The continued rise of online resources in various fields opens up huge possibilities for all kinds of communication, knowledge and understanding. Online environments offer opportunities for discovery and personal growth in two distinct ways, particularly useful both those in Recovery and those seeking more information. Firstly, online access to information is 24/7, the interaction is on demand, when it is needed it’s there – perfect for the Recovery life, whatever stage of Recovery you might be at. Secondly, in the early stages of self discovery, it is private, confidential and safe.
When we consider the entrenched societal stigma surrounding addiction of any kind it is clear why accessing reliable information and help is hard for many. Wherever you are, we hope that the Online Recovery Academy mix of information, education, courses, resources and entertainment will help you enhance your Recovery, or help you decide if a Recovery Lifestyle is a path you wish to pursue.
Recovery is a choice, not always an easy one to make, but, a choice to change one way of life for another. It can seem like Recovery from any addiction is one of the World’s best kept secrets. Even those in Recovery are reticent to share their new way of living either as a result of the stigma and shame that still accompanies addiction, or because their Recovery seems so personal and intimate to their own experience. This is changing, and seemingly rapidly.
All over the world, for a multitude of reasons the Recovery Lifestyle is raising it’s profile: Some examples of recovery visibility are political advocacy in America, cultural change in Australia, health issues in the UK and complete policy change in Portugal, Ireland and many other countries. Our reaction to addiction, drug use and Recovery is changing. This provides a fertile and exciting environment for those seeking change.
We would guess (pretty confidently!) that anyone in long term Recovery will tell you their life is different now. Better? Probably. Easier? Probably not. But different, definitely.
In 2013 Faces And Voices Of Recovery (FAVOR), an advocacy group in the USA, commissioned a Survey called Life In Recovery. Devised by renowned addiction researcher Alexandre Laudet PhD, the survey garnered over 3500 responses and produced valuable data concerning the Recovery Lifestyle. Since 2013 the Survey has been replicated in Australia and the UK, and these three published research documents have revealed some fascinating correlations between shared experiences in Recovery.
The most important point is, of course, that people with addiction or substance misuse problems can, and do, Recover. Equally noteworthy is the level of enjoyment and fulfilment that the majority surveyed report.
The American Survey found as recovery progresses, civic involvement increases dramatically in such areas as voting and volunteering in the community. People in Recovery increasingly engage in healthy behaviours such as taking care of their health, including diet, getting regular exercise, and having dental checkups As Recovery duration increases, a greater number of people go back to some form of education or get additional job training and rates of steady employment increase, in addition more people start their own businesses.
The Australian Survey conducted by Turning Point found that across the five key areas assessed, there was considerable improvement in health, relationships, justice involvement, work and finances reported by participants in the study.
The UK Survey by Sheffield Hallam University re-enforced many of the American and Australian findings and concluded that ‘the transition from active addiction to recovery has multiple benefits for even the most vulnerable populations. The longer recovery can be sustained, the more the benefits are accrued to the individual, their families and their communities, this survey echoes the findings of prior recovery surveys in Australia and the US, adding to a growing body of evidence suggesting that while recovery can be a broad and differentiated experience, it is one that should be celebrated, acknowledged and supported across communities.’
So Why Recovery?
The results speak for themselves.