“And then the rest happened”— A qualitative exploration of the role that meaningful activities play in recovery processes for people with a diagnosis of substance use disorder
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSubstance Abuse. 2021 10.1080/08897077.2021.1941506
Background: In this qualitative exploration, we report on a thematic analysis of the key role that engaging in meaningful activities may play in recovery processes for people with a diagnosis of substance use disorder (SUD). Methods: We conducted semi-structured, individual interviews with 30 participants and analyzed the parts of this material that were related to meaningful activities. Results: The findings are summarized through the development of three broad themes: (a) the central role of work—“The wages suck, but the job is gold”; (b) mastery and commitment—“I had to get up early, find my spot, I had to be present and fully functioning all day”; and (c) repairing the bridge to community life—“It’s my job and working out that has made this possible, really, I see that now.” Conclusion: We discuss these findings in relation to a recovery perspective and relevant empirical studies, highlight some important implications for research and practice, and consider the strengths and limitations of the present study.