‘I’m getting the balls to say no’: Trajectories in long-term recovery from problem substance use [2020]

This study uses individualisation theory to explore identity transition in substance misuse recovery. Identity narratives gained over 4 years from co-produced video/audio interview and video diary accounts were co-productively collected and analysed using framework analysis. Results indicate a trend towards individualistic and agentic identity as recovery trajectories progress over time. Within-case analysis demonstrates agentic growth for most participants, from early-stage gratitude and reliance on support groups to self-determination and independent decision-making. This early work exploring longer-term recovery adds to the current recovery and social identity discussion and provides evidence of identity growth in longer-term stages of recovery.

Lucy Webb, Amanda Clayson, Eva Duda-Mikulin, Nigel Cox
Journal of Health Psychology, July 21, 2020
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