Federal Government’s New Definition of “Recovery”

SAMHSA — the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — is a division of the federal government’s Health and Human Services department and the leading agency for the government’s approach to substance abuse treatment. It recently revamped the definition it uses for “recovery” in a way that makes it closely parallel the LifeRing approach.

The full definition can be found by clicking HERE. It deals with recovery from mental illness as well as substance abuse and is general in character, but the emphasis throughout is on “self-determination and self-direction” which it says are “the foundations for recovery as individuals define their own life goals and design their unique path(s) towards those goals.”

One section is about “peers and allies” and says “mutual support and mutual aid groups, including the sharing of experiential knowledge and skills, as well as social learning, play an invaluable role in recovery.”

The whole thing is worth a read. See it HERE


  1. DIY Handyman on February 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Could not agree more. In order to successfully recover you must have a vision of your future with goals and a plan to get there. You must have hope and support.

  2. Troy Spears on February 23, 2012 at 10:16 am

    The SAMHSA announcement can be found at