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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.

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.

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.

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.

The Relapse Prevention (RP) model has been a mainstay of addictions theory and treatment since its introduction three decades ago. This paper provides an overview and update of RP for addictive behaviors with a focus on developments over the last decade (2000-2010). Major treatment outcome studies and meta-analyses are summarized, as are selected empirical findings relevant to the tenets of the RP model. Notable advances in RP in the last decade include the introduction of a reformulated cognitive-behavioral model of relapse, the application of advanced statistical methods to model relapse in large randomized trials, and the development of mindfulness-based relapse prevention. We also review the emergent literature on genetic correlates of relapse following pharmacological and behavioral treatments. The continued influence of RP is evidenced by its integration in most cognitive-behavioral substance use interventions. However, the tendency to subsume RP within other treatment modalities has posed a barrier to systematic evaluation of the RP model. Overall, RP remains an influential cognitive-behavioral framework that can inform both theoretical and clinical approaches to understanding and facilitating behavior change.

The present study examined the associations between trait mindfulness and depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms (i.e., worry), and alcohol-related problems via decentering and purpose in life. Using structural equation modeling in a large sample of college students (N = 1,277), we found support for decentering and purpose in life as partial mediators of the associations between trait mindfulness and these outcomes. Although our findings should be viewed as preliminary given the cross-sectional study design and study population, our results are consistent with the notion that decentering and purpose in life may be mechanisms explaining the health beneficial effects of mindfulness. Future research studies with extensive assessments of potential mechanisms using experimental and longitudinal designs are needed to bolster confidence that decentering and purpose in life are important mechanisms explaining the health-promoting effects of mindfulness.