Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-15-2020


Undergraduate Honours Theses


Treatment for substance use disorders is an important service for thousands of Canadians each year and is an integral part of the healthcare system. Despite its role in the healthcare system, the literature is yet to determine a definitive definition of success for addictions treatment. The disease model of addiction as well as the harm reduction model are two prevalent models with differing philosophies. In addition, the recovery maintenance model and acute care models each provide evidence differing practices. The present study involved interviews with clients that had completed an abstinence focused residential treatment programme in order to get firsthand experience on success in treatment and recovery. The researchers analyzed these interviews with a combination of manual coding and NVivo word frequency analysis. The thematic analysis identified a combination of themes associated with successful treatment and successful recovery respectively. The theme of effort and work was identified as being important to successful treatment and the theme of passion and purpose was identified as being important to successful recovery. These themes suggested that success was client centered and that successful treatment and recovery were interconnected. These themes were compared to existing literature which verified that success was heavily subjective between participants across studies. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that it was important to encapsulate both desires to grow and ability to cope with barriers simultaneously. Building a strong foundation that could cope with barriers effectively allowed for growth and purpose to be found. These factors were demonstrated in the current sample as well as in the literature. Potential implications for these findings include quantifying success in treatment and validation of the important aspects of both treatment and recovery. Limitations and future directions of the current study are discussed.


Thesis Advisor(s): Dr. Riley Hinson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Psychology Commons