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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2009;35(2):103-8. doi: 10.1080/00952990902823079.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction in therapeutic community treatment: a stage 1 trial.

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  • 1Center for Substance Abuse Education, and Prevention, and Research, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, 77030, USA.



This trial compared Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, adapted for therapeutic community treatment (MBTC), with treatment as usual (TAU) for reducing stress and increasing retention in a residential facility for substance use disorders.


Four-hundred and fifty-nine participants, who met DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence were recruited (TAU = 164, MBTC = 295).


A survival analysis of time to dropout did not show a significant difference between groups, however level of participation in MBTC was associated with decreased likelihood of dropout (p = < .01), and higher Symptoms of Stress Inventory (SOSI) scores at baseline were associated with increased likelihood of dropout (p = .03).


The association between retention and level of stress on intake as well as level of participation in MBTC provides support for further research on integrating MBTC into therapeutic community treatment.

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