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A new study conducted by researchers at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine found that lower baseline cortisol levels may serve as a predictor of retention in substance use disorder treatment programs.

Prospective observational study examined salivary cortisol, stress exposure, adverse childhood experiences (ACE), and treatment retention in men enrolled in residential drug and alcohol recovery programs abstinence Their findings were published last month in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the scientific journal on alcohol abuse and treatment for the Society for Research on Alcoholism and the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism.

Cortisol levels reflect a physiological response to stress. In this case, the researchers found that participants who stayed in the treatment program for less than 90 days had significantly higher baseline cortisol levels than those who stayed in the program for more than 90 days. In addition, a Cox proportional hazards model indicated that elevated salivary cortisol, marital/relationship status, and ACE score were significantly correlated with the risks of early discontinuation.

“Our hope is that these findings will lead to cortisol as a biomarker that can help clinicians determine which individuals may need a more intensive therapeutic approach,” said Todd H. Davies, Ph.D., associate director of research and John’s development. C. Edwards School of Medicine and corresponding author of the study.

Taylor R. Maddox-Rooper, Kristiana Sklioutouskaya-Lopez, Trenton Sturgill, Caroline Fresch, Charles W. Clements II, MD; Rajan Lamichhane, Ph.D.; and Richard Egleton, Ph.D., were also co-authors of the paper. The research team also collaborated with Recovery Point of West Virginia, a long-term residential recovery program based on the peer-driven recovery model.

The research team, in collaboration with Recovery Point, is currently running a larger follow-up study that seeks to identify clinically significant levels of cortisol. This expanded study also includes a more representative population and examines the hormone oxytocin.

This work was supported by a rural grant from the Marshall University Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. To view this article in its entirety, visit https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.14913.


About the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is a community-based medical school established in 1977. Located in Huntington, West Virginia, the School of Medicine trains physicians, scientists and other professionals to meet the unique needs of health care in rural and disadvantaged areas. communities Learn more at jcesom.marshall.edu.

Source: A new study identifies cortisol level as an indicator of successful addiction recovery

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