Defining Recovery

National Recovery Month

Recovery from Mental Disorders and/or Substance Use Disorders:  A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

Through the Recovery Support Strategic Initiative, SAMHSA has delineated four major dimensions that support a life in recovery:

  • Health:  overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms—for example, abstaining from use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications if one has an addiction problem—and for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • Home:  a stable and safe place to live;
  • Purpose:  meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income and resources to participate in society; and
  • Community:  relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

10 Guiding Principles of Recovery

  • Hope
  • Person-Driven
  • Many Pathways
  • Holistic
  • Peer Support
  • Relational
  • Culture
  • Addresses Trauma
  • Strengths/Responsibility
  • Respect
Source: SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery Updated
Follow the link to read more about the Guiding Principles of Recovery 
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