What should I look for in Recovery Support services?
The Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership (ASAP) Locator’s Recovery page seeks to raise public awareness that alcohol and drug disorders are a public health issue, seeks to eliminate the stigma associated with addiction and recovery, and seeks to improve awareness about substance use recovery issues.
Although millions of individuals and family members who are “in recovery” recognize the importance “recovery” has in their lives, until recently, the term had no formal or consistent definition. For the general public and for those who conduct research and develop policies about alcoholism and drug addiction, recovery is a concept that can sometimes seem unclear. Even worse, to the general public, the term “recovery” is seen as “someone who is trying to stop using alcohol or other drugs.” Clearly, it’s time for a change (National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Inc. 2015).
Recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction is a complex and dynamic process. It encompasses all the positive benefits to physical, mental and social health that can happen when people get the help they need. In 2005, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offered the following Working Definition of Recovery: “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.” For more information on the concept of recovery please see Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Recovery and Recovery Support.
Recovery programs promote partnering with people in recovery from mental and substance use disorders and their family members to guide the behavioral health system and promote individual, program, and system-level approaches that foster health and resilience (including helping individuals with behavioral health needs be well, manage symptoms, and achieve and maintain abstinence); increase housing to support recovery; reduce barriers to employment, education, and other life goals; and secure necessary social supports in their chosen community.
Support is provided through treatment, services, and community-based programs by behavioral health care providers, peer providers, family members, friends and social networks, the faith community, and people with experience in recovery. Recovery programs work diligently to meet individuals where they are within their recovery and as a result, recovery is as unique and diverse as the individual is. Once needs are established, the Program draws from a broad range of service delivery options that are designed to aid the individual in achieving and/or maintaining their definition of recovery. It is imperative that services are respectful of the individual’s culture, life experiences, and beliefs.
Because recovery is an individualized process, recovery services and supports must be flexible to ensure cultural relevancy. There are a few basic questions you may want to ask prospective providers, as they will help you to narrow your search. It is recommended that you begin the process by looking for a Recovery Support services on the ASAP Locator.
- What kind of support services does the provider offer? (i.e. social, legal, and other services that facilitate recovery, wellness, and linkage to and coordination among service providers).
- Does the provider of Recovery Support help people enter into and navigate systems of care, remove barriers to recovery, and stay engaged in the recovery process?
- Do the Recovery Support services include culturally and linguistically appropriate services that assist individuals and families working toward recovery from mental and/or substance use problems?
- Do the Recovery Support serves provide access to evidence-based practices such as supported employment, education and housing; assertive community treatment; illness management; and peer-operated services?
- When are Recovery Support services provided? (i.e. before, during or after clinical treatment or provided to individuals who are not in treatment but seek support services; day, evening, weekends.)
- Do the Recovery Support services have particular population restrictions? (i.e. age, gender, families only, children only, adults only, etc.)
- Where are the Recovery Support services located? Are there multiple locations?
- Does the Recover Support service focus on particular substances? If yes, what substances are addressed?
- Are there any fees associated with the Recovery Support services? If yes, how much?
For more information on national Recovery resources, please reference these resources.
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Recovery and Recovery Support
- Faces and Voices of Recovery
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, What are Peer Recovery Support Services? HHS Publication No. (SMA) 09-4454. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2014, October 9). Recovery and Recovery Support. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/recovery.