Recovery Pathways / Participant information / Participant information – English


We are excited to conduct the first phase of a European collaboration that will study pathways to recovery from problematic illicit drug use. The Life in Recovery (LiR) survey is designed to document the lives of people who have reduced or stopped problematic use of drugs, and how overcoming their problematic use has changed their lives and the lives of those around them. The survey will gather information primarily from people in England, Scotland, the Netherlands and Belgium, but we expect this survey to gather data from other places as well.

In this survey and in other publications, we use the term ‘in recovery’ to describe a personal process of change. You may not see yourself as someone ‘in recovery’, and we do ask in the survey which term you think best describes your present status.

What is the purpose of the survey?

You are invited to help an international team of addiction and recovery researchers asking how being in recovery can change the lives of persons who had a problem with illicit drugs, their loved ones and their communities.

Who should complete the survey?

Minimum age 18 years old.

Anyone who considers themselves to have had problems with illicit drugs is encouraged to complete the survey. While much is known about the many costs of problematic illicit drug use, we know very little about what happens in a person’s life in recovery. We want to hear about your experiences regardless of whether you have sought any help or not or whether you consider yourself as someone “in recovery”; we would very much like to hear from you. If you know other people who may also be interested in sharing their experiences for this important project, please send them the survey link and encourage them to participate. Anyone who considers themselves ‘in recovery’ FOR AT LEAST 3 MONTHS is encouraged to complete the survey.

What will happen if you take part?

Participation in this survey is voluntary and anonymous. You may wish to exit the survey at any time; incomplete surveys will not be used. The survey should take you about 15/20 minutes to complete.

At the end of the survey you will be asked if you are interested in participating in the second and third phases of the project, which involves a more detailed interview about your recovery process. For completion of the second phase, candidates will be paid £10/10€. This will take part one month after filling in the online survey. The third phase will take place 12 months after phase 2 and an additional £15/15€ will be paid at the 12 months follow up. If you choose to provide contact information, please note that your survey responses will no longer be anonymous to the researcher. At this point you are still completely free to withdraw.

What are the risks?

There are no physical, social, economic, or legal risks associated with participating in this study, and all of your data will be kept confidential. If you would like to learn more about, illicit drug addiction, mental health conditions or get mental health support, you can find details of various organizations specializing in different conditions, including some 24-hour hotlines/support services (UK), by visiting