham, 2011).


Appel, J., & Kim-Appel, D. (2009). Mindfulness: Implications for substance abuse and addiction. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 7(4), 506.

Garland, E. L., Roberts-Lewis, A., Kelley, K., Tronnier, C., & Hanley, A. (2014). Cognitive and affective mechanisms linking trait mindfulness to craving among individuals in addiction recovery. Substance use & misuse, 49(5), 525-535.

Hsu, S. H., Grow, J., & Marlatt, G. A. (2008). Mindfulness and addiction. In Recent developments in alcoholism (pp. 229-250). Springer New York.

Katz, D., & Toner, B. (2013). A systematic review of gender differences in the effectiveness of mindfulness-based treatments for substance use disorders. Mindfulness, 4(4), 318-331.

Young, M. E., DeLorenzi, L. D. A., & Cunningham, L. (2011). Using meditation in addiction counseling. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 32(1‐2), 58-71.