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Eval Rev. 2007 Dec;31(6):585-612.

An eight-year perspective on the relationship between the duration of abstinence and other aspects of recovery.

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  • 1Chestnut Health Systems, Chicago and Bloomington, Illinois, USA.


Using data from 1,162 people entering treatment and followed up (> 94%) for 8 years, this article examines the relationship between the duration of abstinence (1 month to 5 or more years) and other aspects of recovery (e.g., health, mental health, coping responses, legal involvement, vocational involvement, housing, peers, social and spiritual support), including the trend and at what point changes occur. It also examines how the duration of abstinence at a given point is related to the odds of sustaining abstinence in the subsequent year. The findings demonstrate the rich patterns of change associated with the course of long-term recovery.

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