Mindfulness-based treatment to prevent addictive behavior relapse: theoretical models and hypothesized mechanisms of change

Subst Use Misuse. 2014 Apr;49(5):513-24. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2014.891845.


Mindfulness-based treatments are growing in popularity among addiction treatment providers, and several studies suggest the efficacy of incorporating mindfulness practices into the treatment of addiction, including the treatment of substance use disorders and behavioral addictions (i.e., gambling). The current paper provides a review of theoretical models of mindfulness in the treatment of addiction and several hypothesized mechanisms of change. We provide an overview of mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP), including session content, treatment targets, and client feedback from participants who have received MBRP in the context of empirical studies. Future research directions regarding operationalization and measurement, identifying factors that moderate treatment effects, and protocol adaptations for specific populations are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Behavior, Addictive / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Mindfulness*
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*