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Different Types Of People In Recovery

Recovery can be a difficult thing to define. Those in recovery and those who are not in recovery probably have two very different definitions of recovery. Even those in recovery may have a different definition than those sitting next to them, depending on their race, gender, sexual orientation, location, and status. Different cultures view things differently. All this is to say that there is no one right or wrong way to describe recovery. What can be said about recovery is that different ideas and opinions lead to different groups of recoverees. Three doctors, J. Witbrodt, L.A. Kaskutas, and C.E. Grella, wanted to try to create different groups of people who describe themselves as being in recovery. Along with the Recovery Research Institute, these doctors found that there are five different types of individuals who describe themselves as “in recovery.” These groups make up about 6% of American adults. Below are the five types of people in recovery, as well as six elements that most recoverees agreed upon. 

12-step traditionalists

  • Almost 5,000 people fell into this category, which was the majority of the sample.
  • This was the most abstinence-oriented group, with about 9 out of 10 people reporting that they were abstinent from both alcohol and drugs.
  • Over 80% of these people identified as being in recovery.

12-step enthusiasts

  • About 2,000 people fell into this category, making it the second-highest group.
  • This group reported 85% as being abstinent from substances.
  • About 75% of these people identified as being in recovery. 

Secular class members

  • Almost 1,000 people fell into this category, with a lesser percentage endorsing abstinence elements.
  • Less than 33% of this group was abstinent from both alcohol and drugs.
  • About 60% of these people identified as being in recovery, while 20% said they used to have a problem.

Self-reliant class members

  • A little over 1,000 people fell into this category.
  • Over three-quarters of this group were abstinent from substances.
  • Three-quarters of this group also identified as being in recovery.

Atypical class members

  • Almost 400 people fell into this group.
  • 75% of this group was abstinent from alcohol and drugs.
  • Half of this group identified as being in recovery.

Six elements most people (90%) agreed upon as belonging in the recovery definition

  1. Being honest with myself
  2. Handling negative feelings without using drugs or alcohol
  3. Being able to enjoy life without drinking or using drugs like I used to
  4. A process of growth and development
  5. Reacting to life’s ups and downs in a more balanced way than I used to
  6. Taking responsibility for the things I can change

If you are a woman struggling with an addiction, we are here for you. No matter which group you fall into, we can help. Call us today at 866-697-7573 for more information about how we can help you. We can’t wait to hear from you.