Recovery is as a “process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” (SAMHSA 2012) This is a direction for those who are ready to recover, or to help others live a life worth meaning. This is an outline for those who seek to regain or maintain sanity and wellness in a context of holistic wellness. Let us examine recovery by the numbers, and form a solution information base for the sick, and struggling who may become inspired toward recovery based living. If human and social capital can be leveraged to help others recover let us provide support for our peers and share with them. It is part of the human condition that we need the support and encouragement of others to become content with life, and to feel connected.
The following 12 principles helped SAMSHA summit participants define the elements of recovery-oriented systems of care and served as a foundation for the recommendations to the field contained in Part III of the National Summit on Recovery Conference Report (Halveston & Whitter, 2009).
- There are many pathways to recovery;
- Recovery is self-directed and empowering;
- Recovery involves a personal recognition of the need for change and transformation;
- Recovery is holistic;
- Recovery has cultural dimensions;
- Recovery exists on a continuum of improved health and wellness;
- Recovery emerges from hope and gratitude;
- Recovery involves a process of healing and self-redefinition;
- Recovery involves addressing discrimination and transcending shame and stigma;
- Recovery is supported by peers and allies;
- Recovery involves (re)joining and (re)building a life in the community;
- and Recovery is a reality (Halveston & Whitter, 2009).[i]
, “Participants identified the following 17 elements defining what recovery-oriented systems of care should be:
- Family and other ally involvement;
- Individualized and comprehensive services across the lifespan;
- Systems anchored in the community;
- Continuity of care;
- Partnership-consultant relationships;
- Culturally responsive;
- Responsiveness to personal belief systems;
- Commitment to peer recovery support services;
- Inclusion of the voices and experiences of recovering individuals and their families;
- Integrated services;
- System-wide education and training;
- Ongoing monitoring and outreach;
- Outcomes driven;
- Research based;
- Adequately and flexibly financed” (Halveston & Whitter, 2009)
Thus, recovery is systemic & self-initiated. It is by such knowledge and acting thereon that freedom from the enslavement of addiction and mental distress becomes possible. Addiction is a systemic construct that evolved overtime. There were many causes for our actions, some of which were delusional and psychotic. Nevertheless, we were active participants in the construction of our addiction; and I say it again, we were the primary architects of our self-enslavement to alcohol and other drugs (AOD). But liberation is possible!
Since we are the architects of our addiction [reflect]; we know our prison cell better than the warden, or better than anyone else. It is only necessary to reflect upon the evil nature of addiction and how it has destroyed so much vital life energy for us to hate it and begin the systemic demolition of this self-deprecating form of gradual suicide, and self-destruction.
WHATEVER WAS BUILT CAN BE DESTROYED!
After gaining knowledge, then comes actions which will destroy the FOUNDATIONS of addiction FIRST! Trauma is usually at the heart of addiction. The trauma should be eradicated first, if possible, since nothing can stand without a foundation. Then the transformation and sincere intentional redirection of the sufferer on the path of struggling as a person in recovery (PIR) is necessary. The highest level of living will be to share with others what you have learned, and this is paying it forward. Sharing is the key to the highest blessing since it is the activity of the most useful people — the Teachers (like the Prophets). Teaching is the primal profession and recovery happens by sharing what you have learned with others. The management of this way of life is based upon the blessed method I coin the, “Elevator of Humility”, which works in reverse, i.e., when we humble ourselves, we then are raised in self-worth, esteem, and we become blessed.
This is a liberation therapy that dissolves the hooks of addiction, breaks the shackles of oppression & racism, changes the hearts of your enemies, and liberates the believer. This is the light of faith which upon contemplation, and reflection shines brighter still, until hope emerges from the depths of the heart and empowers the limbs to work the righteous way, and for the tongue to proclaim your self-truth and recognition of your Maker. Truth that recovery is possible as faith warms the cold heart, freedom becomes visible, the mouth hungers to taste recovery, and then we ran with allspeed to the peace of recovery. Bill White calls us the “Lazarus Society” because, we were dead, and now – We are Alive.
This is it! True Recovery
This is the life transforming story of many PIR who have engaged this golden formula of success in the lifelong process of recovery by every means necessary. I urge those in need of freedom to reflect on these words, and you who have recovered to share this methodology and invite all to this beautiful pathway of liberation and freedom living as a miraculous transformed being … A PIR, may you THRIVE and Keep it Recovery!
Dr. Hamzah Alameen – Crisis Recovery Network 2017
[i] Halvorson A., Skinner J., and Whitter M., Provider Approaches to Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care: Four Case Studies. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 09-4437. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2009.