Going through the PACES: Stories of Substance Misuse Prevention and Resilience

In the substance use disorder recovery and mental health recovery communities, people often tell their stories. This serves to heal the story teller, build community and empathy. These recovery stories are also used outside the recovery community to help build empathy and reduce stigma in populations without the lived experience of Substance Use Disorders. In substance misuse prevention, storytelling is not used as commonly or as productively as it is in these recovery communities. However, preventionists often ask people in recovery to tell their story as part of our work so there is something within us that drives us to share stories. With structure, or support, or follow up, storytelling in prevention work has shown to be a powerful tool to support larger points.


This product is a collection of stories that shed light on a variety of lived experiences that reflect some level of prevention, whether universal, selected, or indicated. These stories are told by people who made choices around substance use, but who did not develop a substance use disorder. This is one key difference between a recovery story and a prevention story.