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Research proves value of recovery groups

Research proves value of recovery groups

LONGER-TERM INVOLVEMENT in recovery groups enhances the toolbox of resources available to people with experience of substance misuse conditions, new research has indicated.

A study by Bangor University PhD researcher Hannah Rettie found a correlation between the skills and techniques developed by people in recovery and their membership of specialist support groups.

Using the novel Recovery Strengths Questionnaire, she surveyed 151 participants from more than 30 recovery groups across the UK – primarily in North Wales, Cardiff and Bristol.


Valid measure

The results, now published in Drug and Alcohol Review, found that the method was a valid measure of recovery capital and that the scores generated could be used to predict how far individuals had progressed in their recovery journey.  The technique also successfully distinguished between strengths developed within recovery groups and those external to the groups, like enhanced family relationships and improved finances.

Hannah hopes that the Recovery Strengths Questionnaire used in her study could prove an important tool for practitioners and people in recovery.

“Our questionnaire assesses the resources an individual has when recovering from substance dependency,” she said.


'Important role'

“Individuals from a wide range of recovery groups filled in the questionnaire as part of a larger survey, and we found that the resources which individuals develop within recovery groups – like building social networks and engaging in meaningful activity – predict the length of time they've been in recovery," she added.

“This highlights the important role recovery groups play in a person's recovery journey, and means the Recovery Strengths Questionnaire could also be used to help both practitioners and recovering individuals identify areas of strength to support their journey of recovery in the longer term.”

The Recovery Strengths Questionnaire for drug and alcohol use disorders was published as part of a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) research project supported by CAIS, led by Bangor University, and part-funded by Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys