New research has found that altering the time perspective of individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder (“AUD”) can improve their recovery. The study, which was carried out by researchers at Virginia Tech, had its findings published in “Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.”
Figures from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show that more than 15 million individuals in America suffer from alcohol use disorder, which creates an economic burden of almost $250 billion annually.
Warren Bickel, the Carilion Behavioral Health Research Professor at Virginia Tech stated that the researchers had taken a new approach, which showed ways to forecast how a person could experience recovery by focusing on decision-making and including the perspective of evolutionary biology.
For their study, the researchers assessed the recovery from AUD in 110 adults who had met the criteria for alcohol dependence and abuse in the International Quit and Recovery Registry. This is an online forum and data collection site developed by the institution about a decade ago. Individuals who had a fast life-history strategy demonstrated lower concern for personal health and were more focused on immediate rewards. The researchers theorize that this group would likely have a harder time during recovery.
Individuals who had a slow life-history strategy were more focused on personal growth and future rewards, and exhibited positive personal development, health and economic behaviors. The researchers suggest that this group had a higher likelihood of being in remission from alcohol use disorder.
Liqa Athamneh, the first author of the study, explained that decision-making was, in either strategy, influenced by how far into the future individuals could imagine and integrate into their current choices. This was evaluated using a delay-discounting task which involved choosing between larger amounts of money in the long term or smaller amounts in the short term.
The researchers discovered that those in recovery who had strategies of fast life-history demonstrated excessive delay discounting and couldn’t see as far into the future and integrate into their present choices.
Current studies suggest that delay discounting may help predict a person’s experience of recovery and remission, which is crucial because recovering from alcohol use disorder involves relapses in most cases.
In their report, the researchers note that new treatments may benefit from understanding the association between remission and theories of life-history. The researchers plan to observe the participants over time, hopeful that individuals with fast life-history strategies will benefit from interventions that broaden their future perspective.
An understanding of how one’s perspective of the future can help or hinder recovery from AUD could potentially make for a powerful combination with the novel therapeutics being developed by companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) that are designed to give patients better clinical outcomes.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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