Achievement Linked to Recovery from Addiction: Discussing Education, Vocation, and Non-Addict Identity
Despite decades of research, more than 400 million people around the globe suffer from substance abuse and only 10% to 43% maintain abstinence after treatment. Social support, spirituality, self-control, and locus of control have all been examined for their efficacy and relationship with successful abstinence outcomes. Conceptually, educational/vocational achievement is believed to contribute to reforming an identity divorced from the previous lifestyle of active addiction. Educational and vocational achievements as proxies for non-addict identity have only been investigated sporadically. The present study seeks to establish a quantitative link between successful long-term recovery and these types of goal-oriented achievements. A survey was administered to 195 participants in recovery, and results showed that those who have achieved an advanced certification, license, or degree since getting clean report almost twice as much clean time as those who did not. Hierarchical regression revealed that educational/vocational achievement accounted for 12% of unique variance in length of abstinence after controlling for demographic variables and other predictors (with the overall model accounting for 48%). These findings expose the importance of a neglected component of research in recovery from addiction. Implications include greater emphasis on vocational rehabilitation in recovery and future research should aim to examine and refine this concept further.
Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Crutchfield, D. A., Guss, C. D. (2019) Achievement Linked to Recovery from Addiction: Discussing Education, Vocation, and Non-Addict Identity. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 37(3), 359-376.