Previous research highlights multiple factors that impact the attainment of client-identified recovery goals in substance misuse treatment programs. However, fewer studies examine how programs meet the broad range of needs expressed by clients through their intersecting elements of service delivery. This study seeks to develop an understanding of intersecting program and recovery elements in relation to an overall framework for programming, focusing on how overlapping elements of treatment ventured to support clients in multiple areas of their recovery. Qualitative interviews were conducted with clients (n=41) in three longer term substance use treatment programs, and data from interviews were analysed using analytic induction and constant comparison strategies to surface emergent themes. Data analysis yielded six main findings. These included: Education; Goal Setting; Routine and Stability; Spiritual Development; Exercise; and Transitional Planning. Respondents indicated that programs must focus on bolstering the development of each element across multiple treatment domains (such as group therapy and counselling) to best support clients in achieving recovery outcomes.


Substance Use, Treatment, Program Evaluation, Concurrent Disorders, Exploratory Study, Grounded Theory, Thematic Analysis

Author Bio(s)

Aaron Turpin is a Research Assistant and PhD Student at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: aaronturpin1@gmail.com.

Micheal L. Shier is an Assistant Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: m.shier@utoronto.ca.

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