What Is Recovery?

In 2011, as part of its Recovery Support Strategic Initiative, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) proposed the following working definition of recovery:

“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.”

Essential to Recovery:

  • Health – Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) and living in an emotionally and physically healthy way
  • Home – A safe and stable 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 live independently in society
  • Community – Relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope