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Objective: Few studies have evaluated moderators of mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) for substance use disorders (SUDs). We tested whether baseline patterns of scores for SUD symptom severity and depression and anxiety symptoms moderated the efficacy of MBRP. Method: We used a latent class moderation approach with data from a randomized trial of MBRP compared to cognitive–behavioral relapse prevention and treatment as usual (TAU; Bowen et al., 2014; N = 286, 71.8% male, 48.4% non-White, mean age = 38.44 years, SD = 10.92) and a randomized trial comparing MBRP to TAU (Bowen et al., 2009; N = 168, 63.7% male, 44.6% non-White, mean age = 40.45, SD = .28). Indicators for the latent class models were measures of SUD severity (Severity of Dependence Scale and Short Inventory of Problems), depression symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory), and anxiety symptoms (Beck Anxiety Inventory). Results: In both trials, 3 latent classes provided the best fit: a high–high class characterized by high SUD severity and depression and anxiety symptoms, a high–low class characterized by high SUD severity and low depression and anxiety symptoms, and a low–low class characterized by low SUD severity and depression and anxiety symptoms. In both trials, we found significant latent Class × Treatment interaction effects: There were significant and large effects of MBRP on substance use outcomes in the high–high and high–low classes, but no MBRP effect in the low–low class. Conclusion: MBRP may be an optimal treatment for preventing relapse among clients with severe levels of SUD symptoms and depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as clients with only severe SUD symptoms.

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse: R21 DA010562 (Marlatt, PI). The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. G. Alan Marlatt for his guidance and support, Katie Witkiewitz for her editorial consultation, and the Mindfulness‐Based Relapse Prevention clinical and research teams for their dedication to this project.

OBJECTIVE:A strong relation between negative affect and craving has been demonstrated in laboratory and clinical studies, with depressive symptomatology showing particularly strong links to craving and substance abuse relapse. Mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP), shown to be efficacious for reduction of substance use, uses mindfulness-based practices to teach alternative responses to emotional discomfort and lessen the conditioned response of craving in the presence of depressive symptoms. The goal in the current study was to examine the relation between measures of depressive symptoms, craving, and substance use following MBRP. METHOD: Individuals with substance use disorders (N = 168; mean age 40.45 years, SD = 10.28; 36.3% female; 46.4% non-White) were recruited after intensive stabilization, then randomly assigned to either 8 weekly sessions of MBRP or a treatment-as-usual control group. Approximately 73% of the sample was retained at the final 4-month follow-up assessment. RESULTS: Results confirmed a moderated-mediation effect, whereby craving mediated the relation between depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory) and substance use (Timeline Follow-Back) among the treatment-as-usual group but not among MBRP participants. MBRP attenuated the relation between postintervention depressive symptoms and craving (Penn Alcohol Craving Scale) 2 months following the intervention (f(2) = .21). This moderation effect predicted substance use 4 months following the intervention (f(2) = .18). CONCLUSION: MBRP appears to influence cognitive and behavioral responses to depressive symptoms, partially explaining reductions in postintervention substance use among the MBRP group. Although results are preliminary, the current study provides evidence for the value of incorporating mindfulness practice into substance abuse treatment and identifies a potential mechanism of change following MBRP.

Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP; Kohlenberg & Tsai, 1991) aims to improve interpersonal relationships through skills intended to increase closeness and connection. The current trial assessed a brief mindfulness-based intervention informed by FAP, in which an interpersonal element was added to a traditional intrapersonal mindfulness practice. Undergraduate students (N=104) were randomly assigned to a basic intrapersonal meditation, the same meditation with the addition of a FAP-informed interpersonally-based exercise, or a control group. Follow-up assessments were given at post-intervention, and 48 hours and 2 weeks. Results indicated that for those in the interpersonal group, self-reported connectedness with others in the room increased, and experiential avoidance decreased. However, there were no significant changes in general connectedness with others, mindfulness or intimacy. Future studies might increase the length and depth of this intervention, and assess clinical benefits of adding an interpersonal element to mindfulness-based interventions.

Craving, defined as the subjective experience of an urge or desire to use substances, has been identified in clinical, laboratory, and preclinical studies as a significant predictor of substance use, substance use disorder, and relapse following treatment for a substance use disorder. Various models of craving have been proposed from biological, cognitive, and/or affective perspectives, and, collectively, these models of craving have informed the research and treatment of addictive behaviors. In this article we discuss craving from a mindfulness perspective, and specifically how mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) may be effective in reducing substance craving. We present secondary analyses of data from a randomized controlled trial that examined MBRP as an aftercare treatment for substance use disorders. In the primary analyses of the data from this trial, Bowen and colleagues (2009) found that individuals who received MBRP reported significantly lower levels of craving following treatment, in comparison to a treatment-as-usual control group, which mediated subsequent substance use outcomes. In the current study, we extend these findings to examine potential mechanisms by which MBRP might be associated with lower levels of craving. Results indicated that a latent factor representing scores on measures of acceptance, awareness, and nonjudgment significantly mediated the relation between receiving MBRP and self-reported levels of craving immediately following treatment. The mediation findings are consistent with the goals of MBRP and highlight the importance of interventions that increase acceptance and awareness, and help clients foster a nonjudgmental attitude toward their experience. Attending to these processes may target both the experience of and response to craving.

Racial and ethnic disparities in the treatment of addiction have been acknowledged for several years, yet little is known about which empirically supported treatments for substance use disorders are more or less effective in treating racial and ethnic minority clients. The current study was a secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial of two evidence-based treatments, mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) and relapse prevention (RP), as part of a residential addiction treatment program for women referred by the criminal justice system (n = 70). At 15-week follow-up, regression analyses found that racial and ethnic minority women in MBRP, compared to non-Hispanic and racial and ethnic minority women in RP, reported significantly fewer drug use days (d = .31) and lower addiction severity (d = .65), based on the Addiction Severity Index. Although the small sample size is a limitation, the results suggest that MBRP may be more efficacious than traditional treatments for racial and ethnic minority women.

Despite the availability of various substance abuse treatments, alcohol and drug misuse and related negative consequences remain prevalent. Vipassana meditation (VM), a Buddhist mindfulness-based practice, provides an alternative for individuals who do not wish to attend or have not succeeded with traditional addiction treatments. In this study, the authors evaluated the effectiveness of a VM course on substance use and psychosocial outcomes in an incarcerated population. Results indicate that after release from jail, participants in the VM course, as compared with those in a treatment-as-usual control condition, showed significant reductions in alcohol, marijuana, and crack cocaine use. VM participants showed decreases in alcohol-related problems and psychiatric symptoms as well as increases in positive psychosocial outcomes. The utility of mindfulness-based treatments for substance use is discussed.

IntroductionThe current study evaluated effects of an adapted version of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) on several psychosocial indices in a sample of incarcerated adult males with substance use disorders. Method: This study used a 2 (baseline vs post-session) × 2 (MBRP vs. treatment-as-usual (TAU) mixed design. Twenty-four incarcerated individuals with a history of substance abuse were randomly assigned to either MBRP or TAU. At pre- and post-session assessment points, participants completed the Drug Use Identification Disorders Test- Extended (DUDIT-E), the Drug Avoidance Self-Efficacy Scale (DASE) and positive/negative outcome expectancies (Ep/En). The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) was completed in each weekly session of MBRP. MANOVA and repeated measures ANOVA examined changes between and within subjects, with the significant level set at 0.05. Results No between-group differences were found on positive outcome expectancies or self-efficacy. Differences BDI-II scores among MBRP participants showed a downward trend over time. A Group × Time effect emerged for negative outcome expectancies, with significant differences between groups at post-course assessment. Conclusions Results from this randomized trial suggest pre- to post-intervention trend-level effects of MBRP on depression, and significant group differences over time and at post-course on negative outcome expectancies, with the MBRP group reporting increases

IntroductionMindfulness-based relapse prevention has shown promise as a treatment for substance use disorder but its efficacy according to racial/ethnic minority status and group composition is unknown. Method This is a secondary analysis of existing data (Bowen et al., 2014) testing individual race/ethnicity and racial/ethnic group composition as moderators of mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP). Participants (N = 191; 29% female; 47% racial/ethnic minority; mean age = 39) with substance use disorder were randomized to MBRP or relapse prevention (RP). Outcomes were heavy drinking days (HDD) and drug use days (DUD) 12 months after treatment completion. Negative binominal regression models were conducted. Results Analyses accounted for drug of choice. Individual race/ethnicity was a significant moderator of substance use outcomes. White participants had lower HDD in MBRP than RP (IRR = 0, 95% CI: 0,0), whereas for minority participants, there was no treatment difference in HDD. Conversely, minorities had lower DUD in MBRP than RP (IRR = 0.03, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.10), whereas for whites there was no treatment difference in DUD. Group racial/ethnic composition was a significant moderator. Participants in groups with more than half whites had lower HDD in MBRP than RP (IRR = 0.01, 95% CI: 0, 0.09), whereas for participants in groups with more than half minorities there was no treatment difference in HDD. Exploratory analyses suggested MBRP resulted in better outcomes than RP when individual race/ethnic status was reflected in the group race/ethnicity (i.e., whites in groups with more than half whites or minorities in groups with more than half minorities). Conclusions Among whites, MBRP appears to be more effective than RP in preventing heavy drinking relapse. However, among racial/ethnic minorities, MBRP appears to more effective than RP in preventing drug use relapse. This suggests that the interaction between individual race/ethnicity and group composition may influence primary outcomes.

We examined the relationship between the “Big-Five” personality factors and levels of mindfulness at baseline, and the predictive value of these personality factors on changes in mindfulness after eight weeks of mindfulness-based training. All participants were followed-up for eight weeks. Sixty-three incarcerated adult males with drug abuse disorders completed self-report assessments of mindfulness, depression, and personality. Four of the five personality factors (Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) were significantly associated with Decentering of mindfulness at baseline. Neuroticism and OPENNESS to Experience were significantly related to Curiosity. There was a significant baseline-to-post-course difference on the Decentering subscale; however, the results unexpectedly contradicted our hypothesis. There were no significant baseline-to-post-course differences on the Curiosity subscale. After controlling for post-course depression, none of the Big-Five personality factor traits significantly predicted post-course Curiosity and Decentering. The effects of the Big-Five personality factors on outcomes of mindfulness-based intervention for drug abusers were preliminarily confirmed, but a randomized longitudinal study is required to reconfirm our findings.

A growing body of research suggests that mindfulness-based therapies may be effective in treating a variety of disorders including stress, chronic pain, depression and anxiety. However, there are few valid and reliable measures of mindfulness. Furthermore, mindfulness is often thought to be related to spirituality, given its roots in Buddhist tradition, but empirical studies on this relationship are difficult to find. The present study: (1) tested the reliability and validity of a new mindfulness measure, the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI), (2) explored the relationship between mindfulness and spirituality, and (3) investigated the relationship between mindfulness and/or spirituality and alcohol and tobacco use in an undergraduate college population (N=196). Results support the reliability of the FMI and suggest that spirituality and mindfulness may be separate constructs. In addition, smoking and frequent binge-drinking were negatively correlated with spirituality scores; as spirituality scores increased the use of alcohol and tobacco decreased. Thus, spirituality may be related to decreased substance use. In contrast, a positive relationship between mindfulness and smoking/frequent binge-drinking behavior was uncovered, and warrants further investigation.