The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently announced a new working definition of recovery from mental and substance use disorders. The definition is the product of their year-long collaborative effort with the behavioral health care community and other specialized fields to explain the common, essential experiences of people in recovery.
The new working definition of recovery from mental and substance use disorders is as follows:
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 also described four major dimensions that support a life in 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
- Purpose: Meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteering, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society
- Community: Relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope