Life after addiction: survey examines recovery in Canada
Survey first of its kind in Canada
Recovery from substance abuse can be a lifelong battle for many, and that's why Rand Teed wants to help others see there is life after addiction.
Teed is a drug educator and counsellor and says recovery is an ongoing process for him personally. He's also behind a new survey — the first of its kind in Canada — that paints a portrait of life in recovery.
Teed says the survey by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction looks at what recovery means to people and how they got to that point. It asked questions like: Do you consider yourself in recovery? What are you in recovery from? What barriers did you encounter getting into recovery?
Teed shared some of the survey's results, indicating that people facing addiction come from all walks of life:
- 78 per cent of the people who indicated they were in recovery were white.
- 62 per cent had completed post-secondary education.
- 78 per cent were actively employed.
- 49 per cent were married
- 61 per cent had kids.
"The problem is we hide it," said Teed. "It's still something people are embarrassed about."
"The primary barrier [to recovery] was stigma. The second barrier was access. People reported finding difficulty getting help when they finally wanted help."
The survey also demonstrated that recovery led to dramatic improvements in productivity and quality of life for the respondents.
For example, Teed said that prior to recovery, more than 60 per cent of respondents were missing work regularly. After recovery, only four per cent were missing work regularly.
Teed added that 41 per cent of respondents were experiencing violence while struggling with addiction, and only five per cent experienced violence after recovery.
Teed said the group behind the survey hoped for 300 respondents, but instead received more than 800 responses.
September is Recovery Month across Canada.
With files from CBC Radio One's The Morning Edition