Jan 05

Defining Recovery + a New Recovery Center in Portland

SAMHSA recently announced a new “working definition” of recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders. The definition comes from a year-long effort that involved SAMHSA and several members of the behavioral health care community and beyond. The definition reads 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  SAMHSA’s Recovery Support Strategic Initiative, four major dimensions that support a life in recovery were also defined:

  1. Health : overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way;
  2. Home:  a stable and safe place to live;
  3. 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; and
  4. Community : relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

Crossroads works on all of these dimensions with clients in some way at every level of care. Without even one of these dimensions in place, finding recovery from substance abuse or mental health problems can be extremely difficult.

By defining what recovery is, SAMHSA hopes to create greater public awareness and appreciation of the importance of recovery. In addition, the working definition of recovery helps policy makers, providers and others to deliver the needed services and support to those in recovery.

What do you think? Does the working definition of recovery encompass what life in recovery is all about? How does it compare to this definition of addiction recovery?

Read more about the new working definition of recovery

Portland Recovery Community Center
And while we’re on the subject of supporting those in recovery, Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery recently announced the grand opening of the new Portland Recovery Community Center. The center offers “a visible haven and a home for recovery meetings and activities devoted to addiction recovery.” The grand opening celebration of the Portland Recovery Community Center will be held on Monday, January 23 at 468 Forest Avenue in Portland from 10:00am – 6:00pm. Very exciting!

Read more about the new Portland Recovery Community Center or download the flyer for the grand opening (PDF)

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1 ping

  1. Richard Haden

    In my experience of working with different recovery organizations definitions have been problematic. Who gets left out? What is not included? Focus. Seems to me, however, that samhsa’s new definition is perhaps too broad.


    1. Crossroads

      It is certainly broad, Richard. It’s a big task to define something that means so many different things to different people!

  1. An Updated Definition of Recovery From SAMHSA: | Crossroads Blog

    […] December, SAMHSA announced it’s working definition of recovery, along with a set of guiding principles. The definition was the result of a lengthy process that […]

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