How Can Mindfulness Meditation Help Young Adults Cope With Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms?

No one wakes up one day and decides to become addicted to opioids. Opioid use disorder (OUD) simply happens. Maybe opioid addiction started from spending time with a certain crowd. Perhaps an individual suffered a tragic accident and was prescribed opioids to reduce severe physical pain. Some individuals misuse opioids to self-medicate due to a co-occurring mental health condition. Regardless of the cause, everyone deserves a chance to seek addiction recovery. 

Often, one of the first signs of addiction is the appearance of withdrawal symptoms. Coping with withdrawal symptoms can be difficult. In order to overcome withdrawal symptoms and achieve sobriety it is often necessary to seek treatment. Treatment with 12 South Recovery can be very beneficial for individuals who are facing challenges with opioid addiction. Practitioners offer a wide variety of standard and holistic therapies to promote a successful path to long-term recovery.

What Are Opioids?

As stated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), opioids are a class of drugs used to treat moderate to severe pain. Opioids can be made in a laboratory or hand-made from an opium poppy plant. These drugs work to block pain signals in the spinal cord, brain, and different pain receptors in an individual’s body. Opioids are generally safe to take as prescribed by health practitioners, but they can be highly addictive and are commonly misused and abused. 

This class of drugs includes the illegal substance called heroin. Pain relievers commonly prescribed to treat certain health conditions may include: 

  • Fentanyl
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin®)
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
  • Morphine

Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

According to Opioid Use Disorder written by Alexander M. Dydyk, Nitesh K. Jain, and Mohit Gupta, different signs and symptoms of opioid addiction can cause serious complications in an individual’s life. The behaviors of an individual with OUD can also negatively affect those involved in their life. One may present drug-seeking behaviors that include multiple pain relief prescription medications from different healthcare providers. A person may also experience legal ramifications of their opioid use. 

Symptoms of opioid addiction may include: 

  • Continuing to use opioids despite worsened mental or physical health 
  • Using the drug despite relationships problems that result from its use
  • Decreased recreational or social activities 
  • Problems in the workplace, school, or home environment
  • Taking more than intended or prescribed
  • Experiencing intense cravings
  • Building up a tolerance over time
  • Having extreme withdrawal symptoms

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

According to a publication by the World Health Organization (WHO), although opioid withdrawal is not typically life-threatening, withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable. Withdrawal symptoms can feel like moderate to severe flu symptoms. Opioid withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Pupil dilation
  • High blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Shakiness
  • Sneezing
  • Tearing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Goosebumps
  • Muscle pain

Depending on the severity of one’s condition, some individuals may fear the pain or sickness that can result from withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, they choose to continue using substances. This can make a person feel trapped in the cycle of addiction.

Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation to Prevent Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

According to the journal Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, mindfulness meditation is a highly effective treatment intervention for those facing challenges with addiction. Mindfulness meditation consists of nonreactive and nonjudgmental present-centered attention. The practice fosters cognitive, emotional, sensational, and perceptive awareness. 

Mindfulness meditation has been found to improve the brain’s executive functioning, which is the part of the brain that plans and strategizes. Additionally, practicing mindfulness meditation significantly reduces cravings. Individuals may learn to cultivate mindfulness as a personality trait. The adoption of this trait may provide a barrier against certain addiction triggers. 

Mindfulness training has been proven to intensify natural pleasant sensations through the cultivation of positive feelings. A person can use a meditative focus to remove attention from intense cravings, thereby warding them off. Meditative practices may also increase emotional and behavioral awareness that will lead a person to stop using opioids. 

Moving Forward with 12 South Recovery to Treat Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can be scary. People often don’t how they will feel or what to expect after discontinuing pain relievers. The symptoms that arise can make some individuals feel defeated and decide there is no way out of their problem. However, choosing addiction and mental health treatment can help one safely and comfortably overcome opioid addiction. 

As a person adopts a mindfulness practice, they will naturally begin to become aware of the risks associated with opioid misuse. Practicing mindfulness can help one appropriately respond to feelings of shame and guilt as well. 

An Individualized and Holistic Approach

12 South Recovery understands there are many challenges that one may face with addiction. That’s why our recovery center offers a team of professionals who are dedicated to caring for clients every step of the way. At 12 South Recovery, we work to develop an individualized treatment plan to provide a more personal approach. 

Our team understands that not everyone responds effectively to the same treatment options. That’s why at 12 South Recovery we offer various therapeutic solutions. One of them is holistic therapy services. Holistic therapy focuses on the whole person. This includes one’s mind, body, and spirit. We have found that this type of approach is the best way to promote long-term sobriety. 

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable. It can be hard to cope and overcome the symptoms that rise after discontinuation. Fortunately, 12 South Recovery is a leader in Orange County mental health treatment. We offer quality medical care, evidence-based holistic treatment, and personalized plans. Also, we understand that drug addiction is a disorder. While it can seem scary, surrendering to addiction treatment may change your life for the better. If you or a loved one is struggling with an opioid or other drug addiction and are in need of emotional and professional support, the team at 12 South Recovery is here for you. Call 12 South Recovery at (888) 830-8374 to learn more information about our holistic therapy services. 

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