Elements that define recovery and the Science of Recovery systems.
Room – Studio 411 September 7, 1:30 to 3 pm
Dr. Jane Witbrodt, Alcohol Research Group, Associate Scientist, Formal and informal solutions to recovery from substance use disorders with emphasis on gender, racial/ethnic and cross-cultural differences.
Addictions medicine has long possessed reliable instruments for diagnosing substance abuse disorders. However, a way of measuring the opposite end of the problem spectrum – recovery – has been missing. The first large scale U.S. study provided an empirically-derived definition of recovery based on how it is experienced by those who actually live it. To uncover the definition of recovery, intensive qualitative and quantitative research was conducted, culminating in an online survey that was completed by 9,341 people experiencing different pathways to recovery. These pathways included treatment, 12-step groups, non-12-step groups, medication-assisted recovery, and natural recovery. The study identified 39 recovery elements that define recovery. These elements are grouped into five areas: abstinence in recovery, essentials of recovery, enriched recovery, spirituality of recovery, and uncommon elements of recovery. Results may be useful for reducing stigma and opening dialog about addiction, because the definition clearly demonstrates many positive “ways of being” that define recovery.
1) gain an understanding of the mixed research methods used (including use of a large scale online survey) to create a definition of recovery;
2) identify elements of recovery as described and lived by people in recovery across the U.S.; and
3) learn how the recovery elements can used by clinicians and other service providers to help clients prepare for a life in recovery, family members to help them understand what to expect when loved ones get into recovery, and others, in general, to reduce the stigma often associated with addiction.