A nationwide survey, conducted over four years and funded by the National Institutes of Health, asked almost 10,000 people in recovery to define what “being in recovery” means. The researchers identified 39 descriptors, including:
Recovery is being honest with myself.
Recovery is being able to enjoy life without drinking or using drugs, i.e. abstinence from all alcohol and drugs.
Recovery is living a life that contributes to society, to my family and to my betterment.
Recovery is giving back.
My reflection: The goal of this project was, “to develop a way of defining recovery based on how it is experienced by those who actually live it.” It is the largest and most comprehension research project ever conducted about recovery, with results compiled from interviews and questionnaires from people addicted to all kinds of substances, including alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs.
What’s so exciting about this project? This research project is like the shot heard by many. It confirms and affirms that society is paying attention to the many deaths from overdose each year, prescription drug abuse and alcoholism. For change to happen, the problem must be acknowledged on a grand scale. The What is Recovery Project is doing just that.