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. Fewer days experiencing hallu

    Like most of SAMHSA's efforts, this fails to focus on people with the most serious mental illnesses. For them, recovery is fewer days experiencing hallucinations, delusions, psychosis, and anosognosia. Fewer days homeless, incarcerated or being bounced program to program. Recovery means fewer attempts at violence to self, violence to others, suicidal ideation. SAMHSA should focus on serious mental illness rather than continuing kowtowing to worried-well. Has SAMHSA no heart?

    135 votes
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      45 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • self-directed?

      I would change "self-directed" to "satisfying" or "productive" or something similar. I was very "self-directed" while battling and suffering from addiction; the "process of change" that occurred for me focused on seeking other direction (spiritual, peers & mentors, counseling, etc.) besides just my own reasoning.

      5 votes
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        3 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • I would like to add that Recovery is about change. I have some definite views on how to express this

        Recovery is about change. Recovery is about changing negative attitudes and behaviors. It is about changing people, places, and things. It is about daring to be different by changing. It is about changing habits of stinking thinking. Recovery is about changing for the better through hard work and dedication. Recovery is about being fearless in your change.

        4 votes
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          3 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • I like the shortness, but lacks a staccato pulse.

          “Addiction Recovery is a voluntarily maintained lifestyle characterized by sobriety, personal health, and citizenship.”

          4 votes
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            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • Productive

            I would suggest you add the word productive, as in "live a productive, self-directed life". Many people are still living a self-directed life while using substances, but they are not being productive in any way. For example, they don't have a home, job, transportation, stable relationships, etc. There should be more distinction between just being self-directed and being involved in activities that enhance various aspects of their lives.

            4 votes
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              0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • 20 votes
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                4 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • GOOD JOB! Don't change a thing!

                It'sd simple, clear, easy to understand and right on target. Great effort.

                9 votes
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                  0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Needs HOPE

                  I believe that it needs to include HOPE somewhere. HOPE is the key foundation to Recovery!

                  17 votes
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                    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • I like the broad components

                    Individual forum commentaries seem to fit nicely within them.

                    2 votes
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                      1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • RE: The challenge with spirituality

                      The challenge with adding spirituality to define recovery is that, not all people that embark on the process of recovery will identify with spirituality.

                      From a counseling perspective, cultural sensitivity is required. In order to define a word or process, it must be specific enough to actually describe the nature of the word or process but general enough not to exclude other aspects of the word or process.

                      6 votes
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                        4 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • I would add: ...can be accelerated when the science behind them as brain diseases is understood.

                        When a person understands the science behind how the brain wires (develops), what can damage/change that wiring (e.g., genetics, social environment, substance abuse, mental illness, childhood trauma, early use), and how it can be re-wired (via the many pathways outlined in the Guiding Principals), a person can let go of the guilt and shame and better understand it was the brain changes that caused their behavioral changes. Thus, healing their brain -- which can be accomplished in a number of ways as outlined in the various Guiding Principals -- can accelerate a person's recovery.

                        4 votes
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                          2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • 7 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • I agree that recovery is very individual.

                            I have worked with the books of Louise Hay and with the Phyllis Krystal Method, but there are many others. The important thing is to pick one and take it seriously. Some people tend to collect certificates of seminars attended like one would collect stamps. What really counts is daily practice. No one is going to give 'daily showers' to our minds unless we do it ourselves. Other people can only… Read more: http://www.helenasmole.com/2011/how-to-lead-a-quality-life-with-bipolar-disorder

                            5 votes
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                              1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Recovery is to feel comfortable in sobriety

                              By working towards learning and developing a healthy sense of self.

                              5 votes
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                                0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • RECOVERY: Rediscovering a valued, worthy, purposeful human being while building a life worth living

                                I am an alcoholic who also suffers with mental health challenges. But I am now a strong, independent, and resilient human being. I was able to rediscover myself and build a new life that I am thriving in rather than simply surviving in.

                                7 votes
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                                  1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Recovery = Elimination of causal trauma

                                  Recovery entails elimination of causal trauma. Addiction being a relapse disease suggests root cause is unresolved. EMDR, TFT, Healing Codes are evidenced therapies that effectively eliminate root causes, thereby eliminating symptoms such as depression, cravings, anger, among other dysfunctional behaviors.

                                  1 vote
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                                    2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • A process of improving one's wellbeing

                                    A process through which an individual makes or experiences change(s) to enhance his/her wellbeing or relationship. The change may occur with or without the assistance of another person.

                                    3 votes
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                                      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • To Recover ..you 1st must uncover

                                      To the path of Recovery you must 1st uncover the Ugliness Life offered you ...let it go...then Recover..The only thing that should be Left inside your Spirit is Just "YOU"...

                                      4 votes
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                                        1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Added Principle: Recovery abates exacerbating behaviors and substance use

                                        Added Principle: Recovery abates exacerbating behaviors and substance use

                                        5 votes
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                                          1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • 8 votes
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                                            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                          (CLOSED) Definition of Recovery

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