The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

SAMHSA Stakeholder Feedback

(CLOSED) Definition of Recovery

This forum is closed.

The ideas and comments below were submitted in response to SAMHSA’s request for feedback on the working definition of recovery and the guiding principles that support recovery (http://blog.samhsa.gov/2011/08/12/recovery-defined-%E2%80%93-give-us-your-feedback/). The forum closed on August 26th and is no longer accepting
additional ideas, comments or votes. We will be providing information about the
feedback received and on how this feedback will be used on the SAMHSA blog in the near future(http://blog.samhsa.gov/).

Questions about this forum can be directed to newmedia@samhsa.hhs.gov

Tell us your views on the working definition of recovery from mental and substance use disorders. What do you like about the definition, and what changes do you suggest?

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  1. freedom from substance or mental-process addiction; the cessation of worshipping a subst. or procest

    Delete "Disorder" until courts stop ordering substance and mental abuse. Recovery from mental abuse and substance (e.g., money, food) abuse does not include recovery from the effects of that abuse, which is restoration. When a Wall Street CEO stops defrauding, he recovers his mind from his abuse. Maybe his victims recover from his mental abuse. When he returns his salary and bonuses, he recovers his soul from his money-worship (substance abuse). Maybe his victims recover from his substance abuse.

    3 votes
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      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • Recover is moving forwards with new dreams and goals, coupled with passion and persaverance.

      My diagnosis was life changing, as I saw new abilities, strengths and talents brought forth into my life.

      6 votes
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        1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Children, Families and the Recovery Definition's Guiding Principles

        Recommended Definition -- Recovery From Mental and Substance Use Disorders is a process of personal, relational and family healing that includes each striving to achieve their full potential and reconciliation.

        Sis Wenger
        National Association for Children of Alcoholics

        Over 30 years ago mental health clinicians – social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and marriage and family counselors – began to name what they were seeing clinically: children with behavioral and mental health problems, teens who were depressed and suicidal, and adults with anxiety and relationship disorders, depression, and many with what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The ratio of persons…

        9 votes
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          1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • 6 votes
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            1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • Recovery Is Achievable

            Semantically, "recovery" means getting well and "wellness" means staying healthy. If I can't recover, I can't get well. If I can recover, it is an achievable goal.

            5 votes
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              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • new possibilities

              Recovery from Mental and Substance Use Disorders: A process of change through which individuals discover and achieve new possibilities for their life.

              6 votes
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                1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Recovery is about having choice and focusing on healing

                Recovery is about healing and moving forward with life that includes choices in treatment that can include various cultural healing modalities such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, ayuverda, energy healing, shamanism, spiritism, and any thing that is meaningful to the person and enables the person to release traumatic energy from the body and getting back into balance as part of mind, body, and spirit process.

                Recovery is about having access to hope and opportunity for education, living in the community, and able to work or to be self-employed.

                4 votes
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                  1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • True mental health recovery means leaving the scientifically invalid "brain disease" model behind.

                  The long-term outcomes data is in, and it shows that taking psychiatric drugs actually *increases* the likelihood of becoming chronically "ill." It's time to ditch the DSM and start looking into the true causes of so-called mental illness. It's time to focus on less harmful, more effective treatment options. It's time to embrace HEALTH rather than disease.

                  9 votes
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                    5 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • 4 votes
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                      1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • 6 votes
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                        1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Substitute the word recovery for awareness. Awareness of what works. Go in that direction.

                        Everyone's "recovery" is different. If each person receiving services felt empowered to become aware of their own needs they are on the path toward change, and internalizing their responsibility instead of relying on others for making decisions. This is of course dependent on abilities, let them tell you what they are capable of doing.

                        5 votes
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                          0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • I like the definition, and the positive tone. Something about service and collectivistic relations?

                          Recovery seems to take on a very collectivistic approach to interrelationships. I think this approach is commonplace in the social services field, yet it is not always identified as such.

                          1 vote
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                            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Definition of Recovery: Value

                            Definition of Recovery Forum
                            Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this forum. I feel that the feedback I am providing will add to the many principles of recovering from substance use/abuse and mental disorders.
                            My name is Mattie Coleman and am presently a student at Los Angeles Southwest College, and will be completing the Substance Abuse Counseling Certification Program there. I have successfully completed the first module of the program and am at present a Recovery Specialist. Here is a principle of recovery that I feel that must be added to your forum ativities.

                            Current Working Definition:
                            Recovery…

                            4 votes
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                              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Mental health and substance use communities need to agree on recovery definition.

                              While it is clear that we are moving in the direction of behavioral health that encompasses mental health and substance use, both communities need to agree on a joint definition of "recovery" in order for this integration to work at the state level and in practical terms. Also, the redirection of "mental health" to "mental illness" doesn't embrace the empowerment, and rather keeps recovery in a heavy place for survivors. This needs to be carefully thought through if SAMHSA wants these changes to be embraced on a national scale.

                              4 votes
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                              • 6 votes
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                                  4 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • 10 votes
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                                    2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • Economic Self-Sufficiency, Empowerment and Well-Being are essential to Recovery

                                    The Consumer-Survivor Subcommittee of the CMHS National Advisory Council recognized this when it unanimously adopted a recommendation that all CMHS policies and programs should be guided by, and incorporate, this understanding.

                                    It is hard to imagine any meaningful definition of recovery that is truly compatible with poverty or economic dis-empowerment.

                                    14 votes
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                                    • 4 votes
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                                        2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Why worry about definition of Recovery at this late date??

                                        I find it odd that SAMHSA has recently been working to refine a definition of Recovery and now is looking for feedback about it. After all, "Recovery" has been CMHS's and many state public mental health systems' guiding principle for many years now, with many millions of dollars spent towards moving systems and individuals towards this goal. So to now be talking about defining this guiding, over-arching principle now seems like closing the barn door years after the horse has already escaped.

                                        3 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Feedback from our Wellness & Recovery Center members

                                          Our Center (On Our Own of Montgomery County, Maryland) held a discussion group to provide feedback on this definition of recovery.

                                          There was strong consensus among the participants that "recovery" as it applies to those with substance abuse issues and those with mental health issues are quite different and therefore that it is conceptually confusing to link the two.

                                          Some participants also felt that the definition is (perhaps purposefully) overly vague, nebulous and non-specific, and therefore not very useful, at least by itself.

                                          I think it would be useful for SAMHSA to extend the deadline for comments and to encourage…

                                          10 votes
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                                            1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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                                          (CLOSED) Definition of Recovery

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