Participants in a drug court are subjects in a study that analyzes the rela
tionship between the everyday problems they identify in discussions with th
e judge and their patterns of recovery, as measured by compliance with prog
ram requirements. 130 types of problems mentioned in court revealed that pr
oblems generally are those associated with the individuals themselves (e.g.
, their physical health), their immediate social milieu (e.g., domestic abu
se), and the larger social structure in which they negotiate their lives (e
.g., acquiring Medicaid benefits). The most frequently mentioned types of p
roblems were "structural" in nature. Patterns of recovery identified in pro
gram graduates resulted in labels of "clear sailers," "late bloomers," "occ
asional stumblers," and "chronic stumblers." A case study of an occasional
stumbler reveals some ways in which everyday hassles and her responses to t
hem affected her recovery.