According to the government agency Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recovery from substance addiction or mental illness is defined as “a process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice while striving to achieve their full potential.” SAMHSA identifies four key areas that contribute to recovery:
- Health: People in recovery needs to work toward overcoming their disease, though it may be a gradual process. They also need to adopt a lifestyle that promotes physical and emotional health.
- Home: The person in recovery needs to have a stable living environment that supports the practices of recovery.
- Purpose: The person in recovery needs to have purpose. Having purpose yields identity and dignity. Purpose can be derived from volunteering, school, work, family responsibilities or creative pursuits. Daily purpose gives life meaning and direction.
- Community: Everyone needs social connection, love and friendship. People in recovery benefit from being surrounded by a group that offers encouragement and hope.