Addiction Recovery Without Treatment

A just-published review of the scientific literature on untreated remission from alcohol problems by Richard Mellor and colleagues offers insightful clues about the role of professional treatment and non-treatment resources in the resolution of alcohol problems. Here are some key findings and my take on their implications. Only a small subset of people with alcohol…

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The Irrationality of Addiction Treatment

The most cursory review of the history of addiction treatment reveals a long tradition of inadvertent harm in the name of help (iatrogenic illness). Such treatment insults span bleeding, purging, and toxic, mercury-laden medicines in the 18th century. They include the fraudulent boxed and bottled home cures and the use of cocaine to treat morphine…

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Health Challenges In Addiction Recovery

The wide range of injuries inflicted on the human body by excessive and prolonged alcohol or other drug (AOD) use have been extensively documented for more than two centuries, but until recently little was known about the relative health of people recovering from addiction. The potential burden of continued health problems in recovery has been obscured…

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A Recovery Cascade Case Study: NA in the Islamic Republic of Iran

We recently explored the idea of “recovery cascade”—a sudden surge in personal change that sparks recovery initiation in the heels of past efforts or a collective surge in recovery prevalence at a community or cultural level. While there are examples of the latter in U.S. history (e.g., the explosive growth of the Washingtonian Temperance Society…

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Recovery Attempts: New Data and Their Implications

What is the number of serious attempts required to achieve stable resolution of a significant alcohol or other drug (AOD) problem? Previous studies of addiction treatment populations suggest prolonged addiction careers, and a substantial proportion (over half) of people in the United States admitted to addiction treatment indicate one or more prior treatment admissions. These…

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What Do You Say Before You Relapse? How Language Use in a Peer-to-peer Online Discussion Forum Predicts Risky Drinking among Those in Recovery

Increasingly, seeking and providing support for relapse-prevention occurs in online environments and through mobile technologies. Communication in these environments may not only have an impact on relapse prevention through increasing mutual support but, as this paper demonstrates, it could also have secondary relapse-prevention benefit through capturing natural language-use data from which to predict and respond…

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What are your priorities right now? Identifying service needs across recovery stages to inform service development

Substance use disorders (SUD) are, for many, chronic conditions that are typically associated with severe impairments in multiple areas of functioning. “Recovery” from SUD is, for most, a lengthy process; improvements in other areas of functioning do not necessarily follow the attainment of abstinence. The current SUD service model providing intense, short-term, symptom-focused services is…

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Well-being and Recovery Functioning

There is a growing literature that seeks to evaluate the role of ‘‘recovery capital’’ in the resolution of substance use disorders. In this study, a structured instrument (the Assessment of Recovery Capital), along with an assessment of social networks among 176 former illicit drug users and drinkers, is measured in three locations in England. There…

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Utilizing Recovery Management Checkups to shorten the cycle of relapse, treatment reentry, and recovery

Over the past several decades, a growing body of evidence suggests that a subset of substance users suffers from what appears to be a more chronic condition, whereby they cycle through periods of relapse, treatment reentry, incarceration, and recovery, often lasting several years. Using data from quarterly interviews conducted over a 2-year period in which…

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The Role of Social Supports, Spirituality, Religiousness, Life Meaning and Affiliation with 12-Step Fellowships in Quality of Life Satisfaction Among Individuals in Recovery from Alcohol and Drug Problems

Many recovering substance users report quitting drugs because they wanted a better life. The road of recovery is the path to a better life but a challenging and stressful path for most. There has been little research among recovering persons in spite of the numbers involved, and most research has focused on substance use outcomes.…

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