Improve Recovery Supports

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Recovery support can look like many different things for a person and their individual pathway to recovery. This is a crucial component of viewing SUD as a chronic disorder requiring long-term care.  Individuals entering recovery through treatment, the criminal justice system, or on there own often face many challenges in early recovery.  It is important that communities examine what supports are available, identify further needs, and ensure those with the greatest need have access to these supports.

Individuals who do not have these needs met are more likely to relapse.  Communities that fund these supports help those in early recovery re-engage with the community, increase self-esteem, and become highly productive members of their communities.  Providing effective recovery supports prevents relapse, the need to engage additional treatment and other services, and reduces the numbers of overdose.  Communities that have invested in recovery supports have seen a substantial return on their investment both in financial and human terms.

Recovery Defined

SAMHSA defines recovery as:

Recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. [1]

SAMHSA also identifies four major dimensions that support recovery:

  • Health—overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms and making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.
  • Home—having a stable and safe place to live.
  • Purpose—conducting meaningful daily activities and having the independence, income, and resources to participate in society.
  • Community—having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.


Key Topics and Strategies

The resources pages that follow address the key of support.  These include:

Recovery Housing

Perhaps the most basic support needed is housing and food.  Without this there can be no security or the ability for focus on health and recovery.  In many cases going home is not a safe option for those new to recovery.  A stable housing situation is foundational and allows growth and progress in other areas to take place.  Resources included focus on how to find safe, affordable, and supportive recovery housing options in communities across the country.

Education and Job Training.  

Finding meaning and purpose in one's life is important to all, but is especially critical to a person who has not found, or has lost, that purpose.  The ability to get and hold a job, get a promotion, improve one's education, and become independent are all important needs for many in early recovery.  Safe Solutions includes resources and information designed to help people in recovery develop the tools they need to find that purpose and achieve their goals.

Collegiate and High School Recovery Support

Many in early recovery find recovery while still in high school or college.  Many others enter high school or college after beginning their recovery journey.  Building an infrastructure of recovery support withing these specific communities is another area of focus, where it is possible to learn both where programs currently exist and the tools used by others to create these supports at colleges and high schools.

Improving Connections.

Many of the strategies come under the broad umbrella of improving connections.  Isolation is the enemy of recovery.  Connections include those to others in recovery across a number of peer-led support organizations and others that can help support the recovery of an individuals - including peer recovery specialists and recovery coaches. Family connections are also addressed and resources focus on helping the family recover and be able to support members in recovery

Other connections include those made in the wider community and even regional/national organizations that can help foster connection to others who provide support for individuals in recovery.


References and Related Articles

SAMHSA - Recovery and Recovery Supports


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