DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As substance use disorder claims the lives of more than 150,000 Americans annually, new research demonstrates that being part of a healing community that leverages meaningful activities and a sober active lifestyle play a significant role in recovery. The Phoenix, a nonprofit organization that fosters a supportive, sober active community for individuals recovering from substance use disorder, has released a white paper that showcases the critical importance of affiliation with a healing community and friendships derived from engagement in meaningful activities such as fitness, mindfulness and music as pathway to sustained abstinence.
The white paper, titled “Theoretical Framework and Impact of The Phoenix Sober Active Community Model,” showcases positive impacts associated with participation in The Phoenix community. The white paper is authored by The Phoenix’s lead researchers, Jacki Hillios, PhD and Brett Wyker, MS, and presents findings from analysis of internal data sourced from member evaluation surveys completed between May 2018 – October 2019.
“Multiple studies have concluded that positive social connection, purpose and active forms of coping are directly correlated with sustained recovery for individuals with substance use disorder,” said Jacki Hillios, PhD, Deputy Executive Director for The Phoenix. “The Phoenix leverages the social benefits of group activities to introduce individuals to a supportive recovery community. With this approach, we create an environment where our members can explore a sober lifestyle and experience self-directed growth.”
The research detailed in the white paper finds that supportive and healing social network engagement is critical to relapse prevention and sustained recovery. The Phoenix theory of change focuses on two key strategies: 1) Providing access to active and meaningful group activities and 2) Building a restorative social network of peers in an emotionally safe environment.
Key findings from The Phoenix’s data in the white paper include:
After three months of active engagement with The Phoenix community
87% of members remained sober. Within this group of members:
- 81% of those new to recovery report maintaining their sobriety.
- 94% of members who identified as being in long-term recovery report maintaining their sobriety.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 members (ranging from 85 to 94%) reported making gains in the five common characteristics of a successful recovery process (connection, hope, identity, meaningful life and empowerment).
- Of members who were new to recovery, 70% reported they were more motivated to stay sober.
- Of members who were new to recovery that experienced relapse, nearly three-quarters (74%) had returned to sobriety and reported that The Phoenix helped them get back on track.
- 87% of members remained sober. Within this group of members:
Leveraging this unique sober active community model, The Phoenix is poised to help millions of people heal from substance use disorder and thrive in recovery. The Phoenix offers in-person and virtual programming, including CrossFit®, group fitness, yoga, meditation, music and other social events free for anyone with a minimum 48 hours of continuous sobriety from alcohol and nonprescription medications. A full schedule of programming is available at thephoenix.org/find-a-class.
“We are proud of the impact being made by The Phoenix, but we know that there is much more work ahead to support the more than 23 million Americans in recovery,” said Scott Strode, Founder and Executive Director of The Phoenix. “As we set our sights on impacting one million lives over the next five years, The Phoenix is committed to building a sober active community that is inclusive and empowers members to leverage social connectivity and physical activity to continue on their recovery journey.”
Since 2006, The Phoenix’s free sober active community has inspired more than 42,000 people across America to believe they have the strength to rise from the ashes of addiction through the support of those who are walking that very same path. Through its brick and mortar locations in major municipalities across the U.S., such as Boston, Mass., Denver, Colo., and Costa Mesa, Calif., along with an extensive online offering through live-stream and virtual programming, the nonprofit organization aims to redefine the addiction recovery process through its innovative model that is designed to facilitate human connection in a supportive environment and eradicate the stigma of addiction. Physical and other group-focused activity is the mechanism through which The Phoenix introduces individuals to the safe and supportive ‘sober active community’ at the heart of the program’s success.
For a free download of the white paper, please visit www.thephoenix.org/whitepaper.
About The Phoenix
The Phoenix is a nonprofit organization that fosters a free sober active community for individuals recovering from substance use disorder and those who choose to live a sober life. Since launching programs in Colorado in 2006, more than 42,000 people have walked through their doors nationally. By leveraging the intrinsic power of physical activity and social connection, participants build confidence and find the support they need to live productive and fulfilling lives in recovery. The Phoenix events are free to anyone with at least 48 hours of continuous sobriety from alcohol and nonprescription drugs. Instructors are either in recovery themselves or supporters with a strong tie to the mission and desire to make a difference. The Phoenix helps individuals rise from the ashes of addiction and pursue lives full of hope. For programming, follow The Phoenix on Facebook or visit www.thephoenix.org for more information.