What Does Recovery Look Like?

Despite popular belief, recovery does not necessarily mean that someone has achieved abstinence from their addictive behaviour. Instead, recovery is about improving one’s quality of life through a journey of self-discovery and growth. For some this may include a plan of abstinence, yet for others it may be about achieving a controlled level of use.

Recovery is an individual process that includes changing one’s attitudes, values, beliefs, skills and goals. The recovery process is long and cannot be predicted as everyone is unique. It also often involves treatment of other underlying or complicating factors such as mental health issues.

More specifically, recovery is about:

  • Empowerment (having control over one’s life).
  • Self-determination and personal responsibility.
  • Having one’s expertise valued.
  • Reaching one’s potential.
  • Engaging in meaningful activities, such as education and work.
  • Being included in community life.
  • Having a voice in treatment plans.

It is important to note that relapses and/or “slips” often are a normal part of the recovery process. They can occur at any time and are most likely during the initial three months of treatment.

Adapted from: Mental Health Commission of Canada

Image attribution: Alpha Stock Images