SAMHSA's Working Definition of Recovery for Mental Disorders and/or Substance Use Disorders: 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 Brochure Pic
SAMHSA has delineated four major dimensions that support a life in recovery:

  • Health: overcoming or managing one's disease(s) or symptoms, for example - abstaining from use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications if one has an addiction problem; and for everyone in recovery - making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • Home: a stable and safe place to live;
  • 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
  • Community: relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

Download SAMHSA's Working Definition of Recovery brochure.