Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"They Say when You're in a Hole, Stop Digging": Recovery from Comorbid Homelessness and Substance Misuse in Anchorage, Alaska
by Cavanaugh, Chris, Ph.D., University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019, 166; 10826879
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the construct of recovery from comorbid homelessness and substance misuse in Anchorage, AK. We conducted 23 semi-structured key- informant interviews with men in Anchorage who self-identified as recovered, or in recovery, from comorbid homelessness and substance misuse. Participants described their personal experience of recovery from this life experience, and offered a subjective definition of what recovery meant to them. The study was grounded in an interpretive phenomenological approach to understand individual perspectives on recovery as experienced by men in Anchorage who self-identified as in recovery or recovered from comorbid substance misuse. We found a progression of common factors occurred across the participants’ experiences in recovery: turning point, recovery process, and transformation. The data also indicated three critical elements to recovery from comorbid homelessness and substance misuse: resolving problematic substance use patterns (via abstinence or reduced use); engaging in active coping strategies to promote healing; and fostering meaningful, genuine interpersonal relationships. The present study asserts that social service providers, organizations, and researchers working with people experiencing comorbid homelessness and substance misuse can best serve this population by addressing the recovery preferences of consumers and offering a continuum of recovery options, rather than attempting to identify a singular or empirically best intervention.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Volino Robinson, Rebecca
Commitee: Dulin, Patrick, Fitterling, James, Gifford, Valerie
School: University of Alaska Anchorage
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Alaska
Source: DAI-B 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Homelessness, Recovery, Substance misuse
Publication Number: 10826879
ISBN: 978-0-438-58816-5
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