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BACKGROUND: In 2020, it was estimated that 2.7 million people suffered with an opioid use disorder (OUD). Prior research suggests that dispositional mindfulness can buffer substance use severity and posttraumatic stress. However, further research is needed to clarify the relationships between dispositional mindfulness and craving specifically for those suffering from OUD. Dispositional mindfulness greater awareness and non-reactivity to emotions and internal thought patterns are features relevant to both OUD and posttraumatic stress. Therefore, we hypothesized that dispositional mindfulness would inversely relate to opioid craving and posttraumatic stress symptom severity.

METHODS: This study utilized archival data that collected from an ongoing randomized clinical trial investigating mindfulness among OUD patients. The current study tested the hypotheses that mindfulness (Cognitive & Affective Mindfulness Scale Revised, CAMS-R) would inversely relate to opioid craving (Opioid Craving Scale, OCS), and posttraumatic stress severity (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist, PCL-5). Statistical analyses used to test the study hypotheses entailed Pearson bivariate correlations.

RESULTS: Statistically significant correlations were observed between CAMS-R and OCS (r = -.356, p = .039), CAMS-R and PCL-5 (r = -.585, p = .001).

DISCUSSION: Results indicated that higher mindfulness scores were associated with reduced drug craving and posttraumatic stress symptom severity. It is essential that clinical research further investigates the relationships between mindfulness and other disorders such as OUD. Further research into the efficacy of mindfulness-based treatments could unravel the internal negative thought patterns and cycles of many psychological disorders.