What is Recovery?


Aleksandar Mijatovic

Regular visitors to this website know how strongly I feel about the need to shift the organizing center of the alcohol and other drugs problem arena toward a recovery paradigm and how vitally important it is to clearly define and measure recovery at personal, professional, systems performance and policy levels. Last year, I encouraged visitors to this website to participate in the "What Is Recovery?" research study led by Dr. Lee Ann Kaskutas. To date, 9,341people who once had, but no longer have, a problem with alcohol or other drugs have shared their understanding of recovery by completing the study survey. Thanks to all of you who participated in this historic study.

Dr. Kaskutas and her team are now conducting a follow-up survey with the 5,916 people who agreed to be re-contacted. IF YOU ARE ONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS, THEN YOU WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL AND/OR A TELEPHONE CALL FROM THE STUDY, INVITING YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN A BRIEF FOLLOW-UP SURVEY. Participants are being contacted in several waves, so some of you will get an email in the coming days, others in the next month or so. I am requesting those of you who are contacted to help with this latest stage of the study.

The email you receive will have your personal link to the survey. You'll need to use this link, because you will not be able to fill-out your survey by going to the study website like before.? Please watch out for that email, because they will only send it once!? It will come from MyLifeNow@phi.org with the subject line "Online survey." If they call you, they will say they are calling "on behalf of a national health survey."

In the meantime, you may be interested in the general profile of all the people who took last year's survey. Go to the updated "What Is Recovery?" survey website http://www.WhatIsRecovery.org and click on the "Survey Respondents" tab.

UPDATE: This research study has been completed and its main findings published.

Kaskutas L. A., Borkman, T., Laudet, A., Ritter, L. A., Witbrodt, J., Subbaraman, M., Stunz, A. & Bond, J. (2014). Elements that define addiction recovery: the experiential perspective. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75(6), 999-1010.

Kaskutas, L. A., & Ritter, L. A. (2015). Consistency between beliefs and behavior regarding use of substances in recovery." International Journal of Self-Help and Self- Care, 5(1). 1-10.

Kaskutas, L.A., Witbrodt, J. & Grella, CE. (2015). Recovery definitions: Do they change? Drug & Alcohol Dependence. 1, 154:85-92. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.06.021. Epub 2015 Jun 24.