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Fellow Eric Garland to Brief Congress on Mindfulness-Based Addiction Intervention

Dr. Eric Garland formal headshotMarch 18, 2024 — Fellows of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW) are encouraged to share the ways in which they are connecting the knowledge that they have uncovered through research and practice with the communities and decision-makers who can benefit from it. Many thanks to Dr. Eric Garland for informing us that on Wednesday, March 20, he will give a Congressional briefing on a novel and evidence-based approach that incorporates mindfulness to address opioid addiction and its related health conditions. 

Fellows are invited to attend Dr. Garland’s briefing, titled “Healing the Opioid Crisis with Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement: A New, Neuroscience-Informed and Evidence-Based Treatment for Addiction and Chronic Pain,” held in collaboration with the Congressional Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus. The congressional briefing will take place at 9:30 am E.T. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2168 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

Eric Garland, Phd, LCSW, is a leading scholar in mindfulness research. He was inducted to the Academy in 2019. He is Presidential Scholar, Associate Dean for Research, and Professor at the University of Utah College of Social Work and Director of the Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health Intervention Development. 

About the Research

To address the lack of evidence-based therapies targeting comorbidities of the opioid crisis, Dr. Garland designed an intervention called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE). It unites mindfulness training, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and principles from positive psychology into an integrative therapy designed to simultaneously target addiction, emotional distress, and chronic pain. 

MORE’s effectiveness has been shown in 12 clinical trials. In the largest National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded trial, MORE had decreased opioid misuse by 45% when the researchers followed up with participants 9 months after treatment. This nearly tripled the effect seen after standard group therapy. 

In Wednesday’s congressional briefing, Dr. Garland and colleagues will detail the theories underlying MORE, present research data to show MORE’s improvement to addiction treatment outcomes and changes the brain, and provide a patient perspective about the life-changing effects of this cutting-edge therapy.

Keynote Address at NIH Meeting

The presentation follows Dr. Garland’s keynote address at NIH’s Annual Emotional Well-Being Investigator Meeting on Monday, March 18, titled “Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement Builds Emotional Well-being by Restructuring Reward, Meaning, and Self.” The meeting was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the National Institute on Aging, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Fellows are invited to contact the Academy to share news of major presentations, achievements and published work for consideration to share in future communications.

About the Academy

Established in 2010, the Academy is an honorific society of distinguished scholars and practitioners dedicated to achieving excellence in the field of social work and social welfare through high-impact work that advances social good. Its membership includes more than 200 Fellows who are prominent scholars, top researchers and practitioners.

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