Sudarshan Kriya Meditation Reduces Substance Abuse Cravings and Improves Physical and Emotional Well-Being of Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder: A Pilot Study
Unudurthi SD, Wright KD, Klimpel JM, Sud A, Tan A, Warren BJ. Sudarshan Kriya Meditation Reduces Substance Abuse Cravings and Improves Physical and Emotional Well-Being of Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder: A Pilot Study. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2023 Mar 30:1-9. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20230321-01. PMID: 36989479.
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is widely prevalent in the United States and there are high levels of comorbidity between OUD and mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychotherapy, in addition to medication-assisted therapy, are considered important components of long-term OUD treatment. Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) is a breathing-based mind–body intervention that has been demonstrated to have multiple physiological and psychological benefits. In the current study, participants (N = 8) recruited from a rural community were offered SKY in addition to treatment-as-usual. Physical and psychological well-being were measured using the Behavior and Symptom Identification Scale-24, Short Form-36, Perceived Stress Scale, and participant logs and journals. Of eight participants, seven (87.5%) successfully completed the SKY intervention. Compared to baseline, there was a significant decrease in substance use cravings (p = 0.04) and depression (p = 0.01). In addition, physical functioning and emotional well-being significantly increased after SKY. SKY demonstrated efficacy in improving physical and social functioning along with enhancing mental and emotional well-being. Larger-scale trials should be performed to validate these findings.