What is recovery? Functioning and recovery stories of self-identified people in recovery in a services user group and their peer networks in Birmingham England

David W. Best, Teodora Groshkova, James Sadler, Ed Day, William L. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The study was based on a peer snowballing method involving members of a service users group in Birmingham, United Kingdom, who were asked to identify and interview members of their peer networks who had achieved "sustained recovery" of one year. Two hundred and nineteen individuals were recruited who defined themselves as being in recovery, consisting of 132 individuals in medication maintained recovery and 87 in abstinent recovery. Those in maintained recovery were more anxious about using heroin and had lower self-efficacy, worse physical health, poorer quality of life, and more peer group members still using. Being older was associated with greater quality of life (rather than time since last use) supporting a "maturing out" hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-313
Number of pages21
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • methadone maintenance
  • psychological well-being
  • quality of life
  • Recovery

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