One out of eight Americans are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Of those with a substance abuse problem, at least 40 percent have a contemporaneous mental disorder of some type. While the root of addictive behavior varies from person to person, studies show correlations between an inability to process emotions and cope with stress in a healthy manner, and subsequent misuse of alcohol and drugs.
The estimated cost to our country in direct relation to alcoholics and drug addicts is over 250 billion dollars annually. With 70 percent of illegal drug users that are employed, the expense of substance abuse caused accidents, absenteeism and decreased productivity is on the rise. Health care costs are 300 percent higher for untreated alcoholics versus non-alcoholics.
Addiction treatment centers and agendas such as Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Step Program aim to minimize a person’s drive to drink alcohol or use drugs by addressing psychological and mental health issues. Using therapy techniques to calm, soothe and diminish anxiety, these programs are deemed helpful for those needing assistance.
As yoga rises in popularity, the benefits of a regular practice continue to be researched. Along with enhancing physical health, the immediate and long-term effects of yoga have proven to be a strong proponent in fostering mental health. Similar to an addiction recovery program, a consistent yoga practice helps people develop respect for their body, learn healthy ways to cope with stress and instill a sense of hope and faith.
Several people have turned to yoga for drug and alcohol addiction therapy. For some, their success in staying sober has shepherded them into becoming teachers and create their own yoga for recovery strategies to share with others.