Antidote to stress re substance use, misuse, and addiction

Black, D. S. (2014). Mindfulness-Based Interventions: An Antidote to Suffering in the Context of Substance Use, Misuse, and Addiction. Substance use & misuse, 49(5), 487-491. Full text

From the Abstract. The cultivation of mindfulness as an approach to human perception through the practice of meditation has become an increasingly popular treatment for medical and psychological symptoms and as a topic of scientific investigation. Substance user programs are also increasingly embracing this treatment strategy as either a stand-alone therapeutic modality or a complement to ongoing treatment.

In this article, I supply an introduction … concerning mindfulness and substance use intervention by first providing a brief historical account of the secular Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program to introduce new readers to the more general topic of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), and to contextualize historical publishing trends observed in mindfulness research across the past four decades. I then examine the implications of MBIs for substance use, misuse, and addiction, especially in areas related to craving and suffering.

Useful for the treatment of addictive behaviors

Spinella, M., Martino, S. & Ferri, C. (2013). Mindfulness and Addictive Behaviors. Journal of Behavioral Health,(1), 1-7. Full text.

Abstract: There has been increasing interest in mindfulness-based treatments for psychological illnesses, including substance abuse. Mindfulness involves intentionally directing attention to experiences in the present moment and observing them with a nonjudgmental attitude.

This study examined the relationship between mindfulness and various addictive behaviors (i.e. alcohol abuse, pathological gambling, sex addiction, and compulsive buying) in a community sample. A short but comprehensive composite measure of mindfulness was constructed from previous valid measures, which retained good reliability and a five-factor structure.

Two higher-order factors emerged: Attentive Acceptance (Nonjudging, Acting with Awareness) and Descriptive Observation (Describe, Observe, Nonreactivity). Inverse correlations emerged between the nonjudgmental attitude and alcohol abuse, pathological gambling, and sexual addiction, independent of demographic influences. Compulsive buying related inversely to acting with awareness.

The findings of this study support the use of mindfulness as a treatment for substance abuse and suggest the possible usefulness for the treatment of other addictive behaviors.