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What is Recovery?

May 21, 2012
by Lorie Obernauer
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What Is Recovery is a project of the Alcohol Research Group (ARG) which conducts and disseminates high-quality research in epidemiology of alcohol consumption and problems, alcohol health services research, and alcohol policies, while also training future generations of alcohol researchers.

From the What is Recovery website.....

"We hear the term recovery often, yet it is difficult to define. Many former problem drinkers and other substance users who are now trying to pursue an improved way of living, say that they are “in recovery.”  Yet with its frequent use, there is no agreed-upon definition of the term recovery. For instance:

  • Does recovery require abstinence?
  • Can someone be “in recovery” if they are still drinking or using?
  • Is recovery more than just being clean and sober? If so, how is that defined?

Scientists at the Alcohol Research Group want to answer these questions, and we need help from people who used to have a problem with alcohol or drugs--an experience some call being in recovery.

The goal is to develop a way of measuring recovery that will illustrate the constructive personal and social ways of being that are associated with recovery. Unlike those in recovery from other chronic disorders, such as cancer, many people in recovery from alcohol or drug problems are cautious about announcing their recovery status. So are their family members. This study should help to dispel the stigma that those in recovery still face.

The survey will be available in July 2012. Go to for more information. Please share this information with your Alumni and encourage them to participate in the study.



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Lorie Obernauer

Alumni Coordinator at CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction & Rehabilitation, University of Colorado Hospital

Lorie Obernauer

Lorie Obernauer, PhD, is the Alumni Coordinator at CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction...

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