A cluster analysis of European life in recovery data: what are the typical patterns of recovery experience?

Journal article


Best, D., Sondhi, A., Patton, D., Abreu, V. and Nisic, M. 2024. A cluster analysis of European life in recovery data: what are the typical patterns of recovery experience? Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. pp. 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2024.2311841
AuthorsBest, D., Sondhi, A., Patton, D., Abreu, V. and Nisic, M.
Abstract

Introduction: There is little research around recovery career pathways and how they cluster together by individual and situational factors and over different time courses, based on the Betty Ford Institute characterisation of early, sustained and stable recovery.

Method: This paper uses a cluster analysis with data from the European Life in Recovery (LiR) survey to produce typologies of recovery careers around stages of recovery: early (<1 year), sustained (1-5 years), and stable (>5 years). A secondary aim was to explore evidence of national variations among clusters.

Results: Cluster analysis identified five typologies, broadly reflecting the three stages. ‘Early and Younger’ participants had the highest barriers and lowest strengths in recovery and were most likely to reside in Spain, Portugal and Poland. ‘Sustained but struggling to overcome barriers’ participants were characterized by high strengths in active addiction but most barriers in recovery and mainly resided in the Netherlands and Belgium. ‘Stable A: Employed, Parents with self-directed recoveries’reported higher barriers and lowest strengths in active addiction and were mainly from the Balkan countries. ‘Stable B: educated recovery veterans’ participants experienced the most barriers in active addiction but also the most strengths in recovery and were largely from the UK. ‘Mixed stages and older’ showed least barriers in recovery and highest strengths in active addiction and were also mainly from the UK.

Implications: Structural and cultural factors (possibly including location) are important in recovery journeys and that, while all recovery journeys are unique, there are clusters of characteristics broadly consistent with the Betty Ford Institute stages approach of early, sustained and stable recovery.

Keywordslife in recovery; recovery; structural factors; international comparisons; addiction careers
Year2024
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Journal citationpp. 1-9
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1465-3370
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2024.2311841
Web address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09687637.2024.2311841
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Output statusPublished
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Online05 Feb 2024
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Deposited14 Feb 2024
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