Renae Fomiatti


Professor David Moore


The recovery concept is emerging as a potentially significant, and controversial, approach to treatment in the Australian alcohol and other drug sector. Recovery features in recent national and Victorian drug policy and practice documents, and current Victorian research is attempting to develop an evidence base to explore its effectiveness. By contrast, this timely project will focus explicitly on the concept itself – its assumptions, values and political impact on people who inject drugs.


The project will seek:
1. Improved understanding of recovery, decision-making and treatment experiences, and the variety of recovery pathways and practices for people who inject drugs;
2. Better understanding of the political effects of the recovery concept in research, policy and practice;
3. Expanded knowledge base for improving public health and social policy and practice; and
4. Increased professional understanding of treatment and recovery experiences.


The project will involve three components: (1) a textual analysis of the recovery concept in national and state policy and practice documents supplemented by in-depth interviews with national and state policy-makers and practitioners; (2) an analysis of the existing and developing research evidence on recovery; and (3) in-depth qualitative interviews and fieldwork with people who inject drugs focusing on their understandings and experiences of recovery in various treatment contexts.


The findings of this research project will be of significant benefit by providing an extensive and integrated critical social analysis of the recovery concept in Australia. This will lead to greater understanding of (1) how recovery is conceptualised in research, policy and practice, (2) the implicit and explicit assumptions about injecting drug use and about PWID underpinning recovery research, policy and practice, and (3) the political impact of these conceptualisations and assumptions on people who inject drugs.


Data collection has begun.


2013 – 2016


For more information relating to this project, please contact Renae Fomiatti :


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