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Recovered, in Recovery, or Recovering from Substance Abuse? A Question of Identity

Recovered, in Recovery, or Recovering from Substance Abuse? A Question of Identity

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    Cullen, Jim; Doukas, Nick. "Recovered, in Recovery, or Recovering from Substance Abuse? A Question of Identity." Journal of Psychoactive Drugs; Dec2009, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p391-394.
    Abstract: There has always been widespread debate on how people with past substance abuse problems choose to identify themselves with regards to their recovery and the terms used to associate with that identity. Most of the disagreement over these terms is rooted on whether recovery is seen as an ongoing process ("recovering" or "in recovery") or a life event that can be mastered ("recovered"). This article discusses these three controversial terms and attempts to make them available as terms that one can use or identify with by presenting different perspectives on the topic of recovery. Some of these perspectives may be unconventional when compared to traditional views of the recovery process, but they are the realities of many individuals who have had a past experience with substance abuse and may be confronted with prejudice when voicing their recovery in a past tense. The article makes comparisons between the DSM IV and the Big Book of AA and discusses identity vs labels and the influence of the medical community on this controversial topic.