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Privacy and Security in Mobile Health (mHealth) Research

Research on the use of mobile technologies for alcohol use problems is a developing field. Rapid technological advances in mobile health (or mHealth) research generate both opportunities and challenges, including how to create scalable systems capable of collecting unprecedented amounts of data and conducting interventions—some in real time—while at the same time protecting the privacy and safety...

The World Health Organization’s Global Monitoring System on Alcohol and Health

With growing awareness of the impact of alcohol consumption on global health (Rehm et al. 2004; World Health Organization [WHO] 2002, 2009) the demand for global information on alcohol consumption and alcohol-attributable and alcohol-related harm as well as related policy responses has increased significantly. Public health problems attributable to harmful alcohol consumption have become the focus...

Mobile Delivery of Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders: A Review of the Literature

Several systems for treating alcohol-use disorders (AUDs) exist that operate on mobile phones. These systems are categorized into four groups: text-messaging monitoring and reminder systems, text-messaging intervention systems, comprehensive recovery management systems, and game-based systems. Text-messaging monitoring and reminder systems deliver reminders and prompt reporting of alcohol...

The Promises and Pitfalls of Digital Technology in Its Application to Alcohol Treatment

Individuals seeking to change their alcohol use form a heterogeneous group with varied treatment goals—including moderation and abstinence—that therefore requires flexible treatment options. The availability of alcohol in the United States, and the pervasive social pressure to drink, warrant treatments that support individuals outside the treatment environment and that foster coping and self...

Background for Real-Time Monitoring and Intervention Related to Alcohol Use

Real-time assessment, known as ecological momentary assessment (EMA), and real-time intervention (ecological momentary intervention [EMI]) can significantly extend the reach and impact of interventions to help individuals reduce their drinking behavior. For EMA, the user provides information on the variable of interest (e.g., drinking or craving) via a mobile device. This data reporting can occur...

Impact of Continuing Care on Recovery From Substance Use Disorder

Continuing care is widely believed to be an important component of effective treatment for substance use disorder, particularly for those individuals with greater problem severity. The purpose of this review was to examine the research literature on continuing care for alcohol and drug use disorders, including studies that addressed efficacy, moderators, mechanisms of action, and economic impact...

Alcohol Research and eHealth Technology - Editor's Note

The rapid advance of electronic technology holds the promise for revolutionary improvements in conducting research on alcohol use disorders as well as innovative methods for prevention and treatment. This issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews reports on the state of the science and future directions in electronic health (eHealth) technologies and their potential impact on alcohol epidemiology...

Influence of Social Media on Alcohol Use in Adolescents and Young Adults

Participation in online social media Web sites (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) has skyrocketed in recent years and created a new environment in which adolescents and young adults may be exposed to and influenced by alcohol-related content. Thus, young people are exposed to and display pro-alcohol messages and images through online portrayals of drinking on personal pages as well as unregulated...

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...

Sex and Gender Effects in Recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder

The current article provides a brief summary of biopsychosocial gender differences in alcohol use disorder (AUD), then reviews existing literature on gender differences in treatment access, retention, outcomes, and longer-term recovery. Among psychotherapies for AUD, there is support for the efficacy of providing female-specific treatment, and for female-only treatment settings but only when...