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Addiction treatment in the modern world may center around programs like the 12-Steps and SMART Recovery, but there is a lot more going on behind the scenes that is important for successful outcomes. Advancements in understanding how this most serious mental health disorder comes about, how it operates and how it can be treated is owed to researchers around the world. Those people who have worked tirelessly for decades to give the afflicted a greater chance at long-term recovery.

In a relatively short period of time, game-changing medications have been developed that have helped countless people around the world break the cycle of addiction. Today, it is hard to imagine opioid use disorder detox without the assistance of Suboxone or Subutex. Some researchers are in the preliminary stages of starting clinical trials on a heroin vaccine, which would prevent people from getting “high.” For alcoholics, many have been aided in their recovery by drugs like Antabuse, acamprosate and naltrexone (also used for opioid addiction). Mitigating the risk of relapse can come from other directions, too.

It is a fact that many of those who are touched by addiction are also impacted by co-occurring mental health disorders. Depression, post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorder to name a few. Advancements in treating such conditions have also led to reductions in relapse. Treating addiction today involves a multifaceted approach, utilizing various medication and cognitive behavioral therapies. To be used in conjunction with programs of recovery that have proven to be quite effective, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. While relapse rates have been affected by the work of scientists, there is always room for improvement. The work of researchers may, one day, lead to the development of a cure.


Research Society on Alcoholism

To be sure, opioid use disorder is major problem affecting millions of Americans. But, alcohol continues to be the number one offender when it comes addiction around the globe. A problem that is exacerbated by the legality of the drug. As a result, research in the field of alcoholism is of the utmost importance. Right now, the 40th annual Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) Scientific Meeting is being held in Denver, Colorado between June 25-28, Newswise reports. Scientists and clinicians from around the globe are meeting to discuss advancements in the field and the findings of new research. The event includes eight highlights, including research that shows that:

  • Adolescent binge drinking can lead to epigenetic reprogramming that predisposes an individual to later psychiatric disorders such as anxiety.
  • Alcoholic patients are at greater risk for age-related illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia.
  • A lifestyle physical activity intervention supported by a Fitbit device can successfully supplement existing alcohol treatment among depressed women during early recovery.
  • Military sexual trauma (MST) can lead to mental, physical, and behavioral health consequences (i.e., substance use/abuse).
  • Risky drinking, hazardous alcohol use, and alcohol use disorder can be identified by amounts consumed. (Tuesday, June 27, 1:25 p.m. MT)
  • The number of marijuana-positive drivers increased 50 percent over a seven-year period. (presenting Tuesday, June 27, 1:25 p.m. MT)
  • Unaccompanied homeless youths have high rates of sexual and physical victimization. (Wednesday, June 28, 9:20 a.m. MT)
  • Digital interventions can help people make smarter drinking decisions, leading to reduced alcohol-related injuries and illness. (presenting Wednesday, June 28, 12:50 p.m. MT)

The RSA is an important annual event that shines a light on findings that can help people recover from addiction. For more information, please click here.


A Greater Chance of Recovery

We would like to applaud every researcher working in this field to help the millions worldwide recover from alcoholism. If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol use disorder (AUD), please contact Hope by The Sea. We utilize practices that give people the best chance at achieving long-term recovery.