Health Education

Substance Abuse

Treating and preventing alcohol, nicotine, and drug abuse through Transcendental Meditation: A review and statistical meta-analysis, Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 1994. 11, 13-87.

In a meta-analysis of 19 studies, with a total of 4,524 subjects, the Transcendental Meditation program was found to significantly reduce the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs in both the general population and in heavy users (demonstrating both secondary prevention and treatment efficacy). The effect on reducing use of these substances is also significantly larger than those produced by relaxation, and other prevention and treatment programs. Abstinence was maintained or increased over the long-term, indicating effective relapse prevention. Prior research on the Transcendental Meditation program was found to significantly reverse physiological and psychological factors leading to substance abuse, thereby promoting primary prevention.

Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on substance use among university students, Cardiology Research and Practice, 2011, 537101. PMCID: PMC3087968.

In a randomized controlled trial (N = 295 university students) the Transcendental Meditation program showed a significant reduction in drinking rates among male students compared to controls.

Integration of Transcendental Meditation (TM) into alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 2018, 87, 23-30.

In a matched control study of 60 adults with primary alcohol use disorder (AUD) newly admitted to an inpatient treatment facility, both feasibility and efficacy was established. Uptake of TM was high (85% in the meditation group showed compliance with meditation practice of at least once per day; of those 61% practiced TM twice-daily. Participants reported high satisfaction with TM. Those practicing TM twice-daily were less likely than the rest of the sample to return to any drinking (25% vs. 59%) or heavy drinking post-discharge (0% vs. 47%). Greater regularity of TM practice was inversely correlated with psychological distress, craving, and alcohol use at follow-up.


Effects of behavioral stress reduction Transcendental Meditation intervention in persons with HIV, AIDS Care, 2013, 25(10):1291-7.

Stress is implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of HIV. The TM program has demonstrated effectiveness in improving outcomes via stress reduction. The feasibility of implementing TM and its effects on outcomes in persons with HIV were investigated. In this community-based single blinded Phase-I, randomized controlled trial, twenty-two persons with HIV were randomized to TM intervention or healthy eating (HE) education control group. Retention was 100% in TM group and 91% in HE control group. Significant between group differences were observed for generic and HIV-specific health-related quality of life. 


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