An exploration of thriving over time in recovery

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Introduction: Emerging models of recovery have redirected the traditional focus on relapse prevention to an emphasis on wellness. According to this new framework of recovery, aspects of thriving can strengthen recovery and prevent relapse in substance use. However, the empirical support for these models is sparse. To fill the gap in the literature, the authors sought to predict the risk of relapse based on factors of thriving. Method: Participants consisted of a stratified sample of 412 adults in early, middle, and late stages of recovery (based on length of time in recovery) who the study recruited via Qualtrics Online Panels. We utilized a sequential regression to examine the ability of factors of thriving, the influence of time in recovery and demographic variables to predict relapse risk. Results: Thriving, length of recovery, and demographics significantly predicted risk of relapse (p <.001, R2 = 65%), with Thriving accounting for 55% of the variance (ΔR2 = 55%). Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that the natural developmental process that comes from the passage of time dedicated to recovery is significant but thriving or the quality of that time serves as a stronger protective factor preventing relapse. Addiction treatment and prevention specialists could benefit from including thriving in conceptual models and interventions for recovery. Further, these findings provide support for holistic models of addiction recovery.

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Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment



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