Road to Recovery

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At one point, mental health and substance use conditions were thought to be very difficult, if not impossible, to overcome or manage. But now we know that individuals can learn to manage their health conditions and often fully recover. When people hear the word “recovery,” they may think of recovery from alcohol or drug use. While this word can be used in that regard, it’s also a universal term meaning to return to a state of health and well-being.

In behavioral health, recovery…

  • is a process of change that helps people move toward their fullest potential.
  • encourages people to be involved in their own goal setting and achievement.
  • does not happen overnight.
  • looks different for each person.
  • focuses on individuals restoring a sense of purpose and value to their lives.
  • does not allow an illness to define someone.
  • provides hope for the future.

Simply put, people are not expected to just cope with the symptoms of their health conditions but are encouraged to find purpose and meaningfully contribute to their communities.

Even for those on the path of recovery, there may be a relapse or return of unwanted symptoms. We know that recovery is a cyclical, not linear process. People often view a relapse as a failure, which can cause individuals to give up on their efforts or avoid contact with their health providers. Return to use is most common in a person’s early recovery and can be viewed as an opportunity for learning and growth. Support in the recovery process is available from recovery coaches, peers, and support networks like friends and family.

A recovery perspective means recognizing that the recovery process goes beyond treatment and continues after treatment has ended.

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