Opioid Use Disorder: Rutgers Study Demonstrates Improved Mood and Emotional Regulation with Guided Mindfulness

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Suchismita Ray, Ph.D.
Associate Professor                                      
Department of Health Informatics            
Rutgers School of Health Professions
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Newark, NJ 07101

Dr. Suchismita Ray
Photo by John O’Boyle

PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In this pilot study, we examined longer-term changes after the Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) intervention and immediate effects of a brief MORE guided meditation session in women with opioid use disorder (OUD) who were on medications for OUD (MOUD). Participants completed the first assessment, then the 8-week MORE intervention (once weekly for two hours) during residential treatment, and then the second assessment.

The assessments were identical and conducted at Rutgers University Brain Imaging Center in Newark.

First, participants completed an emotion regulation questionnaire, and then they entered the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment for scanning. Participants listened to a 10-minute guided MORE meditation in the scanner while viewing a picture of an outdoor garden, and brain images were recorded to measure functional connectivity (i.e., brain communication) during the meditation. We examined the immediate effects of a 10-minute guided MORE meditation on mood and craving. We further examined the effects of 8-week MORE intervention on changes in emotional regulation difficulty and brain communication.

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