SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery Updated

In December 2011, SAMHSA released a working definition of recovery and a set of guiding principles.  The December release of this definition represented the culmination of a lengthy process that began with an August 2010 Dialogue Meeting and ended with a formal public engagement process (via the SAMHSA Feedback Forum) in August 2011.  At the time SAMHSA released the working definition, we indicated that we would continue dialogue with the field to refine the definition and principles.  Based on additional stakeholder input, SAMHSA is now issuing a slightly revised working definition and principles.

The revised working definition and principles give more emphasis to the role of abstinence in recovery from addictions, and indicate that an individual may be in recovery from a mental disorder, a substance use disorder, or both.   The revised definition is available at:

Source: The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration – March 23, 2012

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