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What Is Recovery in Alcohol Use Disorder? – Psychology Today

This column was written by Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., and Charles Zorumski, M.D.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is common. Over 14.5 million Americans meet the criteria for this disorder. AUD is responsible for many serious medical conditions and contributes to 95,000 deaths a year in the United States. AUD can lead to a variety of occupational, legal, and interpersonal problems. Recovery from AUD is possible, but data related to recovery are limited.

One reason for limited data is the lack of a research definition of recovery. A recent paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry by Brett Hagman, Daniel Falk, Raye Litten, and George Koob describes a definition of recovery from AUD that was developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in order to facilitate such research.
The NIAAA definition of recovery was developed through a multi-step process that involved an extensive review of the literature, careful evaluation of earlier definitions of recovery, discussions by an expert scientific team, and feedback from a variety of stakeholders. Following this process, the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism conducted a final review.

The final definition of recovery involves two components. First, an individual in recovery no longer fulfills the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria for AUD. Second, the person does not fulfill the criteria for heavy drinking.

In the DSM-5, a diagnosis of AUD requires that an individual has at least two of 11 symptoms leading to significant impairment over a 12-month period. These 11 symptoms include difficulty with controlling drinking, social and occupational consequences of drinking, medical consequences due to drinking, the development of tolerance (i.e., more alcohol is needed to obtain the same effect), and the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms when abruptly cutting down on drinking. In order to be in recovery, a person must no longer demonstrate any of these symptoms other than reporting a craving for alcohol.

The second component of the NIAAA definition of recovery is that a person has stopped heavy drinking. Heavy drinking is defined as more than 14 drinks per week and/or more than four drinks on a single day for a male. For a female, heavy drinking is defined as more than seven drinks per week or more than three drinks per day. One drink is considered a 12 oz. beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine, or 1.5 oz. of distilled spirits or hard liquor.

Prior definitions of recovery involved the demonstration of several other criteria, such as sobriety, paying attention to personal health, being a good citizen, living a self-directed life, and striving to reach one’s full potential. The NIAAA acknowledges that such factors may facilitate recovery, but they are not necessary to fulfill the NIAAA’s definition.
Furthermore, in the NIAAA definition, several duration milestones of recovery are recognized: an initial phase (up to 3 months), an early phase (3 months to one year), a sustained phase (1 to 5 years), and a stable phase (more than 5 years).

First, full abstinence is not required. Recent data have demonstrated that some individuals with AUD are able to fulfill the criteria for recovery and partake in an occasional drink. Certainly, many individuals with a history of AUD would relapse if they returned to occasional drinking, and these persons would need to maintain total sobriety to remain in recovery.
In addition, elements considered integral to previous definitions of recovery that involve various aspects of psychosocial functioning and well-being are not included in this definition. Growth in these areas facilitates recovery, but they are difficult to measure in research or clinical settings. The NIAAA definition was developed to facilitate research to better understand the mechanisms (both biological and psychosocial) that underlie the process of recovery.

AUD is common, destructive, and potentially lethal. A definition of recovery that facilitates research to better understand this process hopefully will lead to better ways of helping individuals conquer this addiction.

Hagman, B.T., Falk, D., Litten, R., & Koob, G.F. (2022 April 12). Defining recovery from alcohol use disorder: development of an NIAAA research definition. Am J Psychiatry. appiajp21090963. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.21090963. [Online ahead of print].

Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor and Vice-Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis – School of Medicine.
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Psychology Today © 2022 Sussex Publishers, LLC

There are many temptations to organize our life around the experience of earlier trauma. But that may short-change the future—which starts by our envisioning something better.

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Tattoo Artist, Entrepreneur, and Oil Painter Kirby van Beek Makes a Mark in the Industry

Kirby van Beek, a talented tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and oil painter, has emerged as a prominent figure in the world of tattooing, showcasing his expertise in black and grey realism. Known for his distinctive designs and captivating portraits with a dark twist, Kirby has established himself as a highly regarded artist, earning recognition both locally and internationally.

Kirby’s journey as a tattoo artist began at the age of 18 when he taught himself the art form while simultaneously pursuing his education in forensic science. During this time, he displayed unparalleled dedication, working at a morgue during the week and honing his tattooing skills during weekends and spare hours. Kirby’s passion for tattooing led him to work at various tattoo studios in the Netherlands, solidifying his experience and expertise in the field.

About Kirby van Beek:

Kirby van Beek is a talented tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and oil painter based in [City]. Renowned for his expertise in black and grey realism, Kirby’s distinctive designs and captivating portraits with a dark twist have earned him a prominent position in the industry. With a passion for tattooing and oil painting, Kirby aspires to become a globally recognized artist, leaving a lasting impact on the world of art.

«The things I love most about tattooing is meeting different clients and getting to know them on a personal level during a long tattoo session,» says Kirby. «There is nothing more rewarding than tattooing individuals who appreciate my art so much that they choose to wear it on their skin for life.»

Specializing in realistic black and grey tattoos, portrait tattoos, and horror tattoos, Kirby’s work has garnered attention both nationally and internationally. His talents have been showcased at several tattoo conventions abroad, and his captivating designs have been featured in prominent tattoo magazines. Additionally, he has been recognized by esteemed publications such as LINDA magazine in the Netherlands and the local newspaper BN de Stem. Furthermore, Kirby’s exceptional skills led him to participate as a tattoo artist in the Dutch version of MTV’s Just Tattoo of Us.

Looking ahead, Kirby aspires to become a world-renowned tattoo artist and oil painter, with a particular focus on portrait tattoos and dark horror tattoos.

His ultimate goal is to reach clients and famous individuals around the globe, sharing his unique artistry and leaving an indelible mark on the industry. In the future, Kirby envisions opening an art show to showcase his diverse body of work.

To learn more about Kirby van Beek and explore his captivating portfolio, visit his official Instagram page (@kirbyvanbeek) or his website

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DJ Khenya Takes Center Stage at Blue Marlin Ibiza, Spreading Joy and Connection

The music of DJ Khenya pulsates with rhythm and emotion. A rich mélange of sun-kissed sounds that blend percussive beats with indie and deep house. The artist’s journey to Ibiza has laid the foundation for a musical expression that communicates joy and connectivity. Taking the reins at Blue Marlin Ibiza, Khenya’s vibrations will inspire dance floor dreamers to move and let go.

From the stage at Blue Marlin Ibiza, DJ Khenya has shared experiences alongside some of the most influential names in the music industry. When asked about the impact of these experiences, the artist responded humbly: «The truth is I feel lucky. I have total admiration for them as they are a source of inspiration for me.»

The energy at Blue Marlin Ibiza is unlike any other, according to DJ Khenya. He describes the place as «a life experience,» synonymous with summer and with all the ingredients to feel in a state of bliss when you’re there. He thanks the team for being like a family to him and for everything they’ve done.

This summer, DJ Khenya will take his audience on a journey filled with unforgettable emotions. He comments, «My goal is to transmit uplifting and unforgettable sensations. My audience is what sets my heart on fire, and I want them to feel my desire to make them dance.»

The path that led DJ Khenya to become a DJ began in Havacia, Cuba, where he grew up in an environment where rhythm, dance, and poetry are like the air we breathe. With son and salsa running through his veins, his first experience at an electronic music party in the early 2000s marked a shift in his life. Khenya recalls hearing ‘The Underground’ by Celeda and says, «It was a different Cuba, and I loved it. I think from that moment, something changed inside me. A seed had been planted, and life would take me in that direction.»

Having traveled the world and now based in Ibiza, DJ Khenya reflects on how these experiences have shaped his identity as an artist. He comments, «Traveling the world is a privilege that every human being should have, especially an artist because when you have these experiences, you can understand different ways of life and the musicality of each place. Creativity is born from that knowledge, and I still have a lot to learn in that sense.»

This summer, DJ Khenya promises to take Blue Marlin Ibiza to new heights with his unique music and his desire to make everyone dance. The experience is guaranteed to be a celebration of life, joy, and connection through music.

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Oliver Rouz: Weaving Ink and Inspiration into a Legacy

Born on February 13th, 1988, Oliver Rouz’s path to success is one marked by determination, passion, and the pursuit of creative endeavors. From a young age, Oliver exhibited a profound love for various forms of creativity, which ultimately led him to become one of the country’s most celebrated tattoo artists.

During his school years, Oliver’s artistic talent set him apart. His favorite cartoon characters became his canvas as he tirelessly recreated them in his own style. However, drawing was merely a pastime during his teenage years, a source of pleasure until music took center stage in his life.

In 2005, Oliver formed the «Fairy Tale Jelissa Rose» band, a pivotal moment that expanded his horizons. Immersed in the music community, he developed a newfound fascination with tattoos and ink artistry, spurred by the band’s association with the tattoo culture.

A serendipitous encounter with Artem at the «Quick Silver» shop in Moscow in 2010 marked a turning point. Artem’s influence led Oliver to consider a life-altering decision. By 2012, Oliver, now ignited by a passion for tattoos, made a bold move to another city, all while nurturing his tattoo aspirations.

Artem’s transformation into a tattoo artist himself inspired Oliver further. As fate would have it, an opportunity arose in 2012 for them to collaborate and open their tattoo studio in Moscow. This venture required Oliver’s dedicated efforts, alongside his commitment to saving funds to fuel their creative endeavor.

Oliver’s tattooing prowess flourished within a year, prompting a return to his hometown to establish several home-like studios. Yet, he recognized that true growth beckoned him back to Moscow. Thus, in 2017, he joined Good Hands Tattoo, laying the foundation for his continued ascent.

Oliver’s indomitable spirit and devotion to his craft bore fruit, as evidenced by his stint at Black Point studio, born out of a collective dream. His trajectory exemplifies the power of dedication, leading him to become a recognized tattoo luminary within the nation.

Oliver’s journey, however, extends beyond tattooing. From his early affinity for music, highlighted by the formation of his punk rock band at 14, to his involvement in the music industry and flirtation with global recognition, his story embodies the resilience required to navigate creative industries.

A pivotal moment arrived in 2021 when Oliver, undeterred by previous setbacks, chose to channel his creative energy into designing game art. Leaving behind a stable job, he invested his savings of around $5,000 to embark on a transformative journey. Guided by Hexeth’s interview and tutorials, Oliver delved into the realm of game design.

Fueled by dedication and a newfound purpose, Oliver’s creative expression culminated in designing elements for popular games like CS:GO and RUST. Through unwavering commitment and rigorous self-education, he harnessed the potential of his artistic flair.

Today, Oliver Rouz’s name resonates as a testament to the potential of human determination. His path from a young artist with a penchant for creation to a revered tattoo and game artist serves as an inspiration to countless dreamers. Oliver’s legacy continues to evolve, as he pushes the boundaries of his craft and inspires others to chase their passions unrelentingly.

For more information and to view Oliver’s work, visit his Instagram profile: @oliverrouz.

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