Aspects of Recovery:


Defining Recovery

Defining Recovery

Recovery is defined as: The process of improved physical, psychological, and social well-being and health following cessation or reductions in substance use.

Recovery is … 

… being honest with yourself and others

… being able to enjoy life without drinking or using drugs 

… living a life that contributes to society, to  family or to yourself

… being eligible, dependable and responsible

… the ability to help others

… living in the core values, beliefs and morals identified as self

There are stages to recovery, and there are sub-stages of each of those stages, and sometimes, even sub-stages of those stages.  It is a process.  It is a journey.  And it is as individual and unconventional as you are!

The good news is that there is no right or wrong way to do it.  The bad news is that there is no right or wrong way to do it.  There isn’t a ‘recovery mold’; addiction has genetic, environmental and socio-economic contributors-plus age, time, and methods/strengths/combinations of use which makes every one individual in their addiction and their recovery.

But- two factors of addiction recovery are vital to all:
  • Don’t Use
  • Make Changes

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), the leading and premier branch of the U.S. government, defines recovery as:

“Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.”

The aspects of Recovery are grouped into five areas: 

  • abstinence in recovery
    • Abstinence is more than just not using; it is about wanting not to drink or use, taking steps to protect yourself from others who actively drink or use, and asking for help when you are in danger of drinking or using.
  • essentials of recovery
    • Willingness
      • Participating in your own recovery 
    • Openness
      • Willing to talk to at least one person about what you are experiencing
    • Honesty
      • Avoid the three ‘E’s’:  don’t embellish, exaggerate or exonerate
  • enriched recovery
    • Understanding individual reasons for use and making changes on a deeper level
  • spirituality of recovery and 
  • uncommon elements of recovery
    • The culture, environment and beliefs of each individual not common, necessarily, to every person.


Page 64 Alcoholics Anonymous:

“Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.”