Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use

ReducedDrugAndAlcohol--w259h1371. Natural treatment to stop smoking, alcohol abuse and drug use in students: A meta-analysis compared the effects of TM (19 studies) with the effects of other programs evaluated in previous meta-analyses including standard rehabilitation (78 studies), self-development (91 studies), relaxation and other meditation programs (10 studies). This analysis found TM to be significantly more effective than the other programs in reducing abuse of alcohol, nicotine and drugs in college students, drug users attending rehabilitation clinics and prisoners. In addition the abstinence rate, which usually drops off after the first 3 months with most treatment programs, was found to be maintained up to 2 years for the TM subjects (the longest period studied). Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 1994; 11: 11-84.

2. Stop smoking naturally:A controlled longitudinal study surveyed smoking adults in the general population attending TM introductory lectures and then 20-24 months later. It should be noted that these people did not necessarily attend these lectures to stop smoking. Those that attended the lectures but did not learn TM became the control group. Of the 226 who learnt TM, 110 completed the 20-24 months follow-up questionnaires and of the 850 who did not learn 214 completed the follow-up questionnaires. The study revealed that 51% of the regular meditators quit as compared to 21% of non-regular meditators and 21% of the controls. It also showed that 81% of the regular meditators either quit or reduced usage by at least 5 cigarettes per day compared to 55% of non-regular meditators and 33% of the controls. Motivation to quit did not appear to be a causal factor as both the TM and control groups were comparable in terms of demographic characteristics, smoking habits and motivation. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 1994; 11: 221-239.

3. Natural treatment to improve mood and anxiety: A randomized control study on “skid-row” type alcoholics with long histories of alcohol abuse was conducted on the premises of the Rehabilitation Center for Alcoholics and District of Columbia Veterans Home. Those patients with serious brain damage, psychosis or serious medical conditions were excluded. Patients were randomly assigned to attend lectures on one of three therapies namely TM, EMG Biofeedback and Neurotherapy. If they elected to reject the therapy they were excluded from the study. Of the 913 who volunteered only 250 became participants in the study by completing the first week of therapy –the reason mainly being that most patients elect to stay only a short period in the institution. 2/3 of those accepting the therapy were given the therapy while the remaining 1/3 were assigned to a control group which received routine therapeutic services at the center including counseling, attendance at AA meetings and occupational therapy. The result was that 65% of the TM group, 55% of the EMG Biofeedback group and 28% of the neurotherapy group reported abstinence 18 months after leaving the treatment center compared to 25% for the control group. The TM group also showed significant improvement on 5 of the 6 scales used to assess mood and anxiety etc while the EMG Biofeedback group improved on 2 of the 6 scales and the other groups showed no improvement. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 1994; 11: 187-220.

4. Natural treatment for serious drug users: A controlled prospective trial was conducted on 112 high school students and college students attending an out-patient rehabilitation centre in Germany (76 in the TM group who leant TM in addition to receiving standard out-patient drug counseling and 39 in the control group who just received standard out-patient drug counseling). All were serious drug users with the majority using all types of illicit drugs including cannabis, hallucinogens, amphetamines, barbiturates and opiates. By 4 months 50% of the TM group had stopped using illicit drugs and by 18 months, 89% had discontinued using drugs. The TM group also displayed enhanced psychological health after only 2 months of TM practice. Zeitschrift fur Klinische Psychologie 1978; 7: 235-255.

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