The term "recovery" is often used in the addiction field. However, we have thus far failed to define the term, to delineate its dimensions, or to elucidate the prerequisite conditions to this outcome. This has hindered service development and evaluation as well as changes in policy. This paper: 1. Reviews empirical findings about how "recovery" is defined and experienced by individuals engaged in the process; 2. Examines factors associated with recovery initiation, maintenance, and sustained lifestyle, and review obstacles to recovery; and 3. Discusses implications for services and research; implications include the need to adopt a long-term, wellness-centered approach to addressing substance use related problems, the importance for society to address the stigma of former addiction and to offer attractive viable opportunities to promote making significant life changes toward recovery from substance use.
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