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Title: Learning to live again : an exploration of an ex-service user led project for alcohol addiciton recovery
Author: Parkman, Thomas James
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Background and rationale: This thesis explores the impact of attendance and participation at an ex-service user led project in Leeds for alcohol dependency. This thesis is important for two reasons. First, in the last few years, UK drug and alcohol policy has implemented a strategy that aims to facilitate full recovery from drug and alcohol dependency. Further research is needed to explore and understand the issues surrounding addiction recovery. Second, a scoping review of the literature found a significant lack of UK based studies exploring the impact of attendance and involvement at self-help groups for addiction recovery. Methodology and Methods: A qualitative, ethnographic methodology was used to gain a holistic understanding of the Learning to Live Again project (hereafter LTLA). A convenience sample of service users, mentors and professional staff who attended or were involved with the project was recruited. Participant observation was conducted at the project in order to gain greater familiarity with the project, followed by semi-structured interviews with those involved with the project. Data were analysed through a thematic framework approach. The data were interpreted and explained based on the theoretical assumptions of symbolic interactionism. Findings: The main finding was that the LTLA project provides service users with a recovery project that facilitates recovery on both an individual and collective level. The culture of abstinence and the peer support service users had access to, appeared to facilitate recovery by providing service users with a recovery project that is built on firsthand experience of addiction recovery. However, the data also demonstrated that some service users remain connected to their addiction through their ‘over-involvement’ with the LTLA project. Conclusions: This thesis contributes to the understanding of how and why attendance at an ex-service user led project for alcohol dependency impacts on recovery, and contributes to the UK evidence base on research in this area. The themes identified in this thesis lay the foundation for future research and further contributes to the understanding of recovery in UK drug and alcohol policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available