Jeff and friend Jason

Jeff and friend Jason

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.

(For all the results and definitions, please see http://whatisrecovery.orgThanks to Cathy Taughinbaugh http://cathytaughinbaugh.com for bringing this to our attention.)

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.


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9 years ago

I love the focus on recovery instead of disease. I’m learning there are so many stages in recovery. And curves. The honesty. Yes. We are all in recovery & discovery -no more covering over or covering up. You book helped me so much with that Libby. But sometimes I wish I could recover the years and hours and parts of myself I lost not dealing with the chaos but getting sucked into my sons active addiction. I know,stay in the present. Today, for a spell, I was so angry. I still get angry. Not why me but why our children –why anyone– has to walk this path. I know the why is not answerable. I just sometimes SO do not have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.And maybe that is part of recovery too. Being honest with hard truths like left over anger. Thanks for this link. I needed it today.