Summary of Mortality Studies
Although SUDs place individuals at heightened risk of premature death, fortunately, treatment and remission are linked to reduced mortality risk. Thus, health care providers, such as primary care physicians, should screen their patients for SUDs and refer dependent individuals to specialty care and/or mutual-help groups.63 To reduce the risk of death among those in specialty SUD treatment, individuals who are not responding positively (especially during inpatient treatment) should be identified and intervention provided to them to encourage their participation in continuing care and community mutual-help groups.64
Predictors of Remission and Relapse
Although many individuals successfully resolve their alcohol and drug use disorders, as noted earlier, others experience recurring cycles of remission and relapse.65 Transitions to remission and relapse during the course of SUDs are not random but are influenced across different SUDs by similar sets of personal and psychosocial factors.