Evidence-Based Treatment: Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention

Evidence-Based Treatment: Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention

Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher, once stated, “When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

Relapse is a central topic to addiction recovery, because although a person finds healing and restoration over time, triggers and cravings still arise. Substances such as drugs and alcohol can have a major effect on brain and body functioning, which is why recovery is considered a lifelong journey. Mindfulness is rooted in the Eastern side of the world and has been practiced for thousands of years and has become ever-more prominent in the United States as we’ve witnessed the many positive effects it can have on the mind, body and spirit.

When it comes to addiction recovery, mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) tackles the very roots of addiction by targeting both negative emotions and cravings: both of which are direct influencers to relapse. A number of tools are explored in MBRP, such as building awareness of the present moment and noticing what sort of problematic thoughts may arise. In 2014, researchers published a study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry to compare just how effective MBRP was for those in addiction recovery compared to regular treatment approaches. For 12 months, a total of 286 people were assessed after being randomly placed into either MBRP, relapse prevention treatment, or regular treatment for 8 weeks.

Researchers found that compared to traditional treatment options, participants assigned to relapse prevention and MBRP reported significantly lower risk of relapse – furthermore, those in the MBRP program reported significantly fewer days of relapse at the 12-month mark compared to both traditional treatment and general relapse prevention.

MBRP helps us identify troubling thoughts as well as the relationship between our thoughts and our actions. With mindfulness, we learn to tune in more to the “here and now” rather than the past or future, which many people find pulls them into a negative state of mind.

If you’re ready to begin your journey towards restoration of the mind, body and spirit, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today.

The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.

Saving Lives; Healing Families.


Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.