Help SAMHSA Define Recovery

Over the past year, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) —as part of its Recovery Support Strategic Initiative —has worked with the behavioral health field to develop a working definition of recovery that captures the essential, common experiences of those recovering from mental and substance use disorders, along with 10 guiding principles that support recovery.

Recovery From Mental and Substance Use Disorders: A process of change through which individuals work to improve their own health and well-being, live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential.

Guiding Principles of Recovery:

  • Recovery is person-driven.
  • Recovery occurs via many pathways.
  • Recovery is holistic.
  • Recovery is supported by peers and allies.
  • Recovery is supported through relationships and social networks.
  • Recovery is culturally based and influenced.
  • Recovery is supported by addressing trauma.
  • Recovery involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility.
  • Recovery is based on respect.
  • Recovery emerges from hope.

What do you think about the working definition and guiding principles of recovery from mental and substance use disorders?

Commenting is open for 2 weeks, beginning Friday, August 12, and ending at 12 midnight Eastern Time on Friday, August 26.

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