'It’s getting better all the time': Stable recovery and its relation to housing problems, crime, occupation situation, and substance use
The Life in Recovery (LiR) survey 2018 was used as a recruitment and research strategy in the study. The LiR measures a range of aspects that are fundamental in the process of addiction recovery, such as work, well-being, relationships, and participation in family and community life. 722 individuals from the UK, the Netherlands, and Belgium who consider themselves ‘in recovery’ (= 3 months) after problematic drug use filled out the survey. We examined the relation between time in recovery and factors that can be considered barriers or facilitators to recovery: housing problems, criminal involvement, occupational situation, and substance use. Individuals in later recovery stages were found to have lower odds of housing problems, being involved in crime, and using illicit hard drugs and had higher odds of having work or education in the last 30 days, compared to individuals in early recovery stages. This study supports the observation that recovery is a long-term process, associated with cumulative improvements in various critical life domains, even after 5 years in recovery.