Research has shown that the general public still does not understand what recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction really means. The language used in communities of recovery is very important to members, but it does not help to increase public understanding of recovery. Roads to Recovery offers recovery messaging training based on the materials developed by FAVOR.
Here is some information from FAVOR with a link to more resources on recovery messaging:
Recovery Messaging from Faces and Voices of Recovery
WHY RECOVERY MESSAGING IS IMPORTANT
Faces & Voices of Recovery has found a way to describe and talk about recovery so that people who are NOT part of the recovery community understand what we mean when we use the word “recovery.” One of the important findings from our research is that the general public believes the word recovery means that someone is trying to stop using alcohol or other drugs.
We have found a way talk about recovery in a clear and credible way that will help move our advocacy agenda forward, making it possible for more people to get the help they need to recover.
1. Make it personal, so that we have credibility.
2. Keep it simple and in the present tense, so that it’s real and understandable.
3. Help people understand that recovery means that you or the person that you care about is no longer using alcohol or other drugs. We do this by moving away from saying “in recovery” to saying “in long-term recovery” and by using concrete examples from our lives to talk about stability and mentioning the length of time that the person is in recovery.
4. Talk about your recovery…not your addiction.
5. Help people understand that there’s more to recovery than not using alcohol or other drugs, but that part of recovery is creating a better life.
MESSAGING OR LANGUAGE FOR A PERSON IN RECOVERY
I’m (your name) and I am in long-term recovery, which means that I have not used (insert alcohol or drugs or the name of the drugs that you used) for more than (insert the number of years that you are in recovery) years. I am committed to recovery because it has given me and my family new purpose and hope for the future, while helping me gain stability in my life (insert concrete examples to personalize). I am now speaking out because long-term recovery has helped me change my life for the better, and I want to make it possible for others to do the same.
Learn more about FAVOR’s information on recovery messaging.
Many people are concerned about a perceived conflict between advocating for recovery, and the anonymity traditions of twelve-step groups. Twelve-Step fellowship members may disclose their identity and speak as persons in recovery without violating traditions as long as they do not reveal their AA, NA or other twelve-step group membership. Learn more