After the phenomenal response SAMHSA received regarding the definition of recovery, we will have an ongoing series of blog posts introducing SAMHSA’s Recovery Support Strategic Initiative. Like the previous definition of recovery posts, please comment and discuss. Below is a story how one individual has achieved recovery
By age 34, Maria was addicted to crack cocaine and incarcerated for drug possession. Now, she has been clean and sober for two years, has her own apartment, holds a steady job, sings in a choir, and is expecting a baby.
Maria is in recovery today because she had access to the recovery supports she needed at critical points in her life. While incarcerated, she received treatment for drug addiction. She joined a support group for women and received recovery coaching from a local community-based peer recovery group that reaches out to women in jails. She joined a choir and reclaimed the love of singing she enjoyed as a child.
After completing her sentence, Maria was welcomed at the peer-run recovery center in her community. She already knew many of the peer recovery coaches from their outreach in the jail. Maria participated in recovery groups, received help finding employment, and started a choir at the recovery center. When she became pregnant, her friends at the center threw her a baby shower. She’s now planning to take parenting skills classes offered at the recovery center. When Maria recently began to recall childhood sexual abuse, the recovery center promptly referred her to a mental health clinic for trauma-informed individual and group psychotherapy to help her address these traumatic memories.
Maria’s story shows that recovery is a holistic process, supported by good health, a safe and stable home, a sense of meaning and purpose in life, and connections with peers and others in the community. Recovery support is about helping people navigate a process of change so they can improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential.
The Recovery Support Strategic Initiative (RSSI) focuses on enabling people to find and pursue their individual pathways to recovery, while working to help orient systems to provide services that support individuals in their chosen recovery paths. The RSSI focuses on key tasks and activities in each of the domains of recovery: health, home, purpose, and community.
Over the next few months, we’ll be blogging more about SAMHSA’s new working definition and guiding principles of recovery and how they can serve as a resource for the design, delivery, financing, and evaluation of recovery support services. We’ll also be sharing information about what SAMHSA is doing in the four dimensions of recovery – health, home, purpose, and community. Stay tuned!
What do you think is most important for supporting recovery? Let us know by commenting below!