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What Is Recovery?

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders and is associated with enormous public health costs. Although AUD and other addictive behaviors have been described as chronic relapsing conditions, most individuals who develop AUD will eventually recover. This narrative review provides an overview of definitions of recovery, with a focus on recovery from AUD. The...

Neuroplasticity and Predictors of Alcohol Recovery

Recovery from alcoholism is a complex and long-term process with high relapse rates. Therefore, understanding why people relapse has been critically important to improving treatment outcomes. To that end, researchers are looking for clinical and biological markers that predict relapse after treatment and to use those risk factors to develop effective treatments to reduce relapse rates. One...

Recovery in Special Emphasis Populations

Special emphasis populations in the current context can be defined as groups experiencing health disparities resulting in elevated risk to health, safety, and well-being from drinking alcohol. Individuals from marginalized minority populations often encounter barriers to accessing and receiving effective alcohol treatment due to social inequities and disadvantaged life contexts, which also may...

Recovery and Youth: An Integrative Review

Although rates of alcohol and other substance use disorders in adolescents have been estimated for decades, little is known about the prevalence, pathways, and predictors of remission and long-term recovery among adolescents. This article provides an integrative review of the literature on youth recovery. A final selection of 39 relevant articles was grouped into five sections: treatment outcomes...

Brain Structure and Function in Recovery

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) commonly is associated with compromise in neurobiological and/or neurobehavioral processes. The severity of this compromise varies across individuals and outcomes, as does the degree to which recovery of function is achieved. This narrative review first summarizes neurobehavioral, neurophysiological, structural, and neurochemical aberrations/deficits that are frequently...

Recovery From AUD - From the Editors

In recent decades, the term “recovery” as it pertains to alcohol use disorder (AUD) and drug use disorders has taken on increasing cultural and scientific significance in the United States and around the world. Its growing prominence as a culturally recognized and, importantly, positively valenced organizing concept has occurred in large part in direct response to help counter the pervasive and...

Epidemiology of Recovery From Alcohol Use Disorder

Almost one-third of the U.S. population meets alcohol use disorder (AUD) criteria on a lifetime basis. This review provides an overview of recent research on the prevalence and patterns of alcohol-related improvement and selectively reviews nationally representative surveys and studies that followed risk groups longitudinally with a goal of informing patients with AUD and AUD researchers...

Naturalistic Research on Recovery Processes: Looking to the Future

Introduction

Recovery is an ongoing process. It is ongoing both because the risk for relapse is lifelong and because renewed recovery is always possible no matter how long the relapse. The ongoing nature of recovery presents multiple research challenges. Because the process of recovery can play out over decades, longitudinal research—although often difficult to conduct—is essential. But even...