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What Are The 10 Basic Principles of Recovery?


Sobriety 101

Long-lasting success in recovery is much more than attending therapy sessions and other recovery-related activities as recommended or required by your treatment program; the American Psychological Association (APA) has identified 10 basic principles that must be incorporated into one’s recovery into order to maximize one’s chances for success. They are:

  • Self-direction – clients choose their own path to recovery
  • Individualized and person-centered – there are many pathways to one’s recovery which are unique and incorporate individual characteristics and needs such as unique strengths, needs, personal preferences, cultural background, and more
  • Empowerment – individuals can be actively involved in the decision-making process of their recovery
  • Holistic – recovery should focus on a person’s mind, body, and spirit – not just the mental illness or addiction itself
  • Non-linear – recovery is based on growth and learning and is considered a continuous process rather than a “step-by-step” one
  • Strengths-based – clients’ strengths are built during recovery
  • Peer support – people can get to know and depend on others for social support
  • Respect – acceptance and appreciation by society, members of the community, and healthcare services is critical to a person’s recovery
  • Responsibility – individuals are responsible for their own recovery progress
  • Hope – the overall message of recovery is hope for a better future by overcoming one’s obstacles

Why might these core principles be important? There are several applications these can have. You may wish to ensure you’re following through with these principles in your own recovery. Additionally, you may want to ask a leader in your treatment program about these principles to see how they fit within your own program. If you’re an advocate for mental health and addiction recovery, you may wish to speak with your local community to see what else can be done on promoting these principles and provided the right support for people in your community. If you’re currently seeking a reputable treatment center, you may want to ask questions based on these principles to ensure you move forward with a center that has your best interests at heart.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.