The Recovery Process Is Based On Sound Principles

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has identified the Ten Guiding Principles of Recovery. SAMHSA has a list of definitions for each principle, which readers may find at the website, by entering “working definition of recovery” in the search field.

These principles are based on basic human needs, so they are easy to apply to individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Recovery is a path to freedom and a remedy for self-inflicted suffering. People don’t have to do anything heroic to deserve recovery, but people who do recover have done something heroic, because of the challenges involved.

At Positive Recovery, we address our clients’ challenges with a unique program of insight-oriented, supportive, strength-based counseling. Our medical team, nursing staff, and counselors are committed to this client-centered approach. The Positive Recovery treatment program empowers our clients to create a meaningful, completely individualized strategy for recovery. Our approach is in alignment with the SAMHSA Guiding Principles.

Let’s examine these Ten Guiding Principles:

1) Recovery is based on hope. Samuel Johnson said, “The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.” People can go without a lot of things. People can’t do without hope. Recovery is real.

2) Recovery is person-driven. Empowerment develops from self-determination. No one runs my life for me. Even authorities govern behavior with my consent. I accept help and listen to advice, but I must choose my path.

3) Recovery may come through many avenues. Human beings develop different skills and coping strategies, based on experience (including trauma), culture, talents, and family systems, among other factors. Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process, although some basic behavioral limits are necessary.

4) Recovery is holistic. It’s not an intellectual exercise, or a healthy diet, or an exploration of emotions, or a consideration of new housing options. It’s all of these, and more choices, too. Recovery is a do-over for any part of a person’s life that needs help.

5) Recovery is supported by allies. People are best served by using all the help they can get. This includes coordinated assistance through professional healthcare and therapeutic services, peer support groups like the Twelve Step programs, community groups, and family assistance organizations.

6) Recovery is supported through social networks. Family members, faith groups, and community members provide a way for recovering men and women to leave unhealthy roles and engage in new, productive roles, supporting the process.

7) Recovery is culturally based. Cultural background is key in determining a person’s recovery path. Professional services should be culturally congruent.

8) Recovery is supported by addressing trauma. A person in an addiction cycle may not believe there is a remedy for a personal history of abuse. Providers must offer environments that promote trust and safety, so that trauma may be addressed.

9) Both communities and individuals have responsibilities in recovery. Communities must address deficits of opportunity and problems of discrimination and lack of inclusion. Individuals must take personal responsibility for their behaviors, in order to speak for themselves and create a commitment to positive action.

10) Recovery is based on respect. Moving toward recovery requires great courage on the part of the client. Many will have to develop a new self-acceptance and sense of identity. Community and social acceptance may be crucial for these clients, as they begin the journey of healing.


Do you need a new start? Are you ready to try something different—something that will change your life for the better? Call Positive Recovery at 713-904-4699. We are the Recovery Professionals, and we can show you the way!

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