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SAMHSA’s Guiding Principles Of Recovery

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

Medically reviewed by

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

March 6, 2019

The Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the governmental agency that is in charge of finding ways to treat and cure addiction in the populace and are looked to as the primary authority on effective and long-lasting treatment. SAMSHA has created a series of guiding principles that they believe support recovery and can help individuals recover from addiction in a comfortable and healthy manner.

Identifying The Guiding Principles

According to its website, SAMHSA has several guiding principles of recovery, principles that are designed to make addiction recovery successful and long-lasting. Each of these principles has been tested as encouraging to a recovery regiment that is healing and soothing to the mind and body of anyone who requires rehab. These principles state that recovery:

  • Emerges from hope
  • Center on a person‐driven method
  • Occurs via many pathways
  • Includes holistic concepts
  • Seeks support from peers and allies and through relationship and social networks
  • Takes into account and is influenced by culture
  • Addresses trauma
  • Boosts respect

These guiding principles are put in place in rehab centers across the nation in order to create a more sober and healthy nation. For your sake, we are going to break down these principles to give you a better understanding of how they promote your recovery and why they are so crucial to your success.

Recovery Requires Hope

In the past, addiction recovery was often based on treating those afflicted as if they were immoral or behaving horribly. This was designed to “scare them straight,” but SAMHSA doesn’t believe that this is effective. Instead, they work to promote hope in order to inspire you to see a life beyond your addiction. Inspiring hope gives you a focus to your recovery and something you can look forward to when you’re finished, such as a life free from addiction or success in a new career or job.

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Person-Centric Treatment Model

Person-centric treatments take into account your personal addiction needs in order to help you recover. For example, if you are suffering from dietary concerns, the first step often involves creating a healthy diet that keeps you on your feet and sober. However, it also includes other considerations, such as:

  • Financial needs
  • Personal goals
  • Family time
  • Work demands

By fine-tuning a treatment method to your needs, rehab specialists are ensuring that you are getting the best possible guidance through your recovery.

Multiple Pathways Are Necessary

Treatment is not a single-minded process and it can be achieved in multiple ways. For example, detox may not be necessary for every case. And treatments for psychological problems can vary between group counseling, personal counseling, and even behavioral adjustment techniques.

The point of this variety of options is to ensure that you aren’t stuck in a treatment style that doesn’t work for your needs. Remember: treatment is centered on YOU and YOUR needs, not that of the pet treatment technique of a specific therapist.

Successful Treatments Are Holistic

The term “holistic” may be confusing to many people, but all it means is that your addiction is treated by recognizing you as a “whole person,” rather than focusing on specific aspects. Typically, a holistic treatment model focuses on these four levels:

  • Physical – treating the physical problems caused by addiction
  • Emotional – balancing your emotional problems and finding coping methods
  • Psychological – identifying psychological problems that encourage addiction and treating them
  • Spiritual – finding faith in a higher power that can help guide you through addiction

Treating you on these levels helps encourage whole body and mind recovery. It will take the form of a variety of treatment options (detox, pain management, group counseling, medicine for psychological problems, and spiritual meetings) to heal you in every possible way.

Recovery Takes A Village

The old saying states that it “takes a village to raise a child.” This is true in recovery, as well. You can’t do it alone or even with just the help of a recovery center. You’re going to need to find the love and support of a wide range of people in your life, including:

  • Friends
  • Family members
  • Spouses
  • Other people in recovery

Basically, you need to create a group of people who understand you, love you, and actively support your recovery. Often, this requires focusing on people within your cultural group (remember, culture influences addiction), as they can better understand why you may have developed an addiction and what they can do to help you beat it.

Trauma Must Be Treated

Terrible events happen to everyone and when they do, we suffer from the emotional sensation of trauma. This can often drive people to addictive behaviors as a form of self-medication and the emotional damage it causes must be assessed and treated. Events that often cause trauma include:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Bullying or being picked on
  • Severe physical violence
  • Emotional abuse from a loved one
  • Car accidents or other shocking incidents (such as plane crashes)

Traumatic events such as these change a person on a deep level and it must be accounted for in all addiction treatments. Often, people suffer trauma during their addiction and minimizing its effects through counseling can help a person heal past it.

Must Include Respect On All Levels

When you’re down and out and suffering from addiction, it’s easy to feel like nobody loves or respects you. However, that’s not the case with a successful drug rehab center: they foster respect on all levels. This is done to make sure that you feel entitled to senses of social and personal respect. Respect helps you feel like a strong and vital person, one who matters.

As a result, it makes you fight harder for your recovery and to do what it takes to get clean. After all, you’ll feel like you deserve that kind of life and will do what you can to achieve it. However, that respect comes with a small personal investment: giving your rehab specialists, family members, and friends the respect they deserve, as well. That small investment will only build stronger personal relationships and create a successful and permanent support network.

These Principles Really Work

Successful drug rehab recovery focuses on these principles to help kick start breakthroughs for millions of people across the nation. If you are interested in learning more about these principles and how they can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us at today.

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