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SAMHSA News - September/October 2004, Volume 12, Number 5

From the Administrator: The Promise of Recovery


photo of Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W., Administrator, SAMHSA

Increasingly, people coping with mental and addictive disorders are redefining the meaning of recovery. Historically, recovery has been regarded as abstinence from drugs or the absence of symptoms. But emerging definitions seek to go beyond abstinence or absence to include re-engagement with life.

At SAMHSA, our vision is of a life in the community for everyone—a fulfilling life that includes a job, a home, and meaningful relationships with family and friends. Our mission is to make this vision a reality, by building resilience and facilitating recovery for people with substance abuse and mental illness.

Our vision and our mission guide all our efforts here at SAMHSA: our policies and programs. So it makes sense to evaluate the outcomes of our programs within the context of recovery. SAMHSA has identified several ways to measure resilience and recovery, including, among others, increased or retained employment or school enrollment, increased stability in family and living conditions, and—most important—increased social connectedness. Perhaps more than anything else, a strong support system is essential to help people overcome challenges that might seem insurmountable when confronted alone.

This issue of SAMHSA News highlights one such effort—the Recovery Community Services Program—that capitalizes on the unique contribution that people in recovery can make to their peers (see cover story). Services provided by peers in recovery—such as providing information and referral; mentoring others in the areas of life skills, education, and employment; and offering emotional support and guidance based on first-hand experience—complement, extend, and enhance the formal treatment provided by professionals. Peer services simultaneously offer a sense of empowerment to those who have preceded and a positive role model to those who follow.

Equally important, peer services provide the community connectedness and social support that are so necessary to sustain recovery.

At SAMHSA, we recognize that the process of recovery is a highly individualized experience and may include certain components for some people and different ones for others. We likewise recognize that recovery is achieved via many different pathways and that it is a process that may continue in stages that—for many people—may span a lifetime.

Recovery is a journey along a continuum of change. Peers can play a critical role in furthering change by offering hope, motivation, and affirmation that treatment works and recovery is real. End of Article

Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W.
Administrator, SAMHSA

« See Part 1: Peer-to-Peer Program Promotes Recovery

« See Part 2: Peer-to-Peer Program Promotes Recovery

See Also—Next Article »

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Inside This Issue

Peer-to-Peer Program Promotes Recovery
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  • Part 1
  •  
  • Part 2
    Related Content:
  •  
  • From the Administrator: The Promise of Recovery
  •  
  • Examples of Peer Support Services

    Iowa Has Lowest Drug Use Rate
    Related Content:
  •  
  • Chart—Past-Month Use

    Youth in the Justice System: Improving Services

    Strategic Action Plans Clarify SAMHSA Matrix

    Complexities of Co-Occurring Conditions Conference - Special Report

    Complexities of Co-Occurring Conditions Conference:
  •  
  • Part 1
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  • Part 2
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  • Part 3

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  • Conference Panels:
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  • 4 Million Have Co-Occurring Serious Mental Illness, Substance Abuse
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  • Center for Excellence
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  • Resources

    SAMHSA Appoints New Members to National Advisory Council

    President Announces $100 Million Award for Substance Abuse Treatment

    Resource Promotes Employment Despite Homelessness, Mental Illness

    SAMHSA "Short Reports" on Statistics

    In Brief…
  •  
  • Building Bridges
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  • Mental Health, United States, 2002
  •  
  • 2003 Survey Released

    SAMHSA News

    SAMHSA News - September/October 2004, Volume 12, Number 5




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