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Mindfulness and clinical correlates in methamphetamine use disorder.

BACKGROUND: Mindfulness-based interventions are increasingly used for the treatment of substance use disorders, including methamphetamine use disorder (MUD). Literature indicates that trait mindfulness may play a key role in the effectiveness of these treatments on therapeutic outcome, yet no prior studies have tested for differences in trait mindfulness between individuals with MUD and healthy control participants. Such differences are important for treatment implementation.

OBJECTIVES: The goals of this study were to evaluate trait mindfulness and to determine its clinical correlates in individuals with MUD.

METHODS: A group of participants with MUD at varying lengths of abstinence from methamphetamine (< 1h to 90 days; mean 5.4 ± 12.5 days; N=95, 53 female, 42 male) and a healthy control group (N=65, 30 female, 35 male) completed the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Group differences and relationships between trait mindfulness and several measures of drug use and psychiatric symptoms were evaluated.

RESULTS: In participants with MUD, trait mindfulness was 10% lower than in healthy controls (p < 0.001), but it was not significantly correlated with measures of drug use or craving. Across both groups, trait mindfulness was negatively correlated with state anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, and a history of childhood trauma, while it was positively correlated with self-compassion (ps < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The deficit in trait mindfulness in MUD presents a capacity that can be targeted for improved treatment outcome with mindfulness-based therapies. Trait mindfulness is inversely related to mood dysregulation.

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