"Summarizing data from six large studies, one analysis estimated that the proportion of the United States adult population that is in remission from a substance use disorder of any severity is approximately 10.3 percent (with a range of 5.3 to 15.3 percent).29 This estimate is consistent with findings from a different national survey, which found that approximately 10 percent, or 1 in 10, of United States adults say, 'Yes,' when asked, 'Did you once have a problem with drugs or alcohol but no longer do?' These percentages translate to roughly 25 million United States adults being
"Various definitions of individual recovery have been offered nationally and internationally.13-17 Although they differ in some respects, all of these recovery definitions describe personal changes that are well beyond simply stopping substance use.
"The target of recovery is about quality of life rather than abstinence, although abstinence may be a long-term goal for clients. However, the underlying theoretical model for much recovery work is the developmental or lifecourse model (e.g., Hser, Longshore, & Anglin, 2007), which would suggest a significant lengthening of the time scale for the recovery process and so the focus on change—whether to the point of abstinence—is a long-term journey that may well take up the rest of the person’s life.
"The research literature on substance abuse treatment has consistently reported evidence to support the view that the relationships people maintain with their families, friends and other social contacts are critical to understanding why people start to abuse drink and drugs, why they persist to the point of addiction, and how they respond to treatment designed to move them to abstinence.
"Cloud and Granfield delineate four dimensions to recovery capital: social, physical, human and cultural.
"Social capital: The sum of resources that each person has as a result of their relationships, support from and obligations to groups to which they belong
"Physical capital: Tangible assets such as property and money that may increase recovery options
"Human capital: Personal skills and education, positive health, aspirations and hopes
"In this context, “recovery capital“ is the sum of personal and social resources at one’s disposal for addressing drug dependence and, chiefly, bolstering one’s capacity and opportunities for recovery” (Cloud and Granfield, 2001).
"The recognition of drug dependence as a multi-factorial health disorder, which often follows the course of a relapsing and remitting chronic disease, has spurred calls to shift the focus of drug dependence treatment from acute care to an approach of sustained recovery management in the community. Sustained recovery management applies many of the central components of recovery capital and the Sustainable Livelihoods framework. Service wise, a sustained recovery management approach offers the following:
"Drug dependence treatment—within an acute care, symptoms-focused paradigm—has fallen short of properly addressing the complex, multifactorial nature of drug dependence that often follows the course of a relapsing and remitting chronic disease. There is disillusionment with the 'admit, treat, and discharge', revolving door cycles of high dropout rates, post-treatment relapse, and readmission rates.
"The WHO Lexicon of alcohol and drug terms (1994, p. 55) defines ‘recovery’ as:
"Maintenance of abstinence from alcohol and/or other drug use by any means. The term is particularly associated with mutual-help groups, and in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other twelve-step groups refers to the process of attaining and maintaining sobriety. Since recovery is viewed as a lifelong process, an AA member is always viewed internally as a ‘recovering’ alcoholic, although ‘recovered’ alcoholic may be used as a description to the outside world;
"Research shows that drug treatment contact impacts positively on clients’ physical and psychological health, reduces drug use and criminal activity, reduces injection and lowers the risk of non-fatal overdose (e.g. Gossop et al., 2000a,b; Prendergast et al., 2002; Stewart et al., 2002; WHO, 2009). Thus, accessing and adhering to drug treatment is a significant step towards recovery from drug dependence, but additional social support is often required.