Friday, January 18, 2019: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Golden Gate 3, Lobby Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Substance Misuse and Addictive Behaviors (SM&AB)
Eric Garland, PhD, University of Utah
Matthew Howard, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This symposium is the first to examine the efficacy and mechanisms of mindfulness-based treatments for addiction in the context of social work practice. Addiction is a formidable problem in the U.S., exacting tremendous medical, psychosocial, and economic costs to society. Individuals suffering from addiction are often highly vulnerable and confront a range of social inequalities, resulting in a pervasive sense of hopelessness and despair. In consequence, addiction has been called a “disease of despair” – one that disproportionately impacts individuals marginalized to the social and economic fringes of society. Novel treatment options are needed to combat the U.S.'s growing addiction problem. Among the most promising of the emerging addiction treatment options are mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). Mindfulness is defined as the ability to intentionally attend to the present moment with an attitude of acceptance. Over the past decade, research on mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of addiction have proliferated in medicine and psychology. More recently, social work scholars and practitioners have begun to pursue mindfulness-based interventions like Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) as a means of supporting individuals suffering from addiction. Growing bodies of evidence support the efficacy of MORE and MBRP in decreasing addictive behaviors. This symposium will introduce these two therapeutic approaches and present recent evidence of their clinical utility. More specifically, this presentation brings together former Society for Social Work and Research award winners and their trainees who will present data from federally-funded studies examining the role of MORE and MBRP in the treatment of multiple forms of addiction. Garland will present results from a NIH-funded RCT of the effects of MORE on temporally dynamic change trajectories of opioid craving in chronic pain patients receiving opioid pharmacotherapy using high density, longitudinal ecological momentary assessments delivered via smartphone. Davis et al. will detail the effects of MBRP on addictive behaviors in a NIH-funded RCT of adolescents receiving treatment for addiction, focusing on stress as a mediating mechanism of treatment as revealed by bi-linear spine structural equation models. Hanley will present data from a clinical trial of MORE concerning the effects of mindfulness on a novel addictions treatment target, awareness of pleasant bodily sensations, and its association with reduced opioid use disorder symptoms. Bryan will present a secondary analysis from a RCT comparing MORE to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for heroin addiction - a growing public health threat emerging from increasingly restrictive opioid prescribing practices. Lastly, Howard will serve as a discussant by contextualizing these findings within the broader addiction science literature and presenting methodological and conceptual recommendations for advancing a science of mindfulness as a treatment for addiction aligned with the ethos and mission of social work. This symposium, comprised of senior experts and promising junior scholars in the field, will elucidate novel therapeutic mechanisms and articulate cutting-edge analytic methods to stimulate the next generation of social work research on mindfulness-based interventions for addiction.
* noted as presenting author
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