Thanks to Paul over at The Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism for sharing this video originally. It’s some footage of a presentation looking at the recovery experience given by William White a Senior Research Consultant in the US who I remember seeing interviewed as part of the documentary film The Anonymous People last year
It was the slide at the end that really struck me. He had done a review of 415 studies in 2012 and found that 5-15% of all US adults were in remission from substance use disorder (SUD, not including nicotine). That’s 25 -40 million citizens. Here in the UK that would be 2.5 – 7.4 million.
And more amazingly the rate of recovery was much higher than any statistics I had heard before. Since 2000 the recovery rate in community populations was 53.9% and 50.3% in clinical studies. So over half were living in recovery and yet the meme that I have always heard is that it is a chronic relapsing condition and that success rates were small. As William White says this should ‘in and of itself challenge the public perception and growing pessimism around recovery‘.
As Paul said we need this to be the research focus of the future. As William White says we need to stop studying the pathology of addiction and start researching and following the recovery experience. I’ll drink something non-alcoholic to that! 😉