What is Addiction Recovery?
“What Is Recovery?”
At the Addiction Roadshow we will be explaining in plain English what recovery means to us and how you can attain it for your loved one, even if they’re in denial about the problem or not looking to become sober / drug free / in remission from their active destructive addictive behaviour.
Although millions of individuals and family members who are “in recovery” know what “recovery” means to them and how important it is in their lives, for the vast majority of the public, until they have a loved one with an addiction challenge, or indeed find themselves in need of help, their perception of recovery is, what it looks like and how it feels is likely to be enormously varied and often completely misleading. For instance, to the general public, the term “recovery” is far too often associated with someone who is still attempting to stop drinking or drugging and doesn’t even begin to consider that recovery only begins once someone has completely stopped.
Essentially, recovery from alcohol, drugs and other addictions is a complex and dynamic process encompassing all the positive benefits of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social health that can happen when addicted individuals, and / or their family members, finally get the real help they need.
The term “Recovery” is actually used to describe the state someone reaches once their addiction is in full or partial remission.
Addiction is not understood to be something someone can be cured of, but more specifically we can recover from our addiction by no longer engaging in it and we can become obsession free, thereby rendering the power of the addiction inactive.
The first stage in beating any addiction begins with finding a place of abstinence, or in the case of over-eating or other addictions that do require some engagement in, configuring the appropriate boundaries.
Beyond abstinence, recovery is an on-going process of learning, growing, and healing —mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
There are two great documents that we’ve found to best explain “What is Addiction Recovery”
The first is from SAMHSA – Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration from North America:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services released an updated unified definition of recovery in December 2011.
SAMHSA’s definition captures the most essential, common experiences of the recovery process:
“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 has also identified Guiding Principles of Recovery:
Recovery emerges from hope: The belief that recovery is real provides the essential and motivating message of a better future – that people can and do overcome the internal and external challenges, barriers, and obstacles that confront them.
Recovery is person-driven: Self-determination and self-direction are the foundations for recovery as individuals define their own life goals and design their unique path(s) towards those goals.
Recovery occurs via many pathways: Individuals are unique with distinct needs, strengths, preferences, goals, culture, and backgrounds, including trauma experiences that affect and determine their pathway(s) to recovery. Abstinence from the use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications is the goal for those with addictions.
Recovery is holistic: Recovery encompasses an individual whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community. The array of services and supports available should be integrated and coordinated.
Recovery is supported by peers and allies: Mutual support and mutual aid groups, including the sharing of experiential knowledge and skills, as well as social learning, play an invaluable role in recovery.
Recovery is supported through relationship and social networks: An important factor in the recovery process is the presence and involvement of people who believe in the person’s ability to recover; who offer hope, support, and encouragement; and who also suggest strategies and resources for change.
Recovery is culturally-based and influenced: Culture and cultural background in all of its diverse representations, including values, traditions, and beliefs, are keys in determining a person’s journey and unique pathway to recovery.
Recovery is supported by addressing trauma: The experience of trauma (such as physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, war, disaster, and others) is often a precursor to or associated with alcohol and drug use, mental health problems, and related issues. Services and supports should be trauma-informed to foster safety (physical and emotional) and trust, as well as promote choice, empowerment, and collaboration.
Recovery involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility: Individuals, families, and communities have strengths and resources that serve as a foundation for recovery. In addition, individuals have a personal responsibility for their own self-care and journeys of recovery.
Recovery is based on respect: Community, systems, and societal acceptance and appreciation for people affected by mental health and substance use problems – including protecting their rights and eliminating discrimination – are crucial in achieving recovery. There is a need to acknowledge that taking steps towards recovery may require great courage. Self-acceptance, developing a positive and meaningful sense of identity, and regaining belief in one’s self are particularly important.
The Second example of “What Addiction Recovery is” was commissioned by The Betty Ford Clinic (Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Ford was the Alcoholic and Prescription Medication Addict First Lady of the US President Gerald Ford from 1974 to 1977, who went on to establish one of North America’s finest addiction treatment centres in Palm Springs, California).
The definition can be read in full =>HERE<=