The University of North Texas Department of Disability and Addiction Rehabilitation recently received funding through the Hogg Foundation to coordinate the dissemination of the Recovery to Practice (RTP) curricula. This training and education program was developed by the Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), in partnership with the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and will now be delivered to addiction professionals within the state of Texas. As the state coordinator, our goal is to bring recovery principles into the daily practice of all addiction professionals across the state.
What Is Recovery to Practice?
Recovery to Practice is an initiative to encourage recovery-based principles and practices for addiction professionals and students across the country through education and training. Essentially, Recovery to Practice promotes a more concise understanding of what recovery is, how to utilize recovery-oriented practices and the roles of behavioral health professions in this process.
What is Recovery?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.
Four major dimensions that support a life in recovery include:
- Health: overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way
- Home: a stable and safe place to live
- Purpose: meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors and the independence, income and resources to participate in society
- Community: relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope.
What Are SAMHSA’s 10 Components of Recovery?
The broad goal of the Recovery to Practice program is to allow for further understanding of recovery. SAMHSA breaks the recovery process down into 10 major components:
Consumers lead, control, exercise choice over and determine their own path of recovery by optimizing autonomy, independence and control of resources to achieve a self-determined life. By definition, the recovery process must be self-directed by the individual, who defines his or her own life goals and designs a unique path toward those goals.
Individualized and Person-Centered
There are multiple pathways to recovery based on an individual’s unique strengths and resiliencies as well as his or her needs, preferences, experiences (including past trauma) and cultural background in all of its diverse representations. Individuals also identify recovery as being an ongoing journey and an end result as well as an overall paradigm for achieving wellness and optimal mental health.
Consumers have the authority to choose from a range of options and to participate in all decisions—including the allocation of resources—that will affect their lives and are educated and supported in so doing. They have the ability to join with other consumers to collectively and effectively speak for themselves about their needs, wants, desires and aspirations. Through empowerment, an individual gains control of his or her own destiny and influences the organizational and societal structures in his or her life.
Recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit and community. Recovery embraces all aspects of life, including housing, employment, education, mental health and healthcare treatment and services, complementary and naturalistic services, addictions treatment, spirituality, creativity, social networks, community participation and family supports as determined by the person. Families, providers, organizations, systems, communities and society play crucial roles in creating and maintaining meaningful opportunities for consumer access to these supports.
Recovery is not a step-by-step process but one based on continual growth, occasional setbacks and learning from experience. Recovery begins with an initial stage of awareness in which a person recognizes that positive change is possible. This awareness enables the consumer to move on to fully engage in the work of recovery.
Recovery focuses on valuing and building on the multiple capacities, resiliencies, talents, coping abilities and inherent worth of individuals. By building on these strengths, consumers leave stymied life roles behind and engage in new life roles (e.g., partner, caregiver, friend, student, employee). The process of recovery moves forward through interaction with others in supportive, trust-based relationships.
Mutual support—including the sharing of experiential knowledge and skills and social learning—plays an invaluable role in recovery. Consumers encourage and engage other consumers in recovery and provide each other with a sense of belonging, supportive relationships, valued roles, and community.
Community, systems and societal acceptance and appreciation of consumers—including protecting their rights and eliminating discrimination and stigma—are crucial in achieving recovery. Self-acceptance and regaining belief in one’s self are particularly vital. Respect ensures the inclusion and full participation of consumers in all aspects of their lives.
Consumers have a personal responsibility for their own self-care and journeys of recovery. Taking steps toward their goals may require great courage. Consumers must strive to understand and give meaning to their experiences and identify coping strategies and healing processes to promote their own wellness.
Recovery provides the essential and motivating message of a better future— that people can and do overcome the barriers and obstacles that confront them. Hope is internalized, but can be fostered by peers, families, friends, providers and others. Hope is the catalyst of the recovery process.
Are You Involved in the Field of Addiction Recovery?
We need your help! We are conducting a survey to analyze how recovery concepts and recovery-oriented systems of care are currently incorporated by addiction professionals and organizations in the field of addiction recovery. The information gathered will help determine the most effective way to deliver continuing education and recovery-oriented training specific to addictions professionals.
Your help in obtaining this information is critical to understanding the current status of recovery-oriented systems of care and recovery to practice concepts in the state of Texas. Please take a moment to consider SAMHSA’s 10 Guiding Principles of Recovery and answer the brief survey (it should only take about 7-10 minutes) to be a part of this important movement toward fully integrating recovery-oriented models of care into everyday practice. This survey can be completed anonymously; however, a better understanding of demographics in the field of addiction recovery is vital. Demographic information is not required. Your time and information is greatly appreciated.
Become a Recovery Champion!
RTP Champions agree to advance RTP practices within their own practice, their organization, and their community of addiction professionals. This includes participation in “Train-the-trainer” instruction, provision of training to local entities, and involvement in the RTP Addiction Professional Community of Practice.
Are You Interested in Additional Program Information?
For more information, please contact:
Linda Holloway, Ph.D., CRC
Department of Disability and Addiction Rehabilitation
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle #311456
Denton, TX 76203-5017
Voice: (940) 565-2488
Fax: (940) 565-3960