As opioid addiction awareness continues to rise, Diane J. Abatemarco, PhD, director of Maternal Addiction Treatment Education & Research (MATER) at Jefferson University, is examining ways in which the addiction can be treated. In a recent article from Today’s Parent, she discussed how powerful mindfulness can be, specifically for mothers in medication-assisted treatment.
Abatemarco said, “Mindfulness creates the ability to be in the moment and be responsive, not reactive.” In her study, published last month in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, she found that teaching mothers in recovery techniques for practicing mindfulness, could improve parenting skills.
Abatemarco worked with 160 women over the course of 12 weeks. Women were coached to focus on breathing. She said “Every time they’re in a stressful situation, could they come back to their breath as their anchor, no matter what the situation is, and just breathe? Could that open up a space for different decisions?” By less than halfway through the 12 weeks, the team noted improvements on both the parenting quality and stress levels.