To reduce the dependence on drugs among chronic patients, a new program called MORE or Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) has beem devised to help them make less depedent on drugs by visualising more meaningful life and bear the pain.
The program decreases the chronic patients’ addiction for drugs by helping them gain a sense of meaning and fulfilment in life and embrace pleasures and pain of life without turning to substance use.
“The findings are scientifically important because over time, drug abusers become dulled to the experience of joy in everyday life and this pushes them to use higher doses of drugs to feel happiness,” explained Eric L. Garland, associate professor at University of Utah College of Social Work, in the US.
In their study, participants received eight weeks of training in applying mindfulness-oriented techniques to alleviate pain and craving while strengthening positive emotions and the sense of reward and meaning in life, by avoiding drugs.
They were also taught a “mindful savouring practice” that focused on pleasant experiences such as a beautiful nature scene or meaningful achievements in ife and attaining peace via meditation.
In the yoga-centric meditation, they were taught to focus on colours, textures and scents of a bouquet of fresh flowers and to appreciate joy arising from the experience.
As part of their daily homework, they were then asked to practice the meditation technique as a way to enjoy other pleasant life experiences.
Those chronic-pain patients who were misusing opioids and went through MORE, were found to have increased brain activation to natural healthy pleasures, showed the study.
The method is also being tested on people who want to quit smoking or lose weight, with positive results, said reserchers. The study has been published in the Journal of Behavioural Medicine.