If your definition of addiction recovery is “someone who is trying to stop using drugs or alcohol”, then it’s about time that you know what it really means. Recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism is more than just getting treatment inside a rehabilitation center or abstaining from narcotic substances. It has a much broader definition and in this article, we’ll explain to you what addiction recovery really is.
So what is addiction recovery?
In 2011, the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a new working definition of recovery which “captures the essential, common experiences of those recovering from mental disorders and substance use disorders.” It defined recovery from these illnesses 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.” All of this formed part of SAMHSA’s Recovery Support Strategic Initiative, where they gathered all the leaders in behavioural health, mental health consumers and also those currently in addiction recovery to draw up a set of principles that supported this new definition.
Through this Initiative, SAMHSA singled out 4 important aspects that supported addiction recovery:
- The recovering addict has to effectively manage their addiction recovery while maintaining good physical and mental health.
- The recovering addict has stay in a safe and sober living environment which will support their addiction recovery efforts.
- The recovering addict must engage in meaningful daily activities that will help their addiction recovery such as finding a job, volunteering, studying and practically anything that adds value to their lives.
- The recovering addict must build positive relationships in the community, based on support, friendship, love and hope.
SAMHSA also drafted a set of guidelines, known as the “Guiding Principles of Recovery”, which was aimed at helping those currently in addiction recovery, achieve their goals and to live alcohol & drug free. Here is SAMHSA’s Guiding Principles of Recovery, which can be found by clicking this link: http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1112223420.aspx
Recovery emerges from hope: The belief that recovery is real provides the essential and motivating message of a better future – that people can and do overcome the internal and external challenges, barriers, and obstacles that confront them.
Recovery is person-driven: Self-determination and self-direction are the foundations for recovery as individuals define their own life goals and design their unique path(s).
Recovery occurs via many pathways: Individuals are unique with distinct needs, strengths, preferences, goals, culture, and backgrounds including trauma experiences that affect and determine their pathway(s) to recovery. Abstinence is the safest approach for those with substance use disorders.
Recovery is holistic: Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community. The array of services and supports available should be integrated and coordinated.
Recovery is supported by peers and allies: Mutual support and mutual aid groups, including the sharing of experiential knowledge and skills, as well as social learning, play an invaluable role in recovery
Recovery is supported through relationship and social networks: An important factor in the recovery process is the presence and involvement of people who believe in the person’s ability to recover; who offer hope, support, and encouragement; and who also suggest strategies and resources for change.
Recovery is culturally-based and influenced: Culture and cultural background in all of its diverse representations including values, traditions, and beliefs are keys in determining a person’s journey and unique pathway to recovery.
Recovery is supported by addressing trauma: Services and supports should be trauma-informed to create safety (physical and emotional) and trust, as well as promote choice, empowerment, and collaboration.
Recovery involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility: Individuals, families, and communities have strengths and resources that serve as a foundation for recovery.
Recovery is based on respect : Community, systems, and societal acceptance and appreciation for people affected by mental health and substance use problems – including protecting their rights and eliminating discrimination – are important in achieving recovery.”
Should your addiction recovery efforts fail, remember that it’s not the end of the world! The most important thing is that you learn from the mistakes made, which will better prepare you should a similar situation arise again. The best way to help someone who has slipped in their addiction recovery efforts is by admitting them into a drug or alcohol rehabilitation center, which will help the recovering addict get back on the right track.
We provide access to the best private addiction recovery centers in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand.
Call us now and let one of our qualified addiction counsellors assist in finding the best treatment for you or your loved one.