“I used to be an addict. I’m still an addict. I’m always going to be a recovering addict”: Understanding the challenges of individuals seeking recovery

Kimberly A. Parker, Bobi Ivanov, Allison Thieneman, Kevin Wombacher, Tara Watterson, Molly Burchett, Elizabeth Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Objective: Although preventable, substance addiction has become one of the most prominent public health problems facing the nation. As a result, treatment programs and centers have focused resources and efforts on aiding individuals on their path to long-term recovery. However, the constant threat, reinforced by high incidence, of relapse presents a major obstacle to long-term recovery. Relapse prevention programs are designed to target social and psychological factors contributing to lapses in sobriety. Yet, the exact factors that can impact long-term recovery and prevent or lower the instances of relapse are not always clear. The current study explores the major contributors to relapse as experienced in a male residential treatment center. Methods: The data were gathered through 31 in-depth interviews in a residential halfway house treatment facility for substance use recovery. Results: The results of the study underscored social support and interpersonal relationships as major factors impacting long-term recovery. More specifically, lack of efficacy in managing interpersonal relationships and building new support networks were identified as essential barriers to long-term recovery. Conclusions: The management of interpersonal relationships seems to be a key to long-term recovery, which emphasizes the need for strategies that underscore the development of positive relationships that will strengthen resistance to relapse and long-term recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-149
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Long-term recovery
  • interpersonal relationships
  • relapse
  • substance use
  • support networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)

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