Place and recovery from alcohol dependence: A journey through photovoice

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Abstract

It has been suggested that place, and interaction with the environment, may play a role in recovery from alcohol dependence. In this paper we report findings from a project that used an adapted photovoice methodology to better understand individuals’ experience and perceptions of the role of place in recovery from alcohol dependence. Individuals attending a recovery café in central Scotland documented their environment and, in focus group settings, the individuals discussed and analysed their photographs. Here we report aspects of the environment, both therapeutic and risky, experienced by individuals negotiating the journey of dependence recovery. Elements of the natural environment were largely referred to as supportive and therapeutic, as were other more quotidian spaces, such as the home and café. The largest place-based risk faced by participants was the persistent availability and marketing of alcohol. The results demonstrate that the journey of recovery from alcohol dependence is contextually shaped, with place both supporting and hindering this journey.

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