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Behavioral Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are highly prevalent and debilitating psychiatric conditions that commonly co-occur. Individuals with comorbid AUD and PTSD incur heightened risk for other psychiatric problems (e.g., depression and anxiety), impaired vocational and social functioning, and poor treatment outcomes. This review describes evidence-supported...

Cognitive Neuroscience Approaches to Understanding Behavior Change in Alcohol Use Disorder Treatments

Understanding the mechanisms that underlie recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD) is critical to advancing AUD treatment science (Huebner and Tonigan 2007; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAAA] 2009). Scientific progress over the last three decades has led to the development of a number of effective behavioral and pharmacological AUD interventions (Dutra et al. 2008)...

Alcohol-Endocannabinoid Interactions: Implications for Addiction-Related Behavioral Processes

Introduction

Endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids (eCBs), are bioactive lipid molecules that modulate signaling activity of several physiological processes involved in pain, appetite, energy balance, stress/anxiety, immune signaling, and learning and memory. Although understanding of the eCB system has grown in complexity since its discovery by Raphael Mechoulam, it is now widely known...

Suicidal Behavior: Links Between Alcohol Use Disorder and Acute Use of Alcohol

Research on associations of suicidal behavior, including suicide and suicide attempt, with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and acute use of alcohol (AUA) are discussed, with an emphasis on data from meta-analyses. Based on psychological autopsy investigations, results indicate that AUD is prevalent among individuals who die by suicide. Results also indicate that AUD is a potent risk factor for suicidal...

Integrating Treatment for Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions

Given the high co-occurrence between alcohol use disorder (AUD) and mental health conditions (MHCs), and the increased morbidity associated with the presence of co-occurring disorders, it is important that co-occurring disorders be identified and both disorders addressed in integrated treatment. Tremendous heterogeneity exists among individuals with co-occurring conditions, and factors related to...

Treatment Interventions for Women With Alcohol Use Disorder

Women with alcohol use disorder (AUD) experience more barriers to AUD treatment and are less likely to access treatment than men with AUD. A literature review identified several barriers to women seeking help: low perception of a need for treatment; guilt and shame; co-occurring disorders; employment, economic, and health insurance disparities; childcare responsibilities; and fear of child...

Ecological Momentary Assessment and Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

The ability to capture real-time data on human behavior inexpensively, efficiently, and accurately holds promise to transform and broaden our understanding of many areas of health science. One approach to acquiring this type of real-time data is ecological momentary assessment (EMA). This method has been used to collect data in many domains of addiction research, including research on the...

Treatment of Alcohol Dependence With Drug Antagonists of the Stress Response

Although alcohol dependence affects 4 percent of the adult population and is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2009), fewer than 15 percent of people with alcoholism receive treatment (Hasin et al. 2007). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders–Fourth Edition Text Revision (DSM–IV–TR) ...

Anxiety and Alcohol Use Disorders: Comorbidity and Treatment Considerations

Co-occurring anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are of great interest to researchers and clinicians. Cumulative evidence from epidemiological and clinical studies over the past few decades has highlighted both the frequency and clinical impact of this comorbidity. Investigations into the unique connections between specific anxiety disorders and AUDs have shown that this association...

Advances in Medications and Tailoring Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Despite decades of research on various methods for treating alcohol use disorder (AUD), AUD remains prevalent throughout the world, making it critical to develop a more comprehensive approach to address the issue. Heavy drinking is the third largest risk factor for global disease burden, leading to enormous social and economic decline (World Health Organization 2014). Each year, alcohol misuse...