Improve Psychiatric Problems among Veterans with Mindfulness

Improve Psychiatric Problems among Veterans with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness-based interventions show promise in helping soldiers reduce symptoms of PTS and depression as well as experience improvements in various psychosocial domains.” – Adam Clark

 

There are vast numbers of people worldwide who suffer with mental or physical illnesses. Mindfulness practices have been found to be helpful with coping with these illnesses and in many cases reducing the symptoms of the diseases. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. MBCT has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of psychological issues. Military veterans are highly susceptible to psychiatric illnesses. So, it would make sense to investigate the effectiveness of MBCT for treating the psychiatric problems of military veterans

 

In today’s Research News article “Treatment Engagement and Outcomes of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Veterans with Psychiatric Disorders.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6748402/), Marchand and colleagues examined the medical records of veterans who had undergone Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) therapy for psychiatric illnesses. MBCT was provided in 8 weeks of once a week 2-hour sessions. Their conditions included psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse, and ADHD, and medical disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, and chronic pain.

 

They found that only 67% of the veterans completed the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)  program. The greater the number of emergency room visits and psychiatric admission prior to the study significantly predicted the likelihood of completion of the MBCT program. This suggests that veterans who have a history of seeking treatment are more likely to complete therapy. Importantly, they found that following the MBCT program there was a significant decrease in psychiatric admission with large effect size.

 

These are interesting findings that suggest that the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)  program is effective in treating a variety of psychiatric conditions in military veterans. There appears to be a problem, however, with veterans who don’t have a history of seeking treatment completing the therapeutic program. This may signal the need for further study of what can be done to improve participation in this group. It is also possible that prior care with these particular veterans has not been effective and their dropping out of therapy may reflect the lack of success for them with the MBCT program. It is clear nonetheless that when the veterans complete the program it is highly effective in treating their conditions.

 

So, improve psychiatric problems among veterans with mindfulness.

 

We now have a lot of evidence that mindfulness meditation is helpful for a range of different conditions, including depression, anxiety, substance problems and chronic pain.” – Joseph Wielgosz

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Marchand, W. R., Yabko, B., Herrmann, T., Curtis, H., & Lackner, R. (2019). Treatment Engagement and Outcomes of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Veterans with Psychiatric Disorders. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 25(9), 902–909. doi:10.1089/acm.2018.0511

 

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate utilization and outcomes of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) provided to veterans with psychiatric disorders.

Design: Retrospective chart review.

Settings: Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC).

Subjects: Ninety-eight veterans with psychiatric illness who were enrolled in an MBCT class between May of 2012 and January of 2016. Subjects were predominately white (95%), male (81%), and >50 years old (74%). The most common psychiatric conditions were any mood disorder (82%) and post-traumatic stress disorder (54%).

Intervention: Eight-week MBCT class.

Outcome measures: Session attendance and pre- to postintervention changes in numbers of emergency department (ED) visits and psychiatric hospitalizations.

Results: The average number of sessions attended was 4.87 of 8 and only 16% were present for all sessions. Veteran demographic variables did not predict the number of MBCT sessions attended. However, both greater numbers of pre-MBCT ED visits (p = 0.004) and psychiatric admissions (p = 0.031) were associated with attending fewer sessions. Among patients who experienced at least one pre- or post-treatment psychiatric admission in the 2 years pre- or postintervention (N = 26, 27%), there was a significant reduction in psychiatric admissions from pre to post (p = 0.002). There was no significant change in ED visits (p = 0.535).

Conclusions: MBCT may be challenging to implement for veterans with psychiatric illness in, at least some, outpatient VAMC settings due to a high attrition rate. Possible mediation approaches include development of methods to screen for high dropout risk and/or development of shorter mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) and/or coupling MBIs with pleasurable activities. The finding of a significant decrease in psychiatric hospitalizations from pre- to post-MBCT suggests that prospective studies are warranted utilizing MBCT for veterans at high risk for psychiatric hospitalization.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6748402/

 

Improve Workplace Wellness with Mindful Meditation

Improve Workplace Wellness with Mindful Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

If your workforce deals with stress, emotional health issues, or low morale, you’ll likely benefit from implementing a meditation program. Meditation programs have a lot of amazing health and wellness benefits that will have a positive impact on your employees.” – Robyn Whalen

 

Work is very important for our health and well-being. We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. How we spend that time is immensely important for our psychological and physical health. Indeed, the work environment has even become an important part of our social lives, with friendships and leisure time activities often attached to the people we work with. But, more than half of employees in the U.S. and nearly 2/3 worldwide are unhappy at work. This is partially due to work-related stress which is epidemic in the western workplace. Almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This stress can result in impaired health and can result in burnout; producing fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy.

 

To help overcome unhappiness, stress, and burnoutmindfulness practices have been implemented in the workplace. Indeed, mindfulness practices have been shown to markedly reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress. As a result, it has become very trendy for business to incorporate meditation into the workday to help improve employee well-being, health, and productivity. These programs attempt to increase the employees’ mindfulness at work and thereby reduce stress and burnout. The research has been accumulating. So, it is important to step back and summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness meditation for workplace wellness: An evidence map.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6598008/), Hilton and colleagues reviewed and summarized published systematic reviews of the research on mindfulness training in the workplace and its effects on employee health and well-being. They identified 175 reviews that focused on health care workers, caregivers, educators, and general workplace workers.

 

They report that the reviews demonstrated that mindfulness-based interventions were effective in treating chronic conditions producing relief of psychological distress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Mindfulness was found to produce small decreases in chronic pain but significant improvements in pain-related quality of life. Mindfulness training was found to reduce substance abuse and help prevent relapse, reduce negative emotions, anxiety, depression, somatization, irritable bowel syndrome, and stress effects. Mindfulness training also was effective in cancer care, including reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue, and improving sleep and quality of life. for support of caregivers.

 

These findings are remarkable. The wide range of positive benefits on physical and mental health are breathtaking. To this authors knowledge there is no other treatment that has such broad application and effectiveness. This suggests that workplace mindfulness training is safe and highly effective and should be implemented throughout the workplace.

 

So, improve workplace wellness with mindful meditation.

 

The ancient art of meditation has many benefits, especially in the workplace. Studies have shown that meditation practiced in the workplace has a direct impact on increased productivity, creativity, focus, and the overall happiness of employees.” – The Lotus

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Hilton, L. G., Marshall, N. J., Motala, A., Taylor, S. L., Miake-Lye, I. M., Baxi, S., … Hempel, S. (2019). Mindfulness meditation for workplace wellness: An evidence map. Work (Reading, Mass.), 63(2), 205–218. doi:10.3233/WOR-192922

 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mindfulness interventions aim to foster greater attention and awareness of present moment experiences. Uptake of mindfulness programs in the workplace has grown as organizations look to support employee health, wellbeing, and performance.

OBJECTIVE:

In support of evidence-based decision making in workplace contexts, we created an evidence map summarizing physical and mental health, cognitive, affective, and interpersonal outcomes from systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of mindfulness interventions.

METHODS:

We searched nine electronic databases to July 2017, dually-screened all reviews, and consulted topic experts to identify systematic reviews on mindfulness interventions. The distribution of evidence is presented as an evidence map in a bubble plot.

RESULTS:

In total, 175 systematic reviews met inclusion criteria. Reviews included a variety of mindfulness-based interventions. The largest review included 109 randomized controlled trials. The majority of these addressed general health, psychological conditions, chronic illness, pain, and substance use. Twenty-six systematic reviews assessed studies conducted in workplace settings and with healthcare professionals, educators, and caregivers. The evidence map shows the prevalence of research by the primary area of focus. An outline of promising applications of mindfulness interventions is included.

CONCLUSIONS:

The evidence map provides an overview of existing mindfulness research. It shows the body of available evidence to inform policy and organizational decision-making supporting employee wellbeing in work contexts.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6598008/

 

Improve Psychopathology with Meditation

Improve Psychopathology with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“The research is strong for mindfulness’ positive impact in certain areas of mental health, including stress reduction, emotion and attention regulation, reduced rumination, for reducing mild to moderate depression and anxiety, and preventing depressive relapse.” – Kelle Walsh

 

There are vast numbers of people who suffer with mental illnesses; psychopathology. In the United states it has been estimated that in any given year 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness. Many are treated with drugs. But drug treatment can produce unwanted side effects, don’t work for many patients, and often can lose effectiveness over time. Mindfulness practices provide a safe alternative treatment. They have been found to be helpful with coping with these illnesses and in many cases reducing the symptoms of the diseases. Hence, it appears that mindfulness practices are safe and effective treatments for a variety of psychiatric conditions including anxietydepressionpsychosesaddictions, etc.. Since there has accumulated a large amount of research, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been discovered.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness Meditation and Psychopathology.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6597263/), Wielgosz and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies investigating the efficacy of mindfulness meditation practices for the treatment of a variety of psychopathologies.

 

They report that mindfulness meditation produces significant improvements in depression and in anxiety disorders in comparison to inactive and active control conditions. Efficacy is equivalent to that of other evidence-based treatments. The research suggests that meditation reduces depression by decreasing rumination and anxiety by reducing repetitive negative thinking. Hence, meditation training is an excellent safe and effective treatment for these prevalent mental illnesses.

 

They also report that mindfulness meditation produces significant improvements in chronic pain intensity and unpleasantness in comparison to inactive but not active control conditions. Efficacy is equivalent to that of other evidence-based treatments. This is true for chronic low back pain fibromyalgia, migraine, and chronic pelvic pain. Meditation also appears to improve the quality of life of chronic pain patients. The research suggests that meditation reduces chronic pain by decreasing negative emotional reactivity. Such reactivity appears to intensify pain and meditation reduces this reactivity and thereby reduces pain.

 

They report that mindfulness meditation produces significant improvements in substance abuse disorders in comparison to inactive and active control conditions and even in comparison to other evidence-based treatments. It appears to reduce substance use frequency, use-related problems, and craving. This is important as addictions are very difficult to treat and frequently relapse.

 

There is evidence that mindfulness meditation is effective in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) both in children and adults and also post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But there are currently no comparisons to the effects of other active or evidence-based treatments. It will be important to have randomized controlled trials with active controls to better assess the efficacy of meditation for the treatment of ADHD and PTSD.

 

There is emerging evidence that mindfulness meditation may be effective for eating disorders, and major mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, major depression, and psychosis. But there is a need for more, better controlled research.

 

Hence, this comprehensive review suggests that mindfulness meditation is a useful treatment for a variety of types of psychopathology. It is amazing that such a simple practice as meditation can have such wide-ranging benefits for such diverse mental illnesses. Meditation appears to act indirectly by strengthening cognitive, emotional, and stress related process that in turn have beneficial effects on the psychopathologies. Hence, it is clear that mindfulness meditation is a safe and effective treatment for psychopathologies that can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.

 

So, improve psychopathology with meditation.

 

“When they’re depressed, people are locked in the past. They’re ruminating about something that happened that they can’t let go of. When they’re anxious, they’re ruminating about the future — it’s that anticipation of what they can’t control. In contrast, when we are mindful, we are focused on the here and now. Mindfulness trains individuals to turn their attention to what is happening in the present moment.” – Carolyn Gregoire

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Wielgosz, J., Goldberg, S. B., Kral, T., Dunne, J. D., & Davidson, R. J. (2019). Mindfulness Meditation and Psychopathology. Annual review of clinical psychology, 15, 285–316. doi:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-021815-093423

 

Abstract

Mindfulness meditation is increasingly incorporated into mental health interventions, and theoretical concepts associated with it have influenced basic research on psychopathology. Here, we review the current understanding of mindfulness meditation through the lens of clinical neuroscience, outlining the core capacities targeted by mindfulness meditation and mapping them onto cognitive and affective constructs of the Research Domain Criteria matrix proposed by the National Institute of Mental Health. We review efficacious applications of mindfulness meditation to specific domains of psychopathology including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and substance abuse, as well as emerging efforts related to attention disorders, traumatic stress, dysregulated eating, and serious mental illness. Priorities for future research include pinpointing mechanisms, refining methodology, and improving implementation. Mindfulness meditation is a promising basis for interventions, with particular potential relevance to psychiatric comorbidity. The successes and challenges of mindfulness meditation research are instructive for broader interactions between contemplative traditions and clinical psychological science.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6597263/

Improve Psychiatric Disorders with Mindfulness

Improve Psychiatric Disorders with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Is mindfulness better than medication or other therapies? No, probably not; But if you are someone who doesn’t believe in taking medication or seeing an individual therapist you might be more inclined to engage in the practice of mindfulness. So, it becomes, ‘OK, we have a modality that people like, it’s appealing and accessible to them, so they’re more motivated to use it.’ [In that case] mindfulness may work better for them.” – Patricia Rockman

 

There are vast numbers of people who suffer with mental illnesses. In the United states it has been estimated that in any given year 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness. Many are treated with drugs. But drug treatment can produce unwanted side effects, don’t work for many patients, and often can lose effectiveness over time. Mindfulness practices provide a safe alternative treatment. They have been found to be helpful with coping with these illnesses and in many cases reducing the symptoms of the diseases. Hence, it appears that mindfulness practices are safe and effective treatments for a variety of psychiatric conditions including anxiety, depression, psychoses, addictions, etc..

 

The research is accumulating. Hence it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned regarding the effectiveness of mindfulness-based treatments for psychiatric conditions. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-based interventions for psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741505/), Goldberg and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of mindfulness-based treatments for psychiatric conditions. They examined randomized controlled trials that employed mindfulness trainings that included meditation practice and home practice. Any psychiatric disorder, including schizophrenia, addictions, eating disorders, anxiety, smoking and chronic pain, were included with depression the most frequently studied. They identified 142 randomized controlled trials that included a total of 12,005 participants.

 

They found that mindfulness treatments produced significantly greater improvements in psychiatric symptoms than no-treatment control conditions, minimal treatment, non-specific active, and specific active control conditions. They also found that mindfulness treatments produced equivalent improvements in psychiatric symptoms, when compared to evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and drugs. These effects were present immediately after treatment and at follow-up on average 6.43 months after the conclusion of treatment.

 

These results are remarkable. Mindfulness treatments were found to be safe, effective, and lasting for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders and as effective as recognized evidenced based treatments including drug treatments. It is amazing that such a simple and safe treatment could be effective for such a range of disorders, virtually any disorder. How this could be possible is not known, and should be a focus of future research. But focusing on the present moment would appear to an important mechanism for redirecting thinking away from the focus on past and future that appears to produce stress and exacerbate the disorders.

 

So, improve psychiatric disorders with mindfulness.

 

“While mindfulness might seem unconventional, it’s an increasingly accepted method of achieving a healthier mind. Therapists who teach mindfulness techniques to their clients do so to help them cope with mental health challenges and strive for a sense of peace.” – Faith Onimiya

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Goldberg, S. B., Tucker, R. P., Greene, P. A., Davidson, R. J., Wampold, B. E., Kearney, D. J., & Simpson, T. L. (2017). Mindfulness-based interventions for psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical psychology review, 59, 52–60. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2017.10.011

 

Abstract

Despite widespread scientific and popular interest in mindfulness-based interventions, questions regarding the empirical status of these treatments remain. We sought to examine the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions for clinical populations on disorder-specific symptoms. To address the question of relative efficacy, we coded the strength of the comparison group into five categories: no treatment, minimal treatment, non-specific active control, specific active control, and evidence-based treatment. A total of 142 non-overlapping samples and 12,005 participants were included. At post-treatment, mindfulness-based interventions were superior to no treatment (d = 0.55), minimal treatment (d = 0.37), non-specific active controls (d = 0.35), and specific active controls (d = 0.23). Mindfulness conditions did not differ from evidence-based treatments (d = −0.004). At follow-up, mindfulness-based interventions were superior to no treatment conditions (d = 0.50), non-specific active controls (d = 0.52), and specific active controls (d = 0.29). Mindfulness conditions did not differ from minimal treatment conditions (d = 0.38) and evidence-based treatments (d = 0.09). Effects on specific disorder subgroups showed the most consistent evidence in support of mindfulness for depression, pain conditions, smoking, and addictive disorders. Results support the notion that mindfulness-based interventions hold promise as evidence-based treatments.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741505/

 

Reduce Cell Phone Dependence in Adolescents with Mindfulness

Reduce Cell Phone Dependence in Adolescents with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“With its emphasis on harnessing attention with intention (i.e. redirecting it on purpose), mindfulness—with all its scientifically-established health and well-being benefits—has the potential to keep us from drifting hopelessly away from one another. Perhaps it can keep us connected, even though we might only be feet away from one another as we tap out texts, emails ,or check up on our “social” life on social media.” – Mitch Abblett

 

Over the last few decades cell phones have gone from a rare curiosity to the dominant mode of electronic communications. They have also expanded well beyond a telephone and have become powerful hand-held computers known as smartphones. In fact, they have become a dominant force in daily life, occupying large amounts of time and attention. We have become seriously attached. They have become so dominant that, for many, the thought of being without it produces anxiety. Many people have become addicted. It is estimated that about 12% of the population is truly “addicted,” developing greater levels of “tolerance” and experiencing “withdrawal” and distress when deprived of them.

 

Recent surveys and studies paint a vivid picture of our cell phone addiction: we feel a surge of panic when we are separated from our beloved cell phones. This phenomenon is so new that there is little understanding of its nature and causes. In today’s Research News article “.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00598/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_943967_69_Psycho_20190326_arts_A), Li and colleagues examine the relationships of parental attachment, alexithymia, and mindfulness with cell phone dependence in adolescents. They recruited adolescents (average age 14.9 years) and had them complete scales measuring parental attachment, alexithymia, mindfulness, and mobile phone dependence.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness and parental attachment the lower the levels of mobile phone dependence and that the higher the levels of alexithymia the lower the levels of parental attachment and the higher the levels of mobile phone dependence. In a mediational analysis they found that the relationship between parental attachment and mobile phone dependence was moderated by mindfulness such that the higher the levels of mindfulness the greater the impact of parental attachment on lowering the levels of mobile phone dependence. Similarly, they found that the relationship between alexithymia and mobile phone dependence was moderated by mindfulness such that the higher the levels of mindfulness the less the impact of alexithymia on heightening the levels of mobile phone dependence.

 

These findings suggest that youth with secure attachment to their parents become less dependent on their mobile phones and that this association is strengthened by mindfulness. In other words, mindful youths are more highly impacted by their attachment to their parents. Alexithymia “is characterized by reduced capacity to identify, analyze and express emotions, restricted imagination, and an externally oriented thinking.” Hence, the findings also suggest that youth with poor emotion regulation become more attached to the mobile phones and that mindful youths are less impacted by their lack of emotion regulation. So, mindfulness is associated with lower dependence on mobile phones by moderating the associations of parental attachment and alexithymia on mobile phone dependence.

 

Since mobile phone dependence is becoming more and more of a problem it is important to find antidotes. Mindfulness may be just such an antidote. The present results, though, are correlational and causation cannot be determined. So, it remains to be seen if mindfulness training can, in fact, alter the relationships of parental attachment and alexithymia with mobile phone dependence. This will be important to determine in the future as mindfulness training may be used to lower the dependence of youths on mobile phones and thereby improve their connections with other people and their environment, improving their well-being.

 

So, reduce cell phone dependence in adolescents with mindfulness.

 

“To say we are addicted to our phones is not merely to point out that we use them a lot. It signals a darker notion: that we use them to keep our own selves at bay. Because of our phones, we may find ourselves incapable of sitting alone in a room with our own thoughts floating freely in our own heads, daring to wander into the past and the future, allowing ourselves to feel pain, desire, regret and excitement.” – Stephany Tlalka

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Li X and Hao C (2019) The Relationship Between Parental Attachment and Mobile Phone Dependence Among Chinese Rural Adolescents: The Role of Alexithymia and Mindfulness. Front. Psychol. 10:598. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00598

 

Mobile phone has experienced a significant increase in popularity among adolescents in recent years. Findings indicate dependence on mobile phone is related to poor parent-child relationship. However, previous research on mobile phone dependence (MPD) is scant and mainly focus on adult samples. In this view, the present study investigated the association between parental attachment and MPD as well as its influence mechanism, in sample of adolescents in rural China. Data were collected from three middle schools in rural areas of Jiangxi and Hubei Province (N = 693, 46.46% female, Mage = 14.88, SD = 1.77). Participants completed the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA), the twenty-item Toronto alexithymia scale (TAS-20), the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) and the Mobile Phone Addiction Index Scale (MPAI). Among the results, parental attachment negatively predicted MPD and alexithymia were exerting partial mediation effect between parental attachment and MPD. Further, mindfulness acted as moderator of the relationship between alexithymia and MPD: The negative impact of alexithymia on MPD was weakened under the condition of high level of mindfulness. Knowledge of this mechanism could be useful for understanding adolescents’ MPD in terms of the interaction of multiple factors.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00598/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_943967_69_Psycho_20190326_arts_A

 

Compulsive Sexual Behavior is Related to Shame and Low Mindfulness

Compulsive Sexual Behavior is Related to Shame and Low Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“In addition to helping bring about a reduction in dysfunctional sex-related actions, fantasies and thoughts, mindfulness training may help affected individuals gain improved emotional control, an increased ability to handle stressful situations and improved resistance to any potentially damaging sex-related urges that arise.” – The Ranch

 

Sexual behavior is a very important aspect of human behavior, especially for reproduction. In fact, Sigmund Freud made it a centerpiece of his psychodynamic theory. At its best, it is the glue that holds families and relationships together. But it is a common source of dysfunction and psychosocial problems. Compulsive sexual behavior “encompasses problems with preoccupation with thoughts surrounding sexual behavior, loss of control over sexual behavior, disturbances in relationships due to sexual behavior, and disturbances in affect (e.g., shame) due to sexual behavior.” It is also called sex addiction and hypersexuality. It is chronic and remarkably common affecting 3% to 17% of the population. In addition, it is associated with substance abuse in around half of people with compulsive sexual behavior.

 

Compulsive sexual behavior is frequently treated with psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral, Therapy, or drugs with mixed success. Since, it is also looked at as an addiction and mindfulness treatment has been found to be effective for both sexual dysfunction and for addictions, mindfulness may be affective for individuals with both substance abuse and compulsive sexual behavior. Indeed, mindfulness has been shown to be related to compulsive sexual behavior in men undergoing treatment for substance abuse. This suggests that further study of the relationship between mindfulness and compulsive sexual behavior should be investigated.

 

In today’s Research News article “Dispositional Mindfulness, Shame, and Compulsive Sexual Behaviors among Men in Residential Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5764544/ ), Brem and colleagues examined the medical records of men in residential treatment for substance abuse looking at measures of mindfulness, compulsive sexual behavior, shame, alcohol use and associated problems, and drug use and associated problems. They examined the relationships between the variables with hierarchical multiple regressions.

 

They found that for these men in residential treatment for substance abuse, the higher the levels of mindfulness the lower the levels of compulsive sexual behavior, shame, alcohol use and associated problems, and drug use and associated problems. Hence mindfulness appears to be associated with lower levels of problems associated with substance abuse. In addition, they found that the higher the levels of compulsive sexual behavior, the higher the levels of shame and alcohol use and associated problems. Significantly, men who engaged in compulsive sexual behavior were more likely to experience shame when mindfulness was low. With average and high levels of mindfulness, compulsive sexual behavior was not related to shame.

 

Hence it appears that mindfulness not only is associated with lower shame but that it also appears to inoculate men who demonstrate compulsive sexual behavior from feelings of shame. Shame appears to interfere with successful treatment for substance abuse. Being ashamed increases negative feelings about the self and success in treatment is aided by positive feelings about the self.  So, these results suggest that being mindful may be an asset encouraging successful treatment for substance abuse in part by reducing the feelings of shame that interfere with success.

 

So, reduce compulsive sexual behavior by reducing shame with mindfulness.

 

The greatest aid has been, and is, the knowledge and application of mind body awareness (or mindfulness, consciousness). It was the realisation about the nature of the relationship between me (the observer) and my mind which gave me the greatest insight and a powerful tool to overcome the negative behaviour patterns that sexual addiction creates. And I am still learning everyday!” – Sex Addict

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Brem, M. J., Shorey, R. C., Anderson, S., & Stuart, G. L. (2017). Dispositional Mindfulness, Shame, and Compulsive Sexual Behaviors among Men in Residential Treatment for Substance Use Disorders. Mindfulness, 8(6), 1552-1558.

 

Abstract

Approximately 31% of men in treatment for a substance use disorders (SUD) engage in compulsive sexual behavior (CSB). Shame, a well-documented consequence of CSB, increases the likelihood of relapse following treatment for SUDs. Despite the risk of relapse, prior research has not investigated factors that may attenuate the relation between CSB and shame. Dispositional mindfulness is one such factor known to mitigate shame. However, researchers have yet to examine dispositional mindfulness as a moderator of the relationship between CSB and shame among a sample of men in treatment for SUDs. In an effort to inform intervention efforts, the present study aimed to investigate the hypothesis that CSB would not relate to shame among men with high, as opposed to low, levels of dispositional mindfulness. The present study reviewed medical records of 184 men in residential treatment for SUDs who completed cross-sectional measures of shame, CSB, dispositional mindfulness, and substance use problems. Results demonstrated a significant interaction between CSB and dispositional mindfulness such that CSB positively related to shame at low, but not mean or high, levels of dispositional mindfulness. These results support and extend previous mindfulness and CSB treatment research. Findings suggested that intervention efforts for CSB may benefit from increasing dispositional mindfulness in an effort to reduce shame-related cognitions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5764544/

 

Improve Substance Use Disorders and Prevent Relapse with Mindfulness

Improve Substance Use Disorders and Prevent Relapse with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

As we understand more about the human condition and the things that drive some people to dangerous behavior, we can apply new methods of treatment to help heal the body and mind. One of these methods is what we call mindfulness, and it can play a vital role in recovery.” – Foundations Recovery Network

 

Substance abuse is a major health and social problem. There are estimated 22.2 million people in the U.S. with substance dependence. It is estimated that worldwide there are nearly ¼ million deaths yearly as a result of illicit drug use which includes unintentional overdoses, suicides, HIV and AIDS, and trauma. In the U.S. about 17 million people abuse alcohol. Drunk driving fatalities accounted for over 10,000 deaths annually. “Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year. In 2013, an estimated 17.8% (42.1 million) U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers.”  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

 

Obviously, there is a need to find effective methods to prevent and treat substance abuse. There are a number of programs that are successful at stopping the drug abuse, including the classic 12-step program emblematic of Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately, the majority of drug and/or alcohol abusers relapse and return to substance abuse. Hence, it is important to find an effective method to both treat substance abuse disorders and to prevent relapses. Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve recovery from various addictions and reduce relapse.

 

There is developing an extensive research literature on mindfulness application to substance abuse. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness meditation in the treatment of substance use disorders and preventing future relapse: neurocognitive mechanisms and clinical implications.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6247953/ ), Priddy and colleagues review and summarize this published research literature (21 studies) on the application of mindfulness practices for the treatment of substance abuse disorders.

 

They report that mindfulness training helps individuals with substance abuse disorders in a number of ways. From a neurocognitive perspective it appears to produce improvements in substance abusers’ working memory, selective attention/response inhibition, and decision-making skills. In addition, mindfulness training appears to improve positive emotions and responses to natural rewards and reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress in substance abusers. These benefits may be associated with reduces substance abuse. Mindfulness training also appears to improve the abuser’s ability to understand the reasons for and consequences of their substance abuse. It can reduce reactivity to drug related cues in the environment, reduce cravings, and reduce substance seeking and consumption. All of this not only helps in quitting drugs but also in preventing relapse.

 

Hence, there is accumulating scientific findings, many of which from tightly controlled randomized trials, that suggest that mindfulness training is an excellent treatment for reducing substance abuse and also for preventing of relapse. It appears to act by altering not only drug related behavior but also the underlying physiological mechanisms that produce addiction and support substance abuse. The research, then, suggests that mindfulness training may be an important part of the solution to the scourge of substance abuse.

 

So, improve substance use disorders and prevent relapse with mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness meditation has also been shown to contribute to improved self-control, and since impulsivity plays an important role in addiction and drug abuse, better self-control is always welcome.” – Racel Fintzy

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Priddy, S. E., Howard, M. O., Hanley, A. W., Riquino, M. R., Friberg-Felsted, K., & Garland, E. L. (2018). Mindfulness meditation in the treatment of substance use disorders and preventing future relapse: neurocognitive mechanisms and clinical implications. Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, 9, 103–114. doi:10.2147/SAR.S145201

 

Abstract

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are a pervasive public health problem with deleterious consequences for individuals, families, and society. Furthermore, SUD intervention is complicated by the continuous possibility of relapse. Despite decades of research, SUD relapse rates remain high, underscoring the need for more effective treatments. Scientific findings indicate that SUDs are driven by dysregulation of neural processes underlying reward learning and executive functioning. Emerging evidence suggests that mindfulness training can target these neurocognitive mechanisms to produce significant therapeutic effects on SUDs and prevent relapse. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the cognitive, affective, and neural mechanisms underlying the effects of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) on SUDs. We discuss the etiology of addiction and neurocognitive processes related to the development and maintenance of SUDs. We then explore evidence supporting use of MBIs for intervening in SUDs and preventing relapse. Finally, we provide clinical recommendations about how these therapeutic mechanisms might be applied to intervening in SUDs and preventing relapse.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6247953/

 

Improve Sleep, Fitness, and Abstinence in Women with Stimulant Addiction with Tai Chi

Improve Sleep, Fitness, and Abstinence in Women with Stimulant Addiction with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“As a recovering addict, I urge you to try Tai Chi. It helps you relax, restores your energy, reduces cravings, and combats depression and pain. Plus, it will boost your physical, mental and emotional health.” – Angela Lambert

 

Substance abuse is a major health and social problem. There are estimated 22.2 million people in the U.S. with substance dependence. It is estimated that worldwide there are nearly ¼ million deaths yearly as a result of illicit drug use which includes unintentional overdoses, suicides, HIV and AIDS, and trauma. Obviously, there is a need to find effective methods to prevent and treat substance abuse. There are a number of programs that are successful at stopping the drug abuse, including the classic 12-step program emblematic of Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately, the majority of drug and/or alcohol abusers relapse and return to substance abuse. Hence, it is important to find an effective method to both treat substance abuse disorders and to prevent relapses.

 

Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve recovery from various addictions. Tai Chi is a mindfulness practice that has documented benefits for the individual’s psychological and physical health and well-being. Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient mindfulness practices involving slow prescribed movements. Since Tai Chi is both a mindfulness practice and a gentle exercise, it may be an acceptable and effective treatment patients recovering from addictions. There has, however, been a paucity of studies on the use of Tai Chi practice to treat substance abuse.

 

In today’s Research News article “Long-Term Effects of Tai Chi Intervention on Sleep and Mental Health of Female Individuals With Dependence on Amphetamine-Type Stimulants.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01476/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_755938_69_Psycho_20180904_arts_A ), Zhu and colleagues recruited women who were in a drug abuse rehabilitation program for stimulant abuse. They were randomly assigned to receive either Tai Chi practice or usual care with light exercise and drug education. They were treated for 60 minutes per day for 3 months and measured before and after treatment and 3 months later for sleep quality, depression, and physical fitness. Drug relapses were also recorded over the subsequent 4 year period.

 

They found that the group that practiced Tai Chi had higher sleep quality with shorter sleep durations, greater sleep efficiency, and less daytime disruptions, at the completion of training but not 3 months later. They also found that the Tai Chi group had a significant decrease in their resting pulse rate that was maintained 3 months later. Importantly, significantly fewer of the Tai Chi group relapsed (9.5%) compared to the usual treatment group (26.3%) and for those who relapsed the Tai Chi group stayed abstinent for a significantly longer period (1209 vs. 880 days).

 

These are interesting and important results that suggest that Tai Chi practice can be of great benefit to women being treated for stimulant drug abuse. The practice appears to improve sleep quality and physical fitness but most importantly appears to help maintain abstinence. There are many programs that produce cessation of drug use, but relapse occurs frequently. That a simple and inexpensive mindfulness exercise can greatly enhance the effectiveness of the programs in producing and maintain abstinence is very encouraging.

 

So, improve sleep, fitness, and abstinence in women with stimulant addiction with Tai Chi.

 

“A common complaint many of us share in early recovery is difficulty sleeping. If we have been abusing alcohol or drugs, it may be many years since we last experienced ‘normal’ sleep, and it is going to take a little time for our body to adjust. One of the things you are likely to notice if you practice Tai Chi regularly is that you find it easier to get to sleep at night.” – Hope Rehab

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Zhu D, Dai G, Xu D, Xu X, Geng J, Zhu W, Jiang X and Theeboom M (2018) Long-Term Effects of Tai Chi Intervention on Sleep and Mental Health of Female Individuals With Dependence on Amphetamine-Type Stimulants. Front. Psychol. 9:1476. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01476

 

Previous studies provide evidence that Tai Chi (TC) can reduce the symptoms of sleep problems and be of benefit for the rehabilitation of substance abusers. In this study, we investigated if TC practice can improve sleep quality and mood of females who are dependent on amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS). Eighty subjects were randomly assigned to TC intervention and standard care (SC) for 6 months. We applied analysis of variance on repeated-measure with the year of drug dependence as the covariate to test the changes of the self-rated Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), as well as fitness after 3 and 6 months. Relapse investigation was conducted by checking the database of China’s National Surveillance System on Drug Abuse and that of the Shanghai Drug Control Committee’s illicit drug dependents. Our investigation focused on the relapse of participants who had undergone and completed treatment in the Shanghai Mandatory Detoxification and Rehabilitation Center in 2015. The result showed that the PSQI scores of sleep duration [F (2, 92) = 9.86], need for sleep medications [F (2, 92) = 36.44] and daytime dysfunction [F (2, 92) = 5.15] were found to have a significant difference by time × group interaction after 6 months. SDS showed no significant difference between the two groups; however, the score of SDS in TC decreased after 6-month intervention, and no changes were observed in SC. Pulse rate had significantly decreased in the TC group compared with the SC group after 6 months. 9.5% (4) ATS dependents in TC and 26.3% (10) ATS dependents in SC were found to have relapsed. Our result suggested that TC had positive effects on sleep quality, depression and fitness. Long-term study demonstrated that TC may be a cheap and potential supplementary treatment for ATS-dependent individuals. TC may also be considered as an alternative exercise to escalate abstinence for ATS-dependent females.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01476/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_755938_69_Psycho_20180904_arts_A

 

Improve Thinking in Substance Abusers with Yoga

Improve Thinking in Substance Abusers with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“When people take substances, they’re seeking a certain experience, whether it’s escapist or transcendental or just wanting a different psychological state, to get away from whatever is making them unhappy. Yoga is an alternative, a positive way to generate a change in consciousness that, instead of providing an escape, empowers people with the ability to access a peaceful, restorative inner state that integrates mind, body, and spirit.” – Sat Bir Khalsa

 

Substance abuse is a major health and social problem. There are estimated 22.2 million people in the U.S. with substance dependence. It is estimated that worldwide there are nearly ¼ million deaths yearly as a result of illicit drug use which includes unintentional overdoses, suicides, HIV and AIDS, and trauma. In the U.S. about 17 million people abuse alcohol. Drunk driving fatalities accounted for over 10,000 deaths annually. “Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year. In 2013, an estimated 17.8% (42.1 million) U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers.”  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

 

Obviously, there is a need to find effective methods to prevent and treat substance abuse. There are a number of programs that are successful at stopping the drug abuse, including the classic 12-step program emblematic of Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately, the majority of drug and/or alcohol abusers relapse and return to substance abuse. Hence, it is important to find an effective method to both treat substance abuse disorders and to prevent relapses. Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve recovery from various addictions. Yoga is a mindfulness practice that has documented benefits for the individual’s psychological and physical health and well-being. There has been a paucity of studies, however, on the use of yoga practice to treat substance abuse.

 

Substance abuse frequently produces cognitive deficits which interfere with the clear thinking needed for abstinence and recovery from substance abuse. So, it is important that methods be found to improve cognitive function in substance abusers undergoing treatment. In today’s Research News article “Effect of Add-On Yoga on Cognitive Functions among Substance Abusers in a Residential Therapeutic Center: Randomized Comparative Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981665/ ), Gaihre and colleagues examine the ability of yoga practice in comparison to a physical exercise program to enhance the cognitive performance in substance abusers undergoing treatment.

 

They recruited adult substance abusers entering a treatment program and having successfully undergone 3 weeks of withdrawal and abstinence. They were randomly assigned to receive 12-week programs of either yoga practice or physical exercise. Both programs met 6 times per week for 90 minutes. The yoga program included postures, breathing exercises, stretching, relaxation, and meditation. The physical exercise program included stretching and walking and running aerobic exercise. The participants were measured before and after the 12-week intervention for cognitive performance including the Stroop interference task, digit span short-term memory task, and a sustained and selective task.

 

They found that after 12-weeks of practice both yoga practice and physical exercise groups had large and significant improvements in all of the cognitive tasks. Hence, both types of exercise were associated with clearer thought processes in the substance abusers. It is unfortunate that there a no-treatment control wasn’t included as the improvements might have occurred anyway over the 12-weeks of residential substance abuse treatment. It will remain for future research to examine this possibility.

 

Substance abuse treatment is difficult and relapse is very common. So, finding methods that can enhance the abuser’s ability to process information and think clearly about their addiction and its treatment would be very helpful. The findings suggest that exercise programs including yoga practice may be able to help clear the cognitive fog and enhance the abuser’s ability to successfully complete treatment and resist relapse.

 

So, improve thinking in substance abusers with Yoga.

 

“Since most meditation practices involve management of the mind’s energy and impulses, practitioners of yoga and meditation experience greater mood stability in the face of outside pressures. Having a calm mind and being mentally stable can contribute to the avoidance of self-harming behaviors and activities, like substance abuse.” – Addiction Resources

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Gaihre, A., & Rajesh, S. K. (2018). Effect of Add-On Yoga on Cognitive Functions among Substance Abusers in a Residential Therapeutic Center: Randomized Comparative Study. Annals of Neurosciences, 25(1), 38–45. http://doi.org/10.1159/000484165

 

Abstract

Background

Chronic vulnerability characterizes substance abuse disorder with consequent relapse. The process of abstinence depends on cognitive recovery. Hence, behavioral intervention should account for cognitive dimension of substance abusers. Recent studies highlight yoga-based intervention as a promising add-on therapy for treating and preventing addictive behaviors.

Purpose

The study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a yoga-based intervention as an add-on in enhancing cognitive functions, compared with physical exercise to newly admitted substance abusers seeking an inpatient treatment program.

Methods

The study was a single-blind, randomized, comparative design that included 96 male participants, between 18 and 40 years in a residential rehabilitation treatment unit. Partakers in the yoga or physical exercise group received supervised daily training for 12 weeks, in addition to standard rehabilitation treatment. Raters blind to the study assessed the patients on digit span task, cancellation test, and Stroop tests at the baseline and following 12 weeks of intervention.

Results

A significant enhancement in digit forward (yoga – p < 0.0005, d = 0.81; exercise – p < 0.0005, d = 0.73), digit backward (yoga – p < 0.0005, d = 0.88; exercise – p < 0.0005, d = 0.58), and letter cancellation test scores (yoga – p < 0.0005, d = 1.31; exercise – p < 0.0005, d = 1.4) were observed in both the yoga and the exercise groups. Stroop word and color task scores were seen significantly higher following yoga (p <0.005, d = 0.74; p < 0.005, d = 1.13) and exercise (p < 0.0005, d = 0.62; p < 0.0005, d = 0.61). Furthermore, Stroop color-word test showed significant enhancement after yoga (p < 0.0005, d = 1.10) and exercise (p < 0.0005, d = 0.42), with degree of variation higher in the yoga group.

Conclusion

Our results suggest that the add-on yoga or exercise-based intervention show enhancement of cognitive functions. These findings provide the utility of yoga and exercise-based intervention in improving cognitive functions among substance abusers. Furthermore, rigorous trials are needed to explore the potential long-term effects of these procedures.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981665/

 

Employ Mindfulness-Based Interventions for the Treatment of Addictions

Employ Mindfulness-Based Interventions for the Treatment of Addictions

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

‘A fact that many don’t know yet is that mindfulness is currently the most effective treatment in the world for overcoming addictions.“ – Judson Brewer

 

Substance abuse is a major health and social problem. There are estimated 22.2 million people in the U.S. with substance dependence. It is estimated that worldwide there are nearly ¼ million deaths yearly as a result of illicit drug use which includes unintentional overdoses, suicides, HIV and AIDS, and trauma. In the U.S. about 17 million people abuse alcohol. Drunk driving fatalities accounted for over 10,000 deaths annually. “Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year. In 2013, an estimated 17.8% (42.1 million) U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers.”  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

 

Obviously, there is a need to find effective methods to prevent and treat substance abuse. There are a number of programs that are successful at stopping the drug abuse, including the classic 12-step program emblematic of Alcoholics Anonymous. Unfortunately, the majority of drug and/or alcohol abusers relapse and return to substance abuse. Hence, it is important to find an effective method to both treat substance abuse disorders and to prevent relapses. Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve recovery from various addictions.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Interventions for the Treatment of Substance and Behavioral Addictions: A Systematic Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5884944/ ), Sancho and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the application of mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of addictions and relapse prevention. They discovered 54 studies that used mindfulness-based interventions to treat addictions to a variety of addictions, including substance use, cigarette smoking, alcohol, opioids, gambling disorder, stimulants, marijuana, combination of cocaine and alcohol, and combination of tobacco and alcohol.

 

They report that the research found that mindfulness-based interventions were effective in reducing dependence, craving, and other addiction-related symptoms as well as improving depression, anxiety, and perceived stress and emotion regulation difficulties. Unfortunately, these effects generally did not last when long-term follow-ups were examined. They also report that the interventions were most effective when combined with other treatments for addictions. The most effective treatments were those that were expressly developed to treat addictions including mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP), Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), and Mindfulness Training for Smokers (MTS). Hence the research suggests that mindfulness-based interventions are effective for the treatment of addictions and these effects are best when the mindfulness-based interventions are tailored for addictions and combined with other treatments.

 

So, employ mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of addictions.

 

“(Mindfulness) tackles the very roots of addictive behavior by targeting two of the main predictors of relapse: negative emotions and cravings.” – Carolyn Gregoire

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sancho, M., De Gracia, M., Rodríguez, R. C., Mallorquí-Bagué, N., Sánchez-González, J., Trujols, J., … Menchón, J. M. (2018). Mindfulness-Based Interventions for the Treatment of Substance and Behavioral Addictions: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9, 95. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00095

 

Abstract

Background

Emotion (dys)regulation as well as the interventions for improving these difficulties are receiving a growing attention in the literature. The aim of the present paper was to conduct a systematic review about the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in both substance and behavioral addictions (BAs).

Method

A literature search was conducted using Cochrane, PubMed, and Web of Science. Fifty-four randomized controlled trials published in English since 2009 to April 2017 were included into a narrative synthesis.

Results

Mindfulness-based interventions were applied in a wide range of addictions, including substance use disorders (from smoking to alcohol, among others) and BAs (namely, gambling disorder). These treatments were successful for reducing dependence, craving, and other addiction-related symptoms by also improving mood state and emotion dysregulation. The most commonly used MBI approaches were as follows: Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Mindfulness Training for Smokers, or Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement, and the most frequent control group in the included studies was Treatment as Usual (TAU). The most effective approach was the combination of MBIs with TAU or other active treatments. However, there is a lack of studies showing the maintenance of the effect over time. Therefore, studies with longer follow-ups are needed.

Conclusion

The revised literature shows support for the effectiveness of the MBIs. Future research should focus on longer follow-up assessments as well as on adolescence and young population, as they are a vulnerable population for developing problems associated with alcohol, drugs, or other addictions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5884944/