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New Study Finds Benefits of Combining Mindfulness with Methadone Treatment

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that mindfulness training combined with methadone treatment produced improved outcomes for patients. 

Led by Dr. Nina Cooperman at Rutgers Health, the study showed that supplementing methadone treatment with Mindfulness Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) reduces relapse by 42 percent and dropout rates by 59 percent among participants. 

Mindfulness Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) is an evidence-based intervention that combines mindfulness training, “third wave” cognitive-behavioral therapy, and positive psychology into an integrated therapeutic approach. Developed by Dr. Eric Garland at the University of Utah College of Social Work, MORE has been evaluated through 12 separate clinical trials. Research has demonstrated that mindfulness can help people overcome negative emotions and unhelpful thought patterns, both helpful tools for addiction recovery.

The Rutgers study provided eight sessions of MORE to 77 of 154 patients in methadone treatment for opioid use disorder.

“Cognitive behavioral therapy, which is common in treatment programs, teaches people to reframe their thoughts and distract themselves from cravings,” shared Dr. Cooperman, an associate professor of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in a press release. “Mindfulness training teaches them to stay present with the craving and notice that they pass. Both strategies can work, so both are valuable.”

To review the study’s findings, the journal can be accessed here


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