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SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery

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Recovery has been identified as a primary goal for behavioral health care. In August 2010, leaders in the behavioral health field, consisting of people in recovery from mental health and substance use problems and SAMHSA, met to explore the development of a common, unified working definition of recovery. Prior to this, SAMHSA had separate definitions for recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders. These different definitions, along with other government agency definitions, complicate the discussion as we work to expand health insurance coverage for treatment and recovery support services.

Building on these efforts and in consultation with many stakeholders, SAMHSA has developed a working definition and set of principles for recovery. A standard, unified working definition will help advance recovery opportunities for all Americans, and help to clarify these concepts for peers, families, funders, providers, and others.


Publication Date: First Printed 2012
Format: Pamphlet
Audience: Everyone
Publisher: SAMHSA
Downloadable: Yes, Click Here.