Recovery can mean so many different things to different people, but really recovery is about being in a situation where they feel supported and held up while in recovery. Shame and blame have no place in recovery programs or groups of people who are supposed to help a person work through the challenges of staying sober. Getting the right mindset is half the battle in seeking to heal in recovery from addiction.

Definitions of Recovery

According to the ASAM: a person is in recovery when he or she has reached physical and psychological health including abstinence from substances. The definition has evolved over time and thought leaders from Betty Ford onward have pronounced the concept of recovery to mean recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders as a process of change. SAMHSA defines it as a person’s ability to improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. SAMHSA does not define how someone would recover because that looks different for each person.

“True Recovery” Challenge

Within the recovery community is a challenging assumption around what ‘true’ recovery entails (abstinence). The field of recovery is very broad and encompasses many opinions. The focus solely being on abstinence allows people to capture, estimate, and even predict recovery in different pathologies, severities and at different life stages. This recovery typology is only possible with an inclusive mindset. The advocacy community also stands to benefit when inclusive definitions allow for the many variances in recovery. Abstinence only models of recovery can be challenging for some people because it may feel blaming or shaming for not being able to stay away from use of drugs or alcohol.

At the end of the day, abstinence should not be excluded from the idea of recovery but only fit in where it fits best–as an outcome. The definition of recovery can expand without diminishing those in abstinence-based recovery programs or are focused on their recovery in a very personal way. There are millions of people seeking to heal from addiction in recovery and it only matters for the person how they are seeking their best recovery for themselves that is working to keep them moving forward.

The Springboard Center’s addiction treatment programs are tailored to meet the needs of each client. By utilizing a set of diverse methods of addiction treatment, we are able to deal with your addiction from all angles and concentrate on every aspect of your healing process. It is important to recognize that many of our services offer a group setting and environment, so that the client spends time with other people affected by the same chronic disease and problems. 432-620-0255