Mindfulness-based interventions: an antidote to suffering in the context of substance use, misuse, and addiction

Subst Use Misuse. 2014 Apr;49(5):487-91. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2014.860749.


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 to the special theme issue 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. To conclude, I outline the empirical and conceptual compendium of contributions offered in this special issue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Behavior, Addictive / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*