How to Stop an Addiction

david-simon-portrait-webHello Dr. Simon,
I am most grateful for your book Freedom from Addiction. In the book you write that neither you nor Dr. Chopra have seen a person who is committed to meditation or a yoga practice relapse. Yet I read tonight that you believe that having the support of a group or therapist is necessary to stop an addiction. Please clarify which of these options you believe works.


Dear Heidi,
Everybody is addicted to something. Some of us have more obvious additions to drugs, food, or alcohol, but every one of us engages in addictive behavior for temporary relief. These subtle and not-so-subtle addictions may beckon to us, then, in the words of my beloved poet Hafiz, they “drag us for days like a broken man behind a farting camel.”

If your behavior is creating negative consequences for your body, mind, and relationships, you would benefit from some type of support group with others who are on a similar path of recovery. The community aspect, combined with the inner work of yoga and meditation, will restructure your inner and outer environments to support you in making choices that are life-supporting rather than life-damaging.

The challenge and the goal is to replace habits that have negative side effects with those that have positive ones, including regular meditation, daily exercise, yoga, reading, dance, art, and nurturing friendships that perpetually remind you of your unconditional lovability and creativity.

Of note, the Chopra Center is developing a residential addiction treatment program in conjunction with the Paradise Valley Wellness Centre in the beautiful Squamish Valley (about one hour north of Vancouver, British Columbia). The program is based on the principles described in Freedom from Addiction and will offer a consciousness-based approach to healing and transformation.  Learn more about the Freedom from Addiction program here.

With love,

  1. This makes sense to me.. That by engaging in the postive addictions, if you will.. Create new neural path ways in your brain that actually re-wire you and how you function. Not always the easiest thing to do but with support can be done. A new lease on life that is so enjoyable.


  2. I have been in a 12-step group for years ~ and am no longer actively ‘using’. However, I just completed a 21 day meditation challenge and am now practising yoga. I have never felt better ~ I wish I had done this years ago. My life, thoughts, attitudes and just everything is so much better. The combination is working wonderfully. Thank you Chopra Centre. Namaste.



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