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The purpose of this paper is to critically regard the concept of recovery from the perspective of substance misusing offenders. It intended to understand how these…
The purpose of this paper is to critically regard the concept of recovery from the perspective of substance misusing offenders. It intended to understand how these individuals came to define recovery by asking “what does recovery mean to you?”
In total, 35 semi-structured interviews were undertaken with individuals with a history of heroin and crack cocaine use as well as convictions for a range of offences. Interviews took place in both prison and community settings, reflecting a spectrum of experience.
Whilst the constellation of recovery varied, it was at times made up of the same “stars” – and some re-occurring themes emerged; recovery was transient, fragile and unpredictable, it was ongoing, lacking a definitive end, it was more than abstinence and often involved a total psychological overhaul, recovery was about reintegrating with society and feeling “normal”.
Practitioners and services need to value the individual interpretations of recovery rather than being prescriptive around what it “should” look like. The components of recovery that were raised by participants permit specific recommendations for practice to be made.
This study sought the perspectives of those actually affected by and experiencing drug treatment in the Criminal Justice System. It allowed participants to tell their story without preconceived ideas or hypotheses, putting their voice at the centre of the stage. The study uses feedback from the ground to make informed recommendations for practice.