Short course

Online course details



Next course date

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6 units, 2 hours of study per unit

CPD hours

12 CPD hours



Online course description

The open online course provides an overview of addiction recovery science and its background, including discussion of the development of recovery research, primarily from the United States of America.

The Recovery Pathways course then focuses on one particular European research study, the REC-PATH study, which examines recovery pathways by gender, for people in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The course explains the rationale and methods for the REC-PATH study and outlines the main results across the various work packages of the project, including an assessment and review of recovery policy and its impact on the lived experience of recovery.

This course is unique in that it assumes no prior knowledge of research or science and provides learners with insights into recovery science, research and knowledge.

Who is this course for?

This course is intended for professionals working in the addictions field, supporting people in recovery, or those working in peer recovery organisations.

Upon completing the course, you will:

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a circle of people sitting with only hands showing
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Structure, certificates and assessment

Throughout the learning process you will be awarded a Digital Open Badge for completing each unit. These are internationally recognised by many employers and educational institutions and will allow you to display your study achievements, even if you only wish to complete a specific unit.

Upon finishing the course, you will be issued an E-Certificate featuring all earned badges and stating that you have completed the full course, so that you can add it to your CV or education portfolio.

If you're interested in exploring what else University of Derby Online Learning has to offer, browse our online courses.

An accredited provider of the CPD Standards Office

We are proud to be an accredited provider of the CPD Standards Office for our online short courses and free courses, demonstrating that they conform to CPD best practice and are appropriate for inclusion in a formal CPD record.

Accredited CPD Centre Logo - The CPD Standards Office, CPD Provider 60069, 2024-2025

Course units

The course is made up of 6 units, each will require approximately 2 hours of study.

Unit content is guided by professionally recognised theory and evidence:

The first unit looks at definitions and basic patterns and prevalence of recovery.

This unit focuses on the existing evidence about recovery and the growing knowledge we have about recovery patterns.

This unit is about the growth of recovery-oriented drug policies in the UK ,and more recently in Europe, and the challenges of attempting to implement them in practice.

We know that men and women typically have different addiction careers. This unit explores how recovery differs for men and women and how we can measure this.

This unit is divided into two sections - the first part deals with the studies and findings that shaped the REC-PATH project and the second part deals with the methods that we used for the research.

In the final unit, we describe the key findings from the various work packages in the study and what the implications might be for research, policy and practice.

Course requirements

How to enrol

All of our free courses are delivered through an easy-to-use online learning platform, which you can enrol from directly.

What you will need

The course is free and widely available for anyone to take part in regardless of age, location or education status. You will need to agree to the terms and conditions before you start the course which will be available when you enrol.

However, there are some basic requirements. You will need access to the internet whether it is on your PC, tablet, mobile or other electronic devices, as well as a valid email address to register with our online learning environment in order to take part in the course.

Once registered, please be aware that all study for this course is online and so you will need to be able to engage with this via a personal device, preferably a computer or laptop, for the stated duration of the course.

The learning platform is compatible with screen reader technology to assist those with visual impairments.

Project team

Dr David Patton is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Derby. He is a Senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is currently working on NIHR, ESRC and Big Lottery funded projects exploring drug recovery. He has also conducted research for the Home Office, Cambridge University, local authorities and the third sector. The projects he has worked on have helped create drug legislation and informed government drug strategies. He has also been Director of a Home Office funded Drugs Education Project at Sheffield Youth Justice Service and worked as a Life Coach for the Youth Justice Board to promote desistance and help young people reintegrate into education and employment. His research interests include using the often marginalised voices of those with lived experience of crime and drug use to formulate utopian visions of how the criminal justice system and society can be radically transformed to promote human flourishing. So that, in time there will be little need to support those in desistance and drug recovery, as these have become largely relegated to history. He is also a qualified Life Coach, MBTI consultant, Belbin Team Roles consultant and Interpersonal Conflict Mediator.

Lorna Brown currently works as a Research Assistant at the University of Derby, working with the team on the completion of the ERANID REC-PATH project. She graduated from Nottingham Trent University in Mental Health Psychology (BSc) and Cyberpsychology (MSc). Her master's dissertation compared psychosocial factors before and after social media abstinence, using a mixed methods approach, and was recently published to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Lorna is now supporting research activities for a new wave of research funded by the ESRC looking at the impact of the COVID-19, lockdown, and subsequent easing on recovery in the existing cohort from the ongoing REC-PATH international study of people in recovery from drug addiction.

Ed Day is a Clinical Reader at the Institute for Mental Health at the University of Birmingham and a Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust. His work is split between clinical research and teaching at the University of Birmingham and clinical practice in the Solihull Integrated Addiction Service (SIAS), a partnership between the NHS and three third sector providers.

Much of his research focuses on developing and testing innovative pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for tackling addiction, with a particular focus on social network interventions. He conducted the first RCT of front-loading detoxification strategies for alcohol dependence in the UK, and developed and tested a range of treatment manuals based on the concept of node-link mapping for Public Health England. He is a member of the Addictions Faculty Executive at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a member of the Drug and Alcohol Advisory panel at the DVLA, and part of the expert group writing clinical guidelines for the management of alcohol use disorders with Public Health England. He was appointed National Recovery Champion by the Home Office in May 2019.

Thomas Martinelli works as a researcher and PhD candidate at IVO Research Institute, in the Netherlands. After doing research in Latin America, he graduated in Cultural Anthropology and Global Criminology. Since then he has developed ample knowledge and experience with research applying a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods. At the moment he is working as a PhD candidate on an international study on recovery from drug addiction (REC-PATH).

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