Experiencing Recovery

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! 😉



9 thoughts on “Experiencing Recovery

    1. Why the doubts feeling? This is research based evidence so is credible. Is it because what we are ‘told’ is that long term recovery is illusionary so why bother trying? That’s the thing – a celeb relapsing is more interesting than living a clean and sober happy life isn’t it? 😉

      1. Yeah, don’t know why the doubts. I keep on hearing 2% long term when in AA, so what about without AA, that must be even lower? Or? Dunno. Maybe my doubt is more a reflection of my own state of mind and maybe it should not be spoken of. I’m going out to catch some sun and ponder about this.
        xx, Feeling

      2. That’s the thing what we hear is so much lower that we have this natural scepticism about such success. I don’t think it’s your state of mind – more the impression that is created and somehow perpetuated 🙂 Enjoy the sun xx

  1. “They told me my brain was hijacked but they didn’t tell me when I’d get it back” I’ve been seeing a TV ad for a treatment center (probably expensive) and I wonder: “yes, the person gets treatment, but what happens when he/she goes back into the real world?” Great video! Thanks for sharing 🙂 xx

  2. This is cool.
    From what I have read, no one quite knows how many people quit on their own, but many people have, and have been successful!
    I also have read that AA plus therapy increases success rate big time.
    I think this is awesome!
    Thank you!
    And I’ll even drink some tea! (As well as my coffee!)

    1. I agree Wendy – it is cool 🙂 Perhaps if there was less stigma about alcohol addiction more people would share their struggles openly and we would get a better idea. Here’s hoping! xx

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