Adopting a recovery-oriented approach for the treatment of substance use disorders
September was Recovery from the Disease of Addiction Month (Recovery Month) in Canada.
The fact that recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs is possible, achievable, and a part of everyday life for thousands of Canadians is an important reminder for us all – and especially those working in healthcare today.
In celebration of this month, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and the National Recovery Advisory Committee (NRAC) have just released Moving Towards a Recovery Oriented System of Care: A Resource for Service Providers and Decision Makers.
The resource provides examples of policies and practices that service providers can integrate into their practices to help increase understanding about recovery, reduce barriers, and, ultimately, help those served achieve a better quality of life.
The experiences of individuals detailed in Canada’s first ever Life in Recovery from Addiction in Canada survey and report are used throughout the resource to explore the first-hand successes and challenges to recovery. While expert consultations with a range of recovery service providers and the guiding principles in A National Commitment to Recovery from the Disease of Addiction in Canada inform the actionable examples.
Importantly, the resource is based on the concept that there is no one pathway in recovery that works for all those struggling with addiction and, as a result, a successful journey can be different for each person.
This approach to treating the whole individual means collaboration at all service levels is critical. Across the continuum of care, services should reflect the individual’s needs and goals when addressing his/her problematic substance use.
Dedication of this kind – to supporting the whole individual – is expressed as Recovery Capital: a combination of personal, interpersonal and community resources that can be drawn upon in recovery. What is inside a person — their inner strengths — can be as important as the external care and supports they receive.
These are important insights for service providers, decision makers and the recovery community today as they work together to increase the capacity of the system to provide a comprehensive response that is based on collaboration, community services and long-term supports, and to reduce the stigma associated with substance use, addiction and recovery through greater awareness and understanding.
Principles of Recovery
The full resource contains a list of suggestions, or, actionable examples, for use in healthcare settings
There are many pathways in recovery: A variety of interventions and approaches can lead to successful long-term recovery. There is no one pathway in recovery that works for all those struggling with addiction and as a result, a successful journey can be different for each person.
Recovery requires collaboration: A recovery-focused system of care includes collaboration between service providers and community support systems, as well as between professionals across health care and social service sectors.
Recovery is a personal journey toward wellbeing: Recovery is unique to the individual with optimal services tailored to strengths, needs, perceptions and experiences, including trauma and mental health issues.
Recovery extends beyond the individual: The recovery process includes not only the individual, but the individual’s family, friends, workplace and community. Everybody can play a role in supporting an individual’s recovery.
Recovery is multidimensional: Recovery involves addressing the multiple dimensions of a person’s health in addition to their substance use.
Recovery involves everyone: Everyone can contribute to creating a culture and society that is compassionate, understanding and supportive of people in recovery and those struggling with addiction. This begins with overcoming stigma and dispelling the common myths that are associated with both having a substance use disorder and being in recovery.
In embracing the principles, service providers, decision makers and the recovery community can increase the capacity of the system to address collaboration, community supports and long-term outcomes, and to reduce the stigma associated with substance use, addiction and recovery.
Download, read and learn from the resource today, and start a conversation on how to be recovery-focused!
Optional feature boxes
The five key components a recovery-oriented system of care:
- Collaboration between service providers
- Coordinated community-based services and protocols
- Measures of long-term recovery outcomes
- Shared language and messages
- Lessening of stigma
Life in recovery from addiction in Canada
CCSA, in partnership with the National Recovery Advisory Committee, is focusing on changing the conversation about addiction — away from the problem, toward celebrating the solution. This change includes conducting the first-ever Canadian Life in Recovery survey, which explored the life experiences of individuals in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs in Canada, including information on personal journeys and different pathways to recovery.
This article was submitted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.