Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation program in preventing and treating substance misuse: a review

Int J Addict. 1991 Mar;26(3):293-325. doi: 10.3109/10826089109058887.


This article reviews 24 studies on the benefits of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in treating and preventing misuse of chemical substances. Studies cover noninstitutionalized users, participants in treatment programs, and prisoners with histories of heavy use. All the studies showed positive effects of the TM program. Some of the survey-type studies were unable to exclude the possibility of self-selection or responder biases. However, longitudinal, random-assignment studies with objective measures also showed positive results. Taken together, these and other studies indicate the program simultaneously addresses several factors underlying chemical dependence, providing not only immediate relief from distress but also long-range improvements in well-being, self-esteem, personal empowerment, and other areas of psychophysiological health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation
  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs*
  • Recurrence
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*


  • Illicit Drugs