Recovery is a lifelong process. While there is a large body of empirical data bearing on recovery initiation (the first one to two years), very little is known about the processes of recovery over time. This study examines the experience of individuals in long-term recovery from substance abuse (median = 12 years), including factors that are critical in establishing and maintaining recovery; these factors include social and community support, affiliation with 12-Step organizations and negative consequences of substance use. Implications for clinical practice and future research directions are discussed.