Millions in federal grants to fund cutting-edge mindfulness research addressing nation’s opioid epidemic

Eric Garland, associate dean for research at the U’s College of Social Work, has received two prestigious multi-million dollar grants to investigate the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement treatment for chronic pain and opioid misuse. The grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense will look at whether this innovative, mindfulness-based treatment modality can, as previous research has shown, reduce a person’s craving for opioid painkillers and improve the ability to cope with the intense pain for which these drugs are most often prescribed. The grants come as the nation grapples with an opioid and heroin epidemic. President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 18-24, 2016, the nation’s inaugural Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. This week—dedicated to improving awareness of what the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has called “an unprecedented opioid epidemic”—emphasizes the importance of prevention and evidence-based treatment options, such as Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE).
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