Recovery Principles


Our Principles on Recovery

With thanks and credit to the McShin Foundation/National Summit on Recovery, 


There are many pathways to recovery. Individuals are unique in their strengths, needs, goals, beliefs, and expectations for recovery. Pathways to recovery are highly personal.

Recovery is self-directed and empowering. The person in recovery is the agent of recovery and must exercise choices and make decisions based on his or her recovery goals.

Recovery involves a personal recognition of the need for change and transformation. Individuals must accept that a problem exists and be willing to take steps to address it.

Recovery is holistic. Recovery is a process through which one gradually achieves greater balance of mind, body, and spirit.  

Recovery has cultural dimensions. Each person’s recovery process is unique and impacted by cultural beliefs and traditions. A person‘s cultural experience often shapes the recovery path that is right for him or her.

Recovery exists on a continuum of improved health and wellness. Recovery is based on continual growth and improved functioning. It may involve relapse and other setbacks, which are a natural part of the continuum, but not inevitable outcomes.

Recovery emerges from hope and gratitude. Individuals in or seeking recovery often gain hope from those who share their search for or experience of recovery.

Recovery involves a process of healing and self-redefinition. Recovery is a holistic healing process in which one develops or rediscovers a positive and meaningful sense of identity.

Recovery involves addressing discrimination and transcending shame and stigma. Recovery is a process by which people confront and strive to overcome these barriers.

Recovery is supported by peers and allies. Peers, as well as family members and other allies, form vital support networks for people in recovery.

Recovery involves (re)joining and (re)building a life in the community. Recovery involves a process of building or rebuilding what a person has lost or never had due to his or her condition and its consequences.

Recovery is a reality. It can, will, and does happen.