Therapeutic Efficacy of Rhemercise: A Novel Mindfulness Technique in Patients With Opioid Use Disorder

Deepam Kundal*, Rajnish Raj, Rohit Garg, Maju Mathew Koola, Alex R. Zachariah, Stephen Daniel Paul, Michael Y. Bai, Ori David Florentin, Sajoy P. Varghese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Rhemercise is a novel mindfulness technique used to prevent relapse in opioid use disorder (OUD). Rhemercise is a quantifiable and intentional slow-breathing technique that could increase subjective well-being, which helps to prevent relapse in OUD by reducing craving, negative affect, and visceral reactivity. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of rhemercise as an adjunctive therapy in patients with OUD undergoing detoxification. Methods: This was a hospital-based, open-label, prospective, and exploratory study conducted between June 2018 and June 2019 that included 126 male inpatients admitted for detoxification of OUD. Patients with OUD diagnosed according to ICD-10 criteria who were aged 18–65 years were included in the study. Patients with other psychiatric disorders were excluded. Participants were divided into 2 groups: Group A (n = 63) comprised patients receiving treatment as usual + rhemercise, and group B (n = 63) received treatment as usual only. Assessment tools included the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale, Brief Pain Inventory, and Subjective Well-Being Inventory. Results: Various domains of the Subjective Well-Being Inventory (general well-being–positive affect [P =.02], confidence in coping [P =.007], inadequate mental mastery [P =.002]) improved significantly among OUD patients who received rhemercise treatment compared to treatment as usual. Conclusion: Rhemercise promoted general well-being and positive affect and decreased the opioid withdrawal symptoms, thereby potentially reducing the overall risk for relapse. Future studies are warranted with rhemercise to validate these promising findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21m03064
Pages (from-to)e1-e8
JournalThe primary care companion for CNS disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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