Recovery to Practice: The Big 10 and the Beginning of a Massive Movement

BreedloveThe following post is the first in a series by Carrie Breedlove, MS, LPC, coordinator of Recovery to Practice, an initiative to encourage recovery-based principles and practices for addiction professionals and students across the country through education and training.

Some movements take off with a bang, while other initiatives see steady growth and sustainability over time. Eight years ago, the birth of a significant movement in the field of recovery occurred. In 2009, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) funded the Recovery to Practice (RTP) initiative.

SAMHSA provided funding for five mental health organizations across the country to infuse the 10 Principles of Recovery into the practice of the professionals associated with their respective organizations through comprehensive training. The trail blazers were as follows: The American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Council on Social Work Education, and the InterNational Association of Peer Supporters. The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) was brought into the fold a year later, in 2010.

Recovery is...So what are the 10 Principles of Recovery? As you read these principles consider how each bears weight on the impact of a person’s journey to and through recovery. Consider your own journey, or that of a friend, family member, co-worker, or loved one.

  • Recovery emerges from hope
  • Recovery is person-driven
  • Recovery occurs via many pathways
  • Recovery is holistic
  • Recovery is supported by peers and allies
  • Recovery is supported through relationship and social networks
  • Recovery is culturally based and influenced
  • Recovery is supported by addressing trauma
  • Recovery involves individual, family and community strengths, and responsibility
  • Recovery is based on respect    

By now you are probably reflecting on how these principles were either extraordinarily relevant, or shockingly absent from the care of your loved one, your friend or yourself.   

SAMHSA and other foundations recognized the immense need to infuse these principles into the very fiber of anyone who would encounter a person seeking recovery. The seeds of a comprehensive training program began inside each of the organizations mentioned above. Each discipline custom-tailored their comprehensive recovery curriculum using these ten principles as a foundation.  To provide effective care, it is vital that all parts of a team be operating on the same page, with the same vision: to put the person first in recovery.

The five years following the inception of this nationwide movement would yield not only discipline specific curriculum, which is still in circulation today, but the awareness that, in order to sustain a movement of this magnitude, roots must go deep.

Who would take up the torch for the recovery movement and go deep?

Look for the answer to this question in the next post in the RTP series.

Recovery to Practice is an initiative to encourage recovery-based principles and practices for addiction professionals and students across the country through education and training. UNT’s Rehabilitation and Health Services department received funding through the Hogg Foundation to coordinate the dissemination of the Recovery to Practice (RTP) curricula. This training and education program was developed by the Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), in partnership with the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and will now be delivered to addiction professionals within the state of Texas. As the state coordinator, our goal is to bring recovery principles into the daily practice of all addiction professionals across the state. Find RTP on Facebook.