Beyond Recovery Exceptionalism

Oppression involves objectification and rendering the targeted person or group as the ‘other.” That distinctive “otherness” is then conveyed in caricatured images that feed stigma, social exclusion, and, in its most extreme form, genocide. The first task of the social reformer is to illuminate the humanity of those objectified and break down barriers between “they”…

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Health Challenges In Addiction Recovery

The wide range of injuries inflicted on the human body by excessive and prolonged alcohol or other drug (AOD) use have been extensively documented for more than two centuries, but until recently little was known about the relative health of people recovering from addiction. The potential burden of continued health problems in recovery has been obscured…

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A Recovery Cascade Case Study: NA in the Islamic Republic of Iran

We recently explored the idea of “recovery cascade”—a sudden surge in personal change that sparks recovery initiation in the heels of past efforts or a collective surge in recovery prevalence at a community or cultural level. While there are examples of the latter in U.S. history (e.g., the explosive growth of the Washingtonian Temperance Society…

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Recovery Attempts: New Data and Their Implications

What is the number of serious attempts required to achieve stable resolution of a significant alcohol or other drug (AOD) problem? Previous studies of addiction treatment populations suggest prolonged addiction careers, and a substantial proportion (over half) of people in the United States admitted to addiction treatment indicate one or more prior treatment admissions. These…

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The Recovery Community Organization: Toward A Working Definition and Description

A recovery community organization (RCO) is an independent, non-profit organization led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery. These organizations organize recovery-focused policy advocacy activities, carry out recovery-focused community education and outreach programs, and/or provide peer-based recovery support services (P-BRSS). The broadly defined recovery community – people in long-term recovery, their families, friends…

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The Importance of Role Clarity and Role Integrity

The recent growth in peer-based recovery support services as an adjunct and alternative to addiction treatment has created heightened ambiguity about the demarcation of responsibilities across three roles: 1) voluntary service roles with communities of recovery, e.g., the role of the sponsor within Twelve Step programs, 2) clinically focused addiction treatment specialists (e.g., certified addiction…

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Telephone- and Internet-Based Recovery Support Services

In two earlier publications, the authors outlined the varieties of addiction recovery experience as represented in the scientific and historical literature (White & Kurtz, 2006a) and outlined strategies to link individuals in addiction treatment to local communities of recovery (White & Kurtz, 2006b). In this third publication, we will: 1) review the ways in which…

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State of the New Recovery Advocacy Movement

“I have been invited as the historian of this movement to share some thoughts with you about the current state of recovery advocacy and support in the United States. In the few minutes we have together, I want to share some of my personal perspectives on our accomplishments to date, current and anticipated threats, and…

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