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IRETA, The Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions Announces Creation of Recovery Research Center and Welcomes Dr. Alexandre Laudet as Director


Source: Institute for Research, Education & Training in Addictions

Date: April 19, 2010

IRETA announces the creation of a Recovery Research Center, located in Pittsburgh, whose mission is “to build a science of recovery from addiction.” Under the leadership of Alexandre Laudet, an internationally-recognized addiction recovery researcher, the Center will examine how people attain and sustain recovery from addiction, a topic still in need of scientific scrutiny and better understanding. Says Laudet, “We know how to get people to stop drugs or alcohol for a short time to satisfy a legal or immediate requirement; what we need to learn is how to sustain an individual in recovery and give him or her tools to heal.” Through the Center, Laudet and IRETA will conduct and disseminate the science of recovery with the goal of changing available treatment services into a more recovery-focused system of care.

The creation of the Recovery Research Center now is especially timely. “We are approaching a milestone in America with the forthcoming release of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s [ONDCP] new drug strategy that focuses on the vital role of recovery,” explains Laudet. A growing number of federal, state and city agencies see person-centered recovery as becoming the guiding vision in addiction treatment and all medical services nationwide. However, although researchers have made substantial strides in understanding of the nature of addiction, the experience of how individuals and families come into and remain in recovery remains generally not understood as a science.

The science of addiction has historically been built on an acute-care model with treatment available only for individuals in crisis. IRETA has been instrumental in promoting the current scientific view of addiction: as more of a chronic illness that, for many, is associated with impairments in various areas of functioning and requires time  sometimes years— to improve significantly. “With Alexandre, we seek to complement the rich science of addiction developed over several decades by applying the same level of scientific rigor to the science of recovery,” says IRETA Executive Director Dr. Michael Flaherty. “Recovery is a reality for millions of Americans. And it goes beyond reducing or stopping drug and/or alcohol use; it’s also measured by an individual’s improvements in his or her quality of life.” The Recovery Research Center will draw on these millions of experiences to deepen scientific understanding of what recovery is, how to get there, and how to stay there. “There are many paths,” says Laudet.

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