"Recovery cannot be achieved in isolation. In fact, many people with serious substance problems have become isolated and alienated and this has a further debilitating effect on their already vulnerable psychological state. People who have had such problems need to belong and feel part of something. They need to feel the acceptance, care and love of other people, and to be considered a person of value and worth." David Clark
David developed Recovery Stories with Ash Whitney (website developer) in the middle of 2013. This website is mentioned here, since it contains content that is of relevance to Indigenous people suffering from addiction and mental health problems, as well people working in the field.
Although David does not have time to update the website, he has retained the content so it can be widely read and used.
David has always believed that storytelling plays an important role in the recovery field. The Recovery Stories website provides an environment where role models and their personal narratives can help people in their recovery from addiction and mental health problems.
Solutions to substance use and mental health problems are manifested in the lives of people in long-term recovery. These lived solutions and their journeys provide insights into principles and practices that underlie recovery from addiction and mental health problems.
David wrote or edited an initial series of 14 extended addiction recovery stories (see right column for examples), which are accompanied by a wide range of shorter recovery stories, blogs, articles and film clips (see examples below).
David initially blogged (over 350 blogs) on topical issues, relevant web or book content, insightful film clips, etc that are relevant to recovering people and their families, practitioners or anyone else with an interest in the recovery field. Links to a wide range of recovery-related resources are provided.
A wide range of areas covered include: the recovery advocacy movement and other recovery-based initiatives; asset-based community development; positive psychology; dealing with drug withdrawal;
family recovery; rethinking psychiatry; mindfulness, community recovery, Indigenous peoples' healing; self-management and care; psychological trauma: hope, and much, much more.
Adam’s Recovery Story: ‘A moment of clarity’ After spending years locked into an addiction to amphetamine, cannabis and alcohol, Adam’s recovery took him to the other side of the world, where he lives happily with his new family.
Anna’s Recovery Story: ‘Should I or shouldn’t I?’ Through his heroin addiction and recovery, Anna’s brother has taught her so much about life, including the most valuable lesson she could ever learn – you can get through anything.
Ian and Irene’s Story, ‘Living through our son’s addiction and death: Our journey to recovery’ After losing their son Robin to a heroin overdose, Ian and Irene set up a support group to help family members avoid some of the problems they experienced.
Michael’s Recovery Story: ‘The power of empathy and compassion’ Michael followed both his parents into a life of dependent drinking, but he is now 35 years in recovery and working as a drug and alcohol counsellor.
Tim’s Story: ‘Doctor in Recovery’ As Tim found out, having a medical degree offers no protection against addiction, nor from the hard work that is required to change oneself as a key part of the recovery journey.
Factors that facilitate recovery
The importance of these factors has been demonstrated by listening to the narratives of recovering people about their journeys into and out of addiction.
Impact of substance use problems on the family
This research aimed to look at how a loved one’s substance use problems can impact on the health and well-being of parents and siblings.
It’s not just about the drug
The effects of a drug depend on an interaction between drug, person (set) and social context (setting). These three factors also influence the likelihood of addiction and recovery from addiction
Journeys into and out of heroin addiction, Part 1
Common themes that resonate about people’s journeys into and out of heroin addiction, and common factors that influence these journeys. This first part focuses on the descent into addiction.
Untangling the elements involved in treatment Our research focused on interviews of people in a prison treatment programme revealed insights into the elements that operate in the treatment process, and how they might interact to facilitate a person’s path to recovery from addiction.
The Anonymous People
There is something cool happening in America a the moment. The Anonymous People are becoming less anonymous, thanks to film-maker Greg Williams.
A journey toward recovery: From the inside out
I recently read an extraordinary article by Dale Walsh written back in 1996 which really summed up what recovery and recovery principles mean to a person who has been suffering from mental health problems.
The Recovery Formula: An essential recovery read
I love my books, but a book has to be bl–dy good for me to start raving about it. I have a large collection of recovery books and again my standards are high. A book needs to be pretty special for me to start promoting it. Well, I found one that impressed me so much that I agreed to write a Foreword.
Reflections on Kevan's Story, Part 1
Kevan is one of my heroes. Here is a person who shows what recovery is all about and what can be achieved. Kevan had a drinking problem for over 25 years. He was in and out of psychiatric hospital for eight years.
'What is Recovery?' by David Best
David says, “... but it also conveys the sense that recovery is a journey and how people experience it will change over time, and that the commitment and hope that characterise the start of a recovery journey may be the most important ingredients.”