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"Five years in recovery may seem a long time away when you are at the start of your recovery journey and too much to even imagine right now, and you may well be very right in that."

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Better Than Well

Have you ever wondered what makes people in recovery from addiction so effusively happy?

If you spend a little time with a group a people in recovery from addiction you will find that they express gratitude for what can seem like unbelievably small things, apologise for themselves immediately if they do or say something less than kind and they seem to be genuinely interested in what you are saying. Well I can let you in on a secret; this is called the ‘better than well’ effect.

Very simply put, some researchers had a brilliant idea one day not so long ago. They decided to shift the focus of their academic attention away from the excruciating detail of the problems of drug use and moved it onto the experience of recovery from addiction. They found out at least two amazing facts about people and recovery from addiction:

• Most people DO recover from addiction.

• When people stay in recovery for five years and more, they report themselves to be happier, better adjusted citizens that achieve more of their potential than people who never had an addiction at all!

Studies in USA and UK have shown that people in long-term recovery experience life as ‘better than well’. Five years in recovery may seem a long time away when you are at the start of your recovery journey and too much to even imagine right now, and you may well be very right in that. However, when the road to recovery gets tough, it’s good to know that better things do happen to people who were in the same position as you are now.

So if you are just setting out on this amazing journey into an unknown world of self-awareness remember to take it one step at a time and:

• Look for help and support.

• Connect with other people in recovery from addiction like you.

• keep going!

Have a look at Page 36 of out report 'Digesting the Evidence' for background on the academic basis for this idea.  Also, look at these slides also on our website on the same subject.