Ground-breaking recovery research focuses on families

‘What does recovery from addiction look like for families?’ is the subject of a ground-breaking research project from Adfam and Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, funded by Alcohol Research UK.

The Family Life in Recovery project is the first of its kind in the UK and will be conducted through a series of workshops followed by a detailed survey to map the recovery journey of family members of those suffering from addiction.

The survey will ask: ‘What is the recovery journey for the family member (and the remainder of the family)?’ and ‘What is the family member’s experience of an addict’s recovery journey and its impact on them?’ Results of the survey are expected to be published next summer.

The work follows on from Sheffield Hallam University’s first national UK survey of addiction recovery addiction experiences in 2015, which showed clear improvements in wellbeing in the transition from addiction to recovery. These related to health, employment, offending, risk and substance use, families and social relationships.

‘The Family Life in Recovery survey provides us with a rare chance to build an understanding of what the experience of living with and through addiction recovery is like and what impact it has on a range of family members,’ said project lead David Best, head of criminology at Sheffield Hallam University.

‘This research will help understand the needs that this population has and what can be done to support them in living with addiction and in supporting people to overcome the many challenges of an addicted lifestyle. We have previously shed light on personal addiction stories and now it is the turn of the families.’

‘We know that the journey of recovery has a large impact on the lives of family members,’ added Vivienne Evans OBE, chief executive of Adfam, the charity working with families affected by substance misuse for more than 30 years.

‘We are looking forward to the findings from this research to see how we can better support and advocate on behalf of families dealing with issues surrounding addiction and recovery.’