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Definition Developed for Mental and Substance Use Disorders Recovery

Health Care

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently developed a working definition for recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders. It defines recovery as: “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

SAMHSA also outlined 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, volunteerism, 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.

Visit the SAMHSA website for more details and guiding principles of recovery.

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