Skip to content Skip to navigation

Do We Need to Define 'Recovery'?

September 1, 2008
by root
| Reprints

I am really perplexed as to who really cares about defining “recovery” and whether a definition will benefit anyone other than those doing research. The definition of “a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health, and citizenship,” as stated in Carlton K. Erickson, PhD's article (December 2007 issue), raises the question of who is to judge. Who's to say what is good health and good citizenship?

Defining recovery only divides people, leading some to believe their recovery is better or worse than others'. Recovery is a process happening a day at a time and is acknowledged by individuals in the process by their stating, “I am a recovering alcoholic/drug addict.” Do we really need to spend precious resources researching what this means?

Howard Josepher, Executive director, Exponents, New York City
Addiction Professional 2008 September-October;6(5):10
Topics