Working Definition

samhsa2SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery


Recovery is a process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice while striving to achieve their full potential.


Principles of Recovery


~ Person-driven


~ Occurs via many pathways


~ Is holistic


~ Is supported by peers


~ Is supported through relationships


~ Is culturally-based and influenced


~ Is supported by addressing trauma


~ Involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility


~ Is based on respect


~ Emerges from hope


There is no set time requirement for recovery as it is recognized that this is an individualized process whereby each person’s journey of recovery is unique and whereby each person in recovery chooses supports, ranging from clinical treatment to peer services that facilitate recovery.


Furthermore SAMHSA’s Recovery Support Initiative identifies four major domains that support recovery:


~ Health: overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way;


~ Home: a stable and safe place to live that supports recovery;


~ 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.


SAMHSA expects additional comments from the field as this definition evolves, and we continue to work together to help assure recovery services are being provided, reimbursed and measured in a consistent way.


Check out SAMHSA’s Recovery
Support Initiative for more information on recovery.

Click Here for blog.samhsa.gov/category/recovery-support

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