For many years, the concept of recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD) has permeated our societal discourse and been celebrated for individuals with AUD who do recover. Yet, recovery’s complex nature has led to ambiguity about its meaning.
Chronic heavy drinking, a common symptom of alcohol use disorder (AUD), has been linked to changes in the levels and types of beneficial bacteria in the gut, known as the gut microbiome. Changes in the gut microbiome, often termed microbial dysbiosis, can lead to further downstream health problems such as liver disease, inflammation, and malnutrition.
During the course of the pandemic, researchers and scientists from across the biomedical spectrum have focused on the diverse health impacts of the novel coronavirus. For their part, alcohol researchers are investigating numerous ways that alcohol might affect COVID-19 risk and severity, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic may influence alcohol consumption patterns and problems.
Sandra A. Brown, Ph.D., delivered the 2020 Jack Mendelson, M.D., Honorary Lecture on September 22. The title of her presentation was “Discerning Risks and Effects of Alcohol in the Midst of Adolescent Development.”
The year 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To celebrate this milestone anniversary, NIAAA hosted a scientific symposium, “Alcohol Across the Lifespan: 50 Years of Evidence-Based Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment Research,” on November 30 and December 1, 2020.