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Recovery

Partners for Recovery (PFR) recognizes recovery as an ongoing process that starts before sustained abstinence is achieved. While the recovery process typically involves common benchmarks, each individual's path is unique.

PFR convenes and garners input from individuals in the addiction treatment field and recovery support providers to define recovery, refine outcome measures, and develop and disseminate long-term, community-based recovery resources that increase the likelihood of sustained abstinence from illegal drugs and prevent the abuse of alcohol and the misuse of prescription drugs.

To provide stakeholders and the public with a deeper understanding of the process of recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, PFR prepared a report entitled, "Pathways to Healing and Recovery: Perspectives from Individuals with Histories of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems" (39pp, PDF, 975KB). This report examines qualitative focus group and interview findings and offers greater insight into people's individual journeys of recovery. More specifically, the report explores the terminology individuals in recovery use to describe their experiences, the range of pathways to healing that exist, and the barriers and supportive influences involved in the recovery process.

Resilience – the context-specific ability to respond to stress, anxiety, trauma, crisis, or disaster – is a key component of the process and experience of recovery from mental and substance use disorders. To assist prevention, treatment, and recovery professionals with identifying and locating peer-reviewed research about resilience, Partners for Recovery developed the Resilience Annotated Bibliography (36pp, PDF, 532KB). This product includes references and brief descriptions of 67 articles published since 2000 related to resiliency and risk and protective factors of mental and substance use disorders.

To advance SAMHSA's goal of developing a standard recovery measure, PFR prepared the "Environmental Scan of Measures of Recovery (63pp, PDF, 919KB), which identifies and reviews current available measures of recovery from addiction. This document identifies and provides summaries of the development, psychometric properties, and uses of such measures in the addiction field. This information is supplemented by a review of selected measures of recovery from other chronic conditions, including mental health disorders.

Within the Recovery focus area, the PFR initiative recognizes the value of Recovery Support Services (RSS) as they contribute to recovery. RSS are nonclinical services that assist individuals and families working toward recovery from substance use conditions. To provide information about the funding sources that support RSS, PFR prepared a report entitled, "Financing Recovery Support Services: Review and Analysis of Funding Recovery Support Services and Policy Recommendations" (51pp, PDF, 1.2MB). This report provides an overview and analysis of Federal, State, and private funding streams currently used to fund RSS, and it identifies RSS offered through various funding streams. The report also makes recommendations on how laws and regulations can be changed to allow States greater authority, flexibility, and resources to provide RSS throughout the continuum of care to individuals and families.

The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment's (CSAT's) Partners for Recovery Initiative (PFR) conducted five regional recovery meetings between April 2007 and January 2008, to build on the work on Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care initiated at CSAT's National Summit on Recovery. The meetings were designed to achieve several goals including: informing individuals about the National Summit on Recovery; providing resources related to the operationalization of Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care; allowing States and organizations to share lessons learned; and providing a venue for individual State team planning. Further, the meetings expanded and continued a dialogue across the country about Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care.

The guiding principles and system of care elements developed at the National Summit served as a foundation for the meetings' discussions and for a proposed Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care improvement framework. The framework, which applies a comprehensive public health approach to implement the systems elements, is a tool to support policy development and planning to address substance use problems and related health conditions. Fundamental to the framework is the vision that systems and services should be responsive to the needs and desires of individuals, families, and communities and support health, wellness, and recovery.

Please view our report entitled, "Summary of CSAT's Regional Recovery Meetings" (23pp, PDF, 225KB).

For more information on the National Summit on Recovery, please see the archive section on the Resources Page.

Mutual aid groups, which provide non-clinical and non-professional help to achieve long-term recovery from addiction, represent a valuable tool in the recovery process. The Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) Guide to Mutual Aid Resources provides contact information and descriptions of a variety of mutual aid groups, as well as supplemental written resources, for people in or seeking recovery from addiction, their families and friends, treatment service providers and allied professionals.

For a working definition of recovery, please refer to our resource handout, Working Definition of Recovery (2pp, PDF, 72KB).

For information on Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care see the PFR's dedicated page on the subject.