The New Template for Recovery: How to Quit Drinking and Build a Better Life

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SMART Recovery Toolbox

Findings may not apply to individuals who attained remission without help. Callers were screened briefly 10—12 minutes. Considering a major change is recommended. The study questions were addressed using descriptive analyses. In-person interviews were conducted yearly. Recovery is a ubiquitous concept but remains poorly understood and ill-defined, hindering the development of assessment tools necessary to evaluate treatment effectiveness. National Institute on Drug Abuse;

If it helps you that's great and I'm happy for you. Wow, I cannot believe I am the first to review this book. He presents many viable alternatives to the quasi religious AA groups.

What does recovery mean to you? Lessons from the recovery experience for research and practice

There are many paths to recovery from drinking problems. Hats Off to Jerry Dorsman his pioneering work! Required reading for those who are turned off by AA and their family members. Great book for those that have tried A. Presents in easily understood terms some of the alternative to A. It's actually a lot of education one would learn through 12 step treatment but for those scared off by AA is a great guide to coming to grips with their true relationship to alcohol and steps to take to live life without alcohol.

This book helped me stop drinking a number of years ago. I'm going to try it again. After over 1, AA meetings, discovered it was not helping me. This book actually makes sense, It's common sense, not based on religion, based on fact. Read it two days and it was one of the most compelling self help books I have read in a long time.

I bought it for my nephew it's helping him Thank God. See all 49 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 3 months ago. Published 1 year ago. Published on June 22, Published on March 24, Published on March 1, Published on February 28, Published on October 20, A lot of compiled info. Published on September 30, Published on August 5, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. East Dane Designer Men's Fashion. African Americans were significantly more likely to have participated in step than were other races Moreover, participants who endorsed total abstinence had significantly higher levels of lifetime addiction severity than those who selected a more moderate definition To examine further possible subgroup differences, we recoded qualitative answers into dummy variables representing the three major answer categories: We then compared answers as a function of individual characteristics as described earlier.

Prior treatment exposure was associated with defining recovery in terms of substance use More men than women defined r ecovery as a process Women were more likely than men to define recovery as a new life Regardless of the term used, significant behavior change takes time, it is challenging and stressful. This question has potentially critical ramifications especially in terms how recovery is perceived by the public and indirectly, in terms of stigma and discrimination e. Findings were reviewed earlier suggesting that the public defines recovery as an attempt to stop using drugs and alcohol, suggesting that it may not be attainable.

Thus while maintaining recovery may be a lifelong process e. We collected information that speaks directly to this issue. There is not a cure. But there is hope. It is like you gotta do a lot of work. We set out to address two questions: Our findings suggest that recovery requires abstinence from all mood altering substances but goes beyond substance use; rather it is a process of self improvement and an opportunity at a new and better life. Substance abuse disorders SUD , characterized by impaired control over addicting drugs American Psychiatric Association, , have been most effectively addressed by abstinence-based treatment approaches.

For illicit drug users, the chaotic lifestyle and the consequences of use are likely to persist unless complete abstinence is reached. Prior exposure to treatment and to step fellowships, both of which encourage embracing abstinence as recovery goal, was significantly associated with defining recovery as total abstinence. Interestingly, both individuals who do and do not consider themselves in recovery embraced abstinence as their definition of recovery.

While substance users are often ambivalent about quitting drugs, individuals with a long and severe history of substance use who seek remission may come to the conclusion that total abstinence is required from personal experience with relapses and attempts at controlled use.

Most failed remission attempts are based on moderation and abstinence proves more successful e. With respect to scope, recovery goes beyond substance use for most. This is consistent with step tenets e. REGAIN; 2 to bring back to normal position or condition; 3 to make up for; 4 to find or identify again; and 5 to save from loss and restore to usefulness: The notion of recovery as getting back something that was lost is worth examining in the present context.

Many of the clients presenting in treatment programs, particularly publicly funded programs, have nothing good to re-cover. But I have no before! Several participants framed this notion as regaining something that was lost — the opportunity of becoming what they were meant to be before they started using drugs and alcohol section 3. Reclaiming oneself is a process of growth and a process of change in attitudes, thinking and behaviors consistent with the rich descriptions and experiences documented by Stephanie Brown Recovery as a process should not be interpreted as inconsistent with recovery as abstinence; rather abstinence a state is viewed as a requirement of the ongoing process of recovery.

The process aspect of recovery has been reported previously in studies conducted among alcohol- and drug-dependent samples both in the US and abroad e. A small-scale study of drug-dependent persons abstinent for an average of 9 years sheds light on the stages of the process Margolis et al. Participants reported first passing through a phase almost solely focused on staying abstinent, particularly the first year.

How I overcame alcoholism

Finally, following that transitional period, the individual enters late recovery, a time of individual growth and search for meaning. Our findings on the focus of recovery definitions are consistent with these stages: Researchers have used durations ranging from one year e. While the risk of relapse does not completely disappear after three or even five years of continuous abstinence e. Addiction is a chronic condition; there may not be a complete or permanent solution i. There are many paths to recovery e. This may be particularly true of individuals who are drug vs. Our findings suggest that for severely dependent individuals, recovery is a process of change and growth for which abstinence from alcohol and others drugs is a prerequisite.

In seeking to foster recovery, we first need to ask: Thus addressing resolving substance use only is likely to lead to a rather poor prognosis lest other causes and consequences are addressed as well.


Whether as a nation, we are willing to pay for positive health wellness oriented services for substance dependent populations is unclear. From a clinical perspective, fostering optimal functioning has intuitive appeal and an empirical basis. One of the most important predictors of remission is having something to lose e. Present findings suggest that the benefits of recovery are many improved health, life conditions, social life etc. Quality of life QOL among active users is poor and abstinence, especially sustained abstinence, is associated with QOL improvements e. Thus the clinical goal of addiction treatment must go beyond fostering reduction in substance use to improving personal and social health.

The addiction field can seek guidance from the mental health field where recovery has gained importance in service delivery and research, including a working definition set forth in the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health: How do clinicians foster recovery? Persons in recovery consistently cite the support of family and peers and the need to seek and accept support , spirituality, inner strength and the desire to get better as critical sources of strength e.

Many clients initiate treatment due to external pressures family, legal, employment and may not be initially motivated for change; however, once in the therapeutic environment, even externally motivated clients e. Twelve-step fellowships foster positive and enduring outcomes e.

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Spiritual beliefs and life meaning are associated with better substance use outcomes and buffers stress for review, Laudet et al. Overall, fostering and assessing recovery as described here will require that the field makes two paradigmatic shifts: Analogous to the long-term management of other chronic diseases diabetes, hypertension , sustained recovery management assumes that the processes involved in fostering and sustaining change may occur gradually over multiple, linked service interventions that unfold over years Dennis et al.

The empirically supported model Scott, Dennis and Foss, b emphasizes post-treatment monitoring and support, active linkage to recovery mutual aid, stage-appropriate recovery education, and early re-intervention as needed White et al. It represents a critical first step in a much needed research effort toward a comprehensive investigation of the long-term recovery experience.

However, the study has several limitations that should be considered when interpreting findings. First, participants were members of urban, typically underserved minorities and characterized by a long and severe history of poly-substance use. Findings may not apply to members of other groups, such as persons with lower problem severity, those living in smaller cities or rural areas, individuals whose primary dependence is to alcohol, individuals who had high levels of pre-recovery resources job, education, support system or who maintained functioning during active use and have social and recovery capital after drug use ceases.

Currently, the scarcity of research on the recovery experience makes it challenging to determine the generalizability of current findings to other subpopulations. Second, most participants had prior exposure to treatment and to step and this was associated with how recovery is defined. Findings may not apply to individuals who attained remission without help. At this writing little is known about rates of self change remission among severely dependent persons; additional research is needed as self-change may elucidate some aspects of the change process that remains under-investigated Blomqvist, Third, information on recovery definitions and experiences was not collected at the BL interview.

We sought to minimize burden on participants as the protocol was lengthy; retrospectively, this would have been critical information to acquire at BL to have a more comprehensive picture of change over time; however we note that we found few changes in how recovery was defined in terms of substance use between F1 and F2. We are in the process of analyzing the qualitative data that provide richer information about possible changes in recovery experiences over time.

Another important yet neglected question is that of factors associated with the long-term maintenance of recovery. Factors implicated in initiating and maintaining behavior change are not necessarily similar; persons in recovery describe successive phases with changing focus, challenges and coping requirements e. More research is needed to guide continuing care and to inform the recovery community on how to maximize the likelihood that recovery is sustained. The role of socio-cultural context in how recovery is experienced and defined is also important: The author gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the men and women who shared their experiences, strength and hope with our staff for this project.

Jeffrey Becker, MPH, of NDRI assisted in the preparation of this manuscript by providing analyses of the qualitative study data and Beth Moses, MSW, collaborated with the author in developing codes and coding answers the open-ended answers. A early version of this study conducted on preliminary sample was poster-presented at rd Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Philadelphia, December NDRI is interested in interviewing anyone in NYC who used to have a serious problem with drugs and is no longer using.

Your experiences can provide valuable information to help people with similar problems. Confidentiality is strictly maintained. Participants compensated for time. We do not provide treatment. This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript.

The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final citable form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Subst Abuse Treat. Author manuscript; available in PMC Oct 1. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at J Subst Abuse Treat. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article.

Abstract Recovery is a ubiquitous concept but remains poorly understood and ill-defined, hindering the development of assessment tools necessary to evaluate treatment effectiveness. Recovery, addiction, substance abuse, remission, process. Introduction Recovery, a concept once associated almost exclusively with step fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous, has become all but a buzz word in government agencies.

Materials and Methods 2. Remission status at follow-ups At each interview participants were asked about substance use since the previous interviews as described above. Recovery definition a Structured forced choice item: Recovery goals What are your personal goals right now in regards to drug and alcohol use?

Benefits of recovery Open-ended question: Table 1 Recovery defined as total abstinence from all drugs and alcohol as a function of Individual background and clinical characteristics. Open in a separate window. A recurrent theme was that recovery is going back, regaining an identity a self lost to addiction: Discovery and recovery With respect to scope, recovery goes beyond substance use for most.

Recovery is a process rather than an endpoint Reclaiming oneself is a process of growth and a process of change in attitudes, thinking and behaviors consistent with the rich descriptions and experiences documented by Stephanie Brown Footnotes 1 Sample text of recruiting ad: References Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

American Psychiatric Association; pp. American Society of Addiction Medicine. Patient placement criteria for the treatment if substance use disorders.

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Recovery with and without treatment: A comparison of resolutions of alcohol and drug problems. Addiction Research and Theory.

1. Introduction

The New Template for Recovery: How to Quit Drinking and Build a Better Life [Ph. D. T. Christopher Portman] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying. How to Quit Drinking and Build a Better Life Ph. D. T. Christopher Portman. motivate non-mandated clients to return, they had to be a lot more knowledgeable.

A Developmental Model of Recovery. The challenge of sobriety: Natural recovery without treatment and self-help programs. Journal of Substance Abuse. Their influence on varying pathways to recovery. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addiction. Applying clinical significance methodology to alcoholism treatment trials: Alcohol Clin Exp Research.

Profiles of first treatment and previous treatment clients. The duration and correlates of addiction and treatment careers. Quality of life as an outcome measurement in alcoholism treatment research. Journal of Studies on Alcohol. Finney J, Moos R. The long-term course of treated alcoholism: Are step programs effective in maintaining abstinence? American Journal of Drug Alcohol Abuse. Journal of Drug Issues. Looking back on cocaine dependence: American Journal on Addictions. Quality of Life Research.

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The role of social capital in the resolution of drug-associated problems. Substance Use and Misuse. Illegal Drugs and End of Life Survey. National Institute on Drug Abuse; Relapse to cocaine use: Perspectives of effective treatment for alcohol and drug disorders. Psychiatric Clinics of America.

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A year follow-up of narcotics addicts. General Archives of Psychiatry. Do enhanced friendships networks and active coping mediate the effect of self-help groups on substance use? Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Substance use disorder patients who are mandated to treatment: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.

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