David Best

Strength, Support, Setbacks and Solutions


The developmental pathway to addiction recovery

Strength, Support, Setbacks and Solutions is a pioneering handbook that explores the developmental pathway to addiction recovery by examining the narratives of individuals and addiction professionals who have achieved recovery from alcohol or illicit drug addiction.



Strength, Support, Setbacks and Solutions is a follow-up to Addiction Recovery: A movement for social change and personal growth in the UK (2012: Pavilion). It tests a number of the hypotheses and models of recovery outlined in the earlier publication by presenting and examining a range of accounts from those in recovery from alcohol or illicit drug addiction.

The handbook re-familiarises the reader with the concept of recovery and its origins, recovery capital, contagion and recovery champions, before examining stories told by those in recovery about how they managed to achieve it and what it did for their lives. It goes on to examine the unique experiences of addiction professionals who are in recovery and who face the decision of disclosing their recovery status at both a personal and professional level.

Focusing on a developmental pathway model, this handbook expands the notion that recovery is a gradual journey of growth and identity change mediated by social supports. It also acknowledges the significant role that mutual aid, social networks and recovery champions play in a person’s recovery journey.


This book is for those who have made the choice and transition into recovery, or for those working with and supporting people who have made the choice to aspire to recovery.


ISBN: 9781908993472
Publication: 06 June 2014

  • Chapter 1: Recovery: A personal journey of change and hope
  • Chapter 2: Theoretical model for the book based on a developmental model of growth in; recovery capital linked to social change and networks
  • Chapter 3: Recovery stories in the Glasgow Recovery Study
  • Chapter 4: Pilot stories of recovery
  • Chapter 5: Rationale, design and pilot studies for the professional interviews
  • Chapter 6: Case studies of recovery stories
  • Chapter 7: Developmental pathways to recovery among addiction
  • Chapter 8: The recovery capital of addiction professionals and its relationship to well-being
  • Chapter 9: Recovery and the developmental model of change
  • Chapter 10: Recovery and the future.


David Best is associate professor of addiction studies at Monash University and Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Services in Melbourne, Australia. He has worked in the addictions field for 20 years, predominantly in England in a range of university and policy posts, including work at the Maudsley Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry, Birmingham University and the National Addiction Centre.

His main research interests are around treatment effectiveness and the recovery agenda. In the latter capacity, he was the first chair of the Scottish Drugs Recovery Consortium and of the UK Recovery Academy. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and is attempting to develop models to understand recovery peer networks and the growth of recovery capital.


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