The History of Addiction Recovery in America – William L White

Two of the most significant milestones in the history of recovery are the increased self-recognition of individuals in recovery as a distinct “people” and the tandem emergence of an ecumenical (beyond identification with a particular mutual aid group or treatment institution) culture of recovery. The former is being expressed through a grassroots recovery advocacy movement celebrating multiple pathways of recovery, and the latter is reflected in the construction of recovery-focused history, values, language, literature, symbols, rituals, art, film, and theatre, as well as through the emergence of new recovery-focused social institutions (e.g., recovery residences, recovery high schools and collegiate recovery programs, recovery-friendly workplaces, recovery ministries, recovery cafes, etc.). This brief essay highlights a growing historical consciousness within this emerging culture of recovery. Retrieving, preserving, and disseminating the history of addiction recovery is far more than an academic exercise. It is the medium through which each generation passes on collective experience… Continue reading