JAMA Article Highlights Promise of Mindfulness Meditation as an Alternative to Drugs for Treating Pain as Efforts to Limit Opioid Prescribing Increase

May 27, 2016 by School of Medicine Webmaster

The current opioid epidemic has taken a great toll in the Unites States, with drug overdoses deaths doubling between 2000 and 2014 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The CDC recently issued a new opioid prescribing guideline for primary care clinicians in outpatient settings. The CDC recommends using non-drug and non-opioid medications first for pain which is increasing interest in the use of mindfulness techniques to manage pain, including mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), according to Steven Stanos, DO, medical director for the Swedish Pain Services at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, and president-elect of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.  In particular, two recent studies have shown that MBSR can help reduce chronic low back, and neuroscientific studies are starting to unlock the mechanisms related to the pain altering effects of meditation in the brain.


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