Mind Over Body Therapy

(KUTV) SALT LAKE CITY - Abuse of prescription pain medication is a growing problem nationwide. It becomes harder as people who take the drugs become tolerant of their medication and need stronger pills to manage the pain.

For U.S. Army veteran Patrick Worlds, this has been his struggle for the last few years.H e was a paratrooper in the military for 10 years until he was injured during a jump in the late 1990s. "Even sitting still, significant pain. It's become worse and worse over the years," he explained. He started off with less strong pain mediation and has progressed over the years to hydrocodone and more.

That was until he heard about a new study using the mind to overcome pain without prescription medication.

Worlds and several other patients who used prescription medication to manage pain underwent a study testing out a new intervention - Mindfulness Oriented Recovery Enhancement.

Dr. Eric Garland of the University of Utah's College of Social Work says he had been actively studying addiction and the psychological struggle of addiction, along with pain management.

This new therapy targets the underlying processes involved in chronic pain and opioid misuse by combining three therapeutic components: mindfulness training, reappraisal and savoring.

The study, published online Feb. 3 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, showed that the new treatment led to a 63 percent reduction in opioid misuse, compared to a 32 percent reduction among participants of a conventional support group.

For Patrick Worlds, the treatment was a welcome relief.

"Before, I would need the medication every 4 hours. Now, I only need it every 6 to 8 hours," he said.

It's given him hope for the future.

"I hope to one day not have to take any at all," he said. "That's my goal."

By Lana Medina

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcast Group, INC)