Life in Active Addiction compared with Recovery from Addiction

Australian First - Survey Compares Life in Active Addiction with life in Recovery from Addiction

surveyThis national survey will shed light on the impact of Recovery in the lives of people who have travelled the road from drug and alcohol dependence.

In an Australian first, researchers and drug and alcohol treatment providers are collaborating in a groundbreaking national survey. The survey will track and measure the lives of Australians with a history of addiction to alcohol or other drugs and who are currently living in recovery from that addiction.

The research is being conducted by a team from Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre in Melbourne and South Pacific Private - a leading Sydney drug and alcohol treatment centre - and will provide the most extensive picture of life in recovery from drug and alcohol dependence to date in Australia.

All Australians who identify themselves as being in recovery *** from addiction to alcohol or other drugs are invited to take part in the online survey that runs from 11th November until 31st December 2013.

The survey will collect confidential information on participants’ socio-demographics, physical and mental health, substance use and recovery history, and functioning across a number of domains including work, finances, legal, family and social while they were in “active addiction” as and contrast this with their current status of “in recovery” from the addiction.

Dr. Ben Teoh, Medical Superintendent of South Pacific Private, a private hospital specializing in the treatment of addictions and mental illness on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, said that the experience of Recovery was an aspect of drug and alcohol dependence that is not much talked about in Australia.

Australia has among the highest rates of alcohol abuse in the world and, along with New Zealand, our population is one of the heaviest users of cannabis. Yet at the same time we have a significant proportion of people who have been living in recovery for many years.

“This survey has the potential to uncover, not only what really happens in a person’s life in recovery, but also to document the improvements in their lives once they are in recovery.

We believe the impacts and benefits of recovery extend way beyond the individual and we are delighted that this nationwide survey is bringing recovery to the forefront of national discussion.”

The project is being led by Associate Professor David Best, Head of Research and Workforce Development at Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre and Associate Professor of Addiction Studies at Monash University. A/Prof Best was the first Chair of the Scottish Drugs Recovery Consortium established as part of the Scottish national drug strategy. Currently, he is also vice-chair of the UK Recovery Academy and chair of Recovery Academy Australia whose aims are to promote academic research into who recovers and when.

“This is a major step forward in mapping the recovery community in Australia, both in terms of assessing who achieves and sustains recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and mapping how they get there,” said A/Prof Best.

“It will help to strengthen the recovery voice and bring together those who wish to celebrate the astonishing achievement that recovery represents.”

To take part in the survey please visit the South Pacific Private homepage and scroll down to click the recovery link:

Alternatively the survey is available here:

Media inquiries at Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre to Sarah Flynn, Phone (03) 8413 8510.

Media inquiries at South Pacific Private: Jacquie Grant, Public Relations Manager, Phone: (02) 9905 3667.

*** Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves improved health and life quality as well as community and workplace integration. Recovery from substance dependence is also characterized by sobriety and personal health.

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