Mindfulness Support for Opioid Addiction Recovery

Mindfulness Support for Opioid Addiction Recovery
Mindfulness Support for Opioid Addiction Recovery. Credit | stockstudioX

United States: According to recent exploration, those trying to recover from opioid dependence have a advanced chance of sticking with treatment when they admit awareness support.

The researchers clarified that the method teaches people how to manage stress, appreciate life, and change the way they think.

The data from this phase II trial and our pilot study suggest that mindfulness training may create a genuinely better treatment protocol. “Better treatment protocols could save thousands of lives per year,” stated study author Nina Cooperman, an associate professor of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.

Study Findings

Her team discovered that adding the Mindfulness Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) intervention to traditional opioid addiction therapy reduced relapse rates by 42% and dropout rates by 59%. The MORE intervention consists of cognitive reappraisal, savoring skills, and mindfulness training.

Standard treatment with buprenorphine or methadone, either by themselves or in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy, has low success rates. According to studies, half of participants leave the program within a year, and the other half who stick with it continue to use opioids.

Retraining the Brain

Visual Representation. Credit | Getty images

According to Cooperman’s explanation in a news release, “opioid use disorder changes your brain so that opioid use becomes the only thing that feels rewarding.” “MORE helps people retrain themselves to find healthy experiences rewarding again by focusing mindfully on the taste of a meal, the beauty of a landscape or the smell of a flower.”

People who get mindfulness training learn to pay attention to the senses—such as how it feels to breathe in and out—and the current moment without passing judgment. Research demonstrating the potential of this kind of training to avert opioid addiction led Cooperman and her colleagues to explore if such approaches may be helpful for those who are currently struggling with drug abuse.

Combined Treatment Approaches

Combining methadone treatment with mindfulness training had positive benefits, according to a pilot research. This resulted in the present experiment, which in turn sparked two extensive investigations that may alter the existing standard of treatment, according to researchers.

During the experiment, 16 hours of MORE instruction were given to 77 out of 154 participants receiving treatment for opioid use disorder. There were actual roses to look at and smell during the performance.

Pain Management

Visual Representation. Credit | Getty images

Researchers believe that because mindfulness training can help patients control their pain, it has been successful in the cases they have seen. The majority of research participants had chronic pain when they first started the study, however individuals in the MORE training group reported a 10% decrease in pain over the investigation.

Larger studies are being planned by Cooperman and her colleagues in an effort to provide more proof of the advantages of MORE and to create the most effective usage regimens.

Future Considerations

“A lot of questions remain unanswered,” she stated in the press statement. These include the best ways to offer MORE in-person or digitally, as well as how to train doctors to utilize it.

“The findings from this study suggest MORE really can improve outcomes for a lot of people in substance abuse treatment,” Cooperman stated, and these findings are recently published in JAMA Psyychiatry.