Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Substance Abuse Practitioners Ask, 'What Is Recovery?'

Abstinence from alcohol and drugs is just the starting point in defining "recovery" for people with substance abuse disorders, according to a paper in the October issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (JSAT).

According to an initial definition developed by a panel of experts from the Betty Ford Institute, recovery is "a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health, and citizenship." The panel's report appears as part of a special section of JSAT devoted to Defining and Measuring Recovery.

Although "recovery" is widely recognized as the goal of treatment for substance abuse disorders, there has been no widely accepted definition of what the term actually means. "Recovery may be the best word to summarize all the positive benefits to physical, mental, and social health that can happen when alcohol- and other drug-dependent individuals get the help they need," the expert panel writes.

The panel's report outlines some of the thinking behind key components of the definition. Sobriety—meaning complete abstinence from alcohol and all other nonprescribed drugs—is regarded as necessary, but not in itself sufficient for recovery. The panel suggests a classification to define the duration of sobriety: "early" sobriety between one month and one year; "sustained" sobriety, between one and five years; and "stable" sobriety, five years or longer. People in "stable" recovery are thought to be at lower risk of relapse.

Personal health is included as a component of recovery that may be of special importance to substance abusers and their families, as well as to society. In this context, personal health refers not only to physical and mental health, but also to social health—ie, participation in social roles and supports. Citizenship refers to "giving back" to community and society. While acknowledging the need refine this part of the definition, the panel felt is was important to recognize the traditional place of citizenship as a key element of recovery.

The panel members hope their definition will help in overcoming some of the remaining obstacles to substance abuse treatment—including the stigma associated with being in recovery. They liken being "in recovery" to being a "cancer survivor"—a term reflecting research evidence that the risk of relapse is significantly reduced for patients who are cancer-free after five years.

"[P]ublic discussion of survival rates has increased the proportion of individuals willing to get early screening for [cancer] and to take preventive measures," the experts write. They hope that their new definition of recovery "might be the beginning of a similar course of events in the addiction field. If recovery can be effectively captured, distilled, and communicated, it can come to be expectable by those now suffering from addiction." This in turn could promote more realistic perceptions of recovery, and its true worth from social and economic standpoint.

Jayne Dawkins | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>