|dc.description.abstract||This qualitative study explored the process of recovery from alcoholism
as experienced by individuals who recovered from alcoholism without
formal treatment or intervention.
This study sought to reveal those factors that initiated recovery and those
that maintained and supported it, including some of the strategies and
skills used by respondents in self-resolution of their alcoholism.
Limitations of the study are discussed, as are the requirements for future
studies of natural recovery. It is hoped that understanding some of the
natural processes involved in recovery from alcoholism may lead to
developing more informed and creative treatment approaches which will
harness the strengths, knowledges and abilities of individuals.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants and their
families across a broad range of age, gender, race and socio-economic
status. Participants were selected from those individuals who responded
to an article in the daily newspapers in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal. South
Africa and who fitted the criteria of being alcoholics who had achieved
two or more years of sobriety without formal treatment. This study seemed to indicate that natural recovery was the preferred
choice of some individuals struggling with an alcohol problem. This
choice appeared to have been made because of negative associations with
and perceptions of treatment, combined with a belief in the individual's
ability to solve their own problems. Reasons for stopping varied, but
seemed to be underpinned by a process of cognitive self-evaluation that
precipitated abstinence. Maintenance of sobriety was achieved by a
variety of skill s, strategies and processes that corresponded, in the main,
with similar international studies. There appears to be a strong
relationship with spirituality in all stages of the natural recovery process.
Finally. it appeared that individuals who possess a variety of personal and
social resources appeared to be best suited to and equipped for the natural
recovery process, although some exceptions were noted.||en