Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Are A Three Legged Stool

Pat Taylor, the executive director of Faces and Voices of Recovery, which has done great work in the policy arena on recovery issues and urging those in recovery to become public about their recovery, argues that we need research on recovery. We have very little data on recovery, she argues, and that makes it impossible to determine what is working and what is needed. We have no hard data on how many people are in recovery, what those people are using to stay clean and sober, the challenges they are facing, the impact their new recovery is having on their life, friends, and family, and the causes and conditions that lead to relapse.  As it stands, we know nothing and its time that we know something because the more we know about the circumstances and issues of recovery, the more we will be able to do to help people stay in recovery.

I mean think about it! It’s crazy!  The thinking is that all of our resources should be spent first on locking people up, second on preventing the flow of drugs and alcohol and lastly on education, prevention and treatment. Think of all the people who get a foothold in recovery, but because there is no information, no infrastructure, no support, they feel as though they have no real resource except to go back to the life they knew before treatment and jails. How many people would stay in recovery if our society treated recovery as the vital link that it is to a persons transformation to a happy and productive member of society?

Government policy has always been able to give those who complete some type of outpatient or inpatient treatment, vouchers for recovery service, but often these folks don’t know where to find them. Wouldn’t it be better to take that money and build a network or community based recovery centers where folks could go to access the services and community that are vital for them to stay on the path?  I was encouraged this spring when I heard the Deputy Director of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy speak about establishing an Office of Recovery and recruiting those of us in recovery to carry a message that treatment works and recovery is sustainable, to areas that may never have heard that message. It’s obvious to anyone who understands this issue that just focusing on prevention and treatment leaves you with a two-legged stool. There is no question that recovery is the third leg, the only question is whether or not this country and the recovery community has the will to make that a reality.


~ by Christopher Kennedy Lawford on June 14, 2010.

One Response to “Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Are A Three Legged Stool”

  1. I have some information in regards to education/prevention that I will be send over to Pat. I wonder if I could send you some information also. We have met at florida conference. I respect all that you do and certainly would not waste your time.

    Ricki Townsend
    Board Registered Drug & Alcohol Interventionist (BRI1) (AIS) (NII)
    Drug & Alcohol Counselor (NCAC1) (CAS) (RAS)
    Certified Grief Recovery Specialist (GRS)

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