Dharma Gates

A Semester of Contemplative Training

Addiction and Binge eating

On binge eating: “Significant decrease in number and severity of binges. Decreases were related to increases in eating control, satiety, and sense of mindfulness. Significant decreases in Beck anxiety and depression scales.”(Kristeller and Hallett(1999))

On substance abuse: “the study found that inmates who practiced meditation for 3 months drank 87% less alcohol, and used 89% less marijuana. Furthermore, meditation was found to be almost 6 times more effective than the control group’s more traditional chemical dependency treatment plan.” (Bowen et al (2006))

Meditation helps addicts notice impulses and ride the urge until it dissipates, rather than being overwhelmed by the sensation. Meditation also provides an alternative, healthy dopamine and endorphin ‘fix’, which can completely replace the need for drug use or a food binge (Goldstein et al. 2002).