New scientific research from the University of Western Ontario shows that the same part of the brain responsible for aversion/anxiety may be responsible for addictive cravings. The researchers indicated that by targeting only those memories associated with aversion/anxiety and cravings, people could greatly benefit and recover from PTSD and addiction. To read about this research, click here.
At the Kiloby Center, we have been aware of this correlation for quite some time. We work with aversion/anxiety and cravings together, using the Living Inquiries (specifically, the Anxiety Inquiry and the Compulsion Inquiry).
This latest research is part of an overall set of parallel findings that science and the facilitators of Scott Kiloby’s work are discovering through different means. These parallel findings are part of a “bigger picture” that has been forming itself for years and revealing a correlation between emerging brain research and the beneficial effects of certain spiritual practices such as meditation and mindfulness being brought to the West by an array of practitioners and teachers.
Scientists and academics are discovering these findings through brain research. Our facilitators discover these issues through mind research, working with clients’ thoughts, emotions and sensations directly through mindfulness. One is a scientific objective approach (brain) and the other is an interior awareness, subjective approach (mind). For more about this correlation between brain and mind, read Integral Recovery by John Dupuy. As both of these approaches meet in common ground, we are gaining valuable insight into anxiety and addiction and how they work together.
Although much of the research implies that the answer is the creation of a drug to quiet memories around addiction and anxiety, many sources indicate that the discovery of such a medication is likely going to take many, many years and may never come at all. We aren’t waiting for the development of a medication at the Kiloby Center. We are using a mindfulness approach that specifically targets memories around aversion/anxiety and addiction. Although we welcome any development of medication that helps with anxiety and addiction, we think that non-drug interventions such as the Living Inquiries and mindfulness may be much safer and healthier than medications, which often have unintended side effects. Our concerns about relying too heavily on drug interventions are mirrored by Barry Everitt of the University of Cambridge, an expert in drug abuse research. Barry has stated that “Non-drug interventions would be an enormous step forward in drug abuse treatment, which currently relies on replacing one drug with another . . . “