Many addictions start in the teens as an attempt to escape from uncomfortable feelings. Since drugs have a numbing effect some addicts show a lack of emotional maturity stemming from a ‘freezing’ of their emotional development from this time.
Yoga postures and deep breathing allow feelings to flow again. For those that are ready to rehabilitate (re-habit themselves) Kundalini yoga is a very effective tool. Ironically there is usually a lot of resistance to a regular yoga practice because as blocks are released so are the subconscious, irrational fears that put them there in the first place.
An addict may have to reach ‘rock bottom’ before they are open to change. This means they have to pass through their depression to rediscover the life impulse that was suppressed in childhood.
Since low self-esteem is often the trigger and maintainer of addiction this is where the particular package of yoga, mantra and meditation can be so helpful.
Society’s message is that we are somehow incomplete and need to add more things to our lives. The yogic message is that you are complete as you are. We have just lost touch with our deeper self. Healing is a process of remembering who you really are. This is initiated and maintained by what you stop doing (stopping drinking, smoking, drugs, eating unhealthy food, going to bed too late etc.)