A recent study of an intervention program for chronic pain patients called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) has shown that people who are dependent on prescription opioids can reduce their opioid cravings by learning to enjoy other aspects of their lives. The MORE intervention, which integrates the latest research on addiction, cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness, concentrates on helping people to recover a sense of meaning and fulfillment by embracing life’s pleasures and pain without turning to substance use as a coping mechanism. Results from the study show that after participants went through MORE, they exhibited increased brain activation on an EEG to natural healthy pleasures. The more their brains became active in response to natural healthy pleasure, the less they craved opioids.
The MORE method is also being tested on people who want to quit smoking or lose weight.