Understanding recovery pathways: how different systems of treatment and support relate to meaningful participation in society
Treatment and support for substance use problems consists of various forms and combinations of peer support and professional interventions. The aim of this intervention is to examine the relationship between diverse forms of support and factors associated with participation in society among individuals in recovery. 368 individuals in recovery from problem drug use, living in the UK, Netherlands and Belgium, were interviewed using a semi-structured interview. 69% of the respondents participated in peer-support groups, 71% in outpatient treatment programs and 76% had attended residential treatment, while 41% had used all three forms of support. Lifetime membership of peer-support groups was associated with higher odds of being in paid employment, belonging to and joining new social groups, and higher satisfaction with employment status and social relations. Such association was not found for attending residential treatment or outpatient treatment (ever vs never). Participation in peer-support is rather linked to participation in the community than attending residential or outpatient treatment, suggesting the need to better integrate these forms of support in recovery-oriented systems of care.