Research Update

May 31, 2024 by

 Differential Roles of Awareness of Automaticity and Pain Acceptance in Opioid Misuse among Individuals with Chronic Low Back Pain.

 Individuals with chronic low back pain are commonly prescribed long-term opioid therapy for pain relief, placing this population at increased risk for opioid misuse and opioid use disorder. Acceptance of aversive experiences (such as chronic pain) and awareness of automatic thoughts and behaviors (i.e., automaticity) are two facets of mindfulness that may serve as protective mechanisms against opioid misuse risk. These investigators examined the contributions of these facets to opioid misuse risk among adults with chronic low back pain receiving long-term opioid therapy. A total of 770 adults with opioid-treated chronic low back pain participated. Awareness of automatic thoughts and behaviors was significantly negatively associated with opioid misuse risk, such that individuals with lower levels of awareness of automaticity were at higher risk of opioid misuse. Pain acceptance was not associated with opioid misuse.

The authors concluded that awareness of automaticity may decrease opioid misuse risk, and that interventions designed to strengthen awareness of automaticity (e.g., mindfulness-based interventions) might be especially efficacious among this population.

Parisi A, Zgierska A, Burzinski CA, et al. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2023;247:109890


Filed Under: News and Notes