Yoga therapy healing drug addiction

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In an innovative addition to traditional treatment therapies, the Drug Addict Rehabilitation Centre (Ladlumkaew) in Pathum Thani province near Bangkok has for the first time introduced yoga practice as additional treatment for drug users to overcome the power of addiction.

Designed for women inmates, statistics show less than 20 per cent of probationers who underwent rehabilitation treatment return to drug use once leaving the yoga-focused rehab programme, while those sentenced to jail are more vulnerable to relapse after their release.

Realising the positive effects of yoga therapy, a yoga recovery programme has been adopted for drug addicts to ‘get their lives back’ permanently through the practice of yoga, a healthy tool that is proving to enhance the practitioner’s mindfulness and heal body, mind and spirit. The first group of 100 probationers joined the programme in hopes of peacefully reclaiming their lives and reintegrating themselves in the society.

Director Anchalee Pattanasan of the Drug Addict Rehabilitation Center at Ladlumkaew, said the activity is under the Kamlangjai Project, a program initiated by HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha for female inmates, in which yoga practice is used as one of the tools to make the inmates become less dependent, less affected by outside disturbances and to think before they act.

Throughout the 15-day training, the young women probationers get to practice yoga for an hour a day so their bodies get used to a healthy lifestyle and become fully cleansed and sober.

“I can feel that my health has improved and I feel more refreshed and becoming more mindful after practicing yoga”, said an patient, who declined to give her name.

Once the training programme is completed, outstanding practitioners will serve as yoga teachers for other former drug addicts in the rehab.