Sept. 14, 2022 – For those experiencing alcohol-related functional impairment and other adverse consequences, recovery is often marked by the fulfillment of basic needs, enhancements in social support and spirituality, and improvements in physical and mental health, quality of life, and other dimensions of well-being. Continued improvement in these domains may, in turn, promote sustained recovery.

With input from key recovery stakeholders, such as researchers, clinicians, and recovery specialists, NIAAA developed this definition to provide a framework for advancing recovery research and the treatment of AUD. This definition extends prior ones by incorporating key, empirically supported alcohol-related processes, such as remission from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (commonly known as DSM-5) AUD and cessation from heavy drinking. And by not requiring abstinence for a successful outcome, the new definition recognizes that recovery is an ongoing process.


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