Recovery success

Recovery success

Every person starts treatment with certain expectations and recovery goals in mind. Clients and their families often have unrealistic expectations about treatment and recovery. According to, "Treatment and recovery are ongoing processes that happen over time." Samarpan considers a client's physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being when discussing recovery. We understand that recovery looks different for everyone.

What Is Recovery?

Just what is recovery, anyway? According to the Samarpan Director of Residential Service, Martin Peters, “This is a question that I am often asked; there remains an often-dated belief that success in recovery can only be defined as to whether someone is clean or sober after leaving treatment. Recovery is so much more than that. Recovery is not abstinence, abstinence is a pre-requisite for recovery, but we must always understand that the bio, psycho, social, and spiritual needs of a person are in balance for someone to be truly in a long-term sustainable recovery.”

The previously mentioned article by reported, "Recovery from mental disorders and/or substance abuse disorders is a process of change through which individuals:

  • Improve their health and wellness
  • Live a self-directed life
  • Strive to achieve their full potential"

Supportive family members can help clients recover more efficiently by providing encouragement and emotional support. Often, "success" looks different for each member of the family. In the end, the client's goals and beliefs are the most important marker for achieving recovery.

Why Does Recovery Look Different for Everyone?

Healing from substance use disorder (SUD) or mental health-related trauma takes time, dedication to change, and a strong support system. Every case has unique factors that impact treatment and a client's ability to recover.

A few contributing factors many people encounter include:

  • The severity of symptoms and co-occurring disorders
  • Ability to cope with daily stressors
  • Amount of social support
  • Personal dedication to making healthy lifestyle changes

Obi Unaka, the Deputy Director of Residential Services at Samarpan, has stated, “The concept of success in recovery is subjective; measuring the outcome of an individual's treatment episode is based on an individual's interpretation. For some, reducing the harms caused by substance use or being non-dependent may be their idea of success - one size does not fit all.”

What Does Recovery Mean for Me?

The clinical team works with clients to help them identify goals to track their progress. Everyone thinks about recovery in their own way. For example, one person may consider themselves fully recovered if they stop the unwanted behaviors. Another person may feel they have recovered only after achieving emotional, physical, and spiritual stability.

According to, planning for recovery does the following for people in treatment:

  • "Enable [them] to identify goals for achieving wellness
  • Specify what [they] can do to reach those goals
  • Include daily activities as well as longer-term goals
  • Track any changes in (their) mental health problem
  • Identify triggers or other stressful events that can make [them] feel worse, and help [them] learn how to manage"

Some clients may need guidance figuring out what recovery means for them.

3 Prerequisites of Recovery

Clients benefit from achieving certain changes that help them become more functional and improve their quality of life. No two recovery journeys look the same. However, there are some universal mile markers that clinicians and clients can use to track progress. Below are three things people can do to recover successfully.

#1. Abstain From Substance Misuse or Maladaptive Behaviors

People unfamiliar with a holistic approach to treatment may believe that abstaining from substance misuse or discontinuing maladaptive and self-destructive behaviors constitutes recovery. However, this is not the case for people in a holistic treatment program.

Abstinence and improved behaviors indicate that the client has successfully reached a milestone in recovery that they can use as motivation to continue making progress. Abstaining and not engaging in certain behaviors does not address underlying issues that must also be resolved to ensure the client does not relapse or backslide into old habits after leaving treatment.

#2. Improve Mental Health and Emotional Stability

Treatment programs give clients the tools they need to achieve emotional stability. The skills they learn allow them to improve their emotional health over a period of weeks or months. Reaching a point where they can function without being overwhelmed by the symptoms and side effects of SUD or mental health issues allows the client to focus on other goals. However, achieving positive mental health does not mean someone is fully healed from the trauma that may have caused their condition in the first place. Continued healing is often necessary; it can take months or even years for a person to feel fully recovered.

#3. Establish a Support System and Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Creating a healthy coping system often means incorporating family into the treatment process. Close friends, significant others, therapists, and peers can become valued members of a person's support system. However, a support system can only do so much, and it remains up to the client to develop essential skills to help them recover.

Coping skills make it easier for clients to heal from the effects of SUD or mental health disorders. Some benefits of a healthy support system and coping mechanisms include:

  • Improved self-confidence
  • Practical preventative measures
  • Reduced intrusive thoughts or compulsions
  • Increased stress tolerance

Recovery Is a Subjective Experience

Although there are markers that the clinical team and client can use to monitor progress, no single achievement indicates someone has recovered from their condition. Individuals in treatment need to think about recovery as a process that brings about holistic changes and gives them a sense of well-being. At Samarpan, clients work with a psychologist to determine their personal goals for recovery and how they measure success.

Defining “success” in recovery is very subjective and involves various factors that can change over time and often differ between clients. Family dynamics, the presence of co-occurring disorders, and how invested a person feels in their own treatment can all impact long-term recovery. For most clients, success involves achieving a sense of spiritual, physical, and emotional fulfillment and wellness. Sobriety, positive mental health, effective coping mechanisms, and a strong support system contribute to recovery but none of those things on their own means a person has achieved recovery. Samarpan can help clients determine what recovery means for them. To learn more about our programs, call our office today at +91 81809 19090.

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