Motivations for change in drug addiction recovery: turning points as the antidotes to the pains of recovery

David Patton, David Best

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    179 Downloads (Pure)


    Turning points during drug addiction recovery due to painful life events have been highlighted as being instrumental as push factors for change. This paper attempts to integrate the ‘pains of desistance’ approach into a recovery capital framework. It uses the life-narratives of those in drug addiction recovery to explore the role of the pains of recovery (push factors) alongside different forms of recovery capital (pull factors) at key stages or turning points during recovery. Findings demonstrate that pull factors were more prevalent and had a greater impact in promoting positive changes, supporting a recovery capital model. The life course approach revealed that turning points act as antidotes to the pains experienced in early recovery. The implications of this research highlight the need for drug policy to embed pull factors to promote positive change and create the opportunities for turning points to emerge, for practice to help dispel the myth of the need for a rock bottom moment and for a more macro conceptualisation and understanding of drug addiction recovery.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)346-366
    JournalJournal of Drug Issues
    Issue number3
    Early online date21 Nov 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024


    • Recovery; Recovery Pathways; Rock Bottom;, Turning Points; AddictionGender; life course


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