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Addiction Recovery Blog

The Four Dimensions of Recovery from Addiction

Substance abuse is not an isolated problem – it impacts many aspects of life. Patients often enter rehab with housing issues, employment problems, or damaged family and social relationships.

With all of these facets at work during recovery, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has defined recovery as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. In order to do this, there are four dimensions of recovery from substance abuse.1 These are essential to supporting a life in recovery:

1. Health – Overcoming or managing one’s diseases or symptoms and, for everyone in recovery, making informed healthy choices that support their physical and emotional well-being.

2. Home – Having a stable and safe place to live.

3. Purpose – Participating in meaningful daily activities such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking or creative pursuits. It also means having the independent income and resources to take part in society.

4. Community – Engaging in relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope.

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Hope is Key

Hope – the belief that these challenges and conditions can be overcome – is the foundation of recovery. A person’s recovery is built on his or her:

  • Strengths
  • Talents
  • Coping abilities
  • Resources
  • Inherent values

Because recovery is highly personal and individualized, the treatment services must be flexible as well.

Guiding Principles of Recovery

Most experts agree that recovery is not just managing symptoms, but is much more than that. It means living a life he or she is proud of and making progress toward life goals.

SAMHSA has created ten guiding principles of recovery:

  • Recovery emerges from hope
  • Recovery is person-driven
  • Recovery occurs via many pathways
  • Recovery is holistic
  • Recovery is supported by peers and allies
  • Recovery is supported through relationships and social networks
  • Recovery is culturally based and influenced
  • Recovery is supported by addressing trauma
  • Recovery involves individual, family and community strengths and responsibilities
  • Recovery is based on respect

Relationships in Recovery

As several of these guiding principles involve relationships, it’s important to understand the value of these connections during the recovery process. Family and friends can become a sufferer’s champion and provide the essential support needed during their journey and challenges.
Families can often face adversity during the period of treatment and recovery. They need to be prepared with resiliency to overcome potential feelings of:

  • Stress
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Loss
  • Grief
  • Isolation

Therapeutic Approach

Addiction treatment must address all four dimensions of health, home, purpose and community through a holistic approach. Therapy needs to address the body, mind and spirit in order to promote happiness and functioning across every aspect of life. At Footprints, we use a holistic approach that goes beyond treating the substance abuse itself. Each individual will have a personalized plan created just for him or her. Contact us for more information on our individualized addiction treatment.

Call Footprints Beachside Recovery at 877-954-3908 today.

1. Recovery Services Provided by Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities in the United States. (accessed Dec 17 2018).

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