Why We Support Many Paths to Recovery

There are as many ways to recover from addiction as there are people. What works for one person is ineffective for someone else. We believe that the outcome is more important than the process when it comes to saving lives.

Some of the ways people recover include religious, spiritual, or medical pathways. Churches, 12 Step groups, peer recovery support groups, and physicians all offer vital support for recovery. Supporting many pathways to recovery honors diversity. Recovery embraces people who recover in dramatically different ways, from prayer to medication.

Individual choice is the key to making recovery work. When people are empowered to make informed, healthy choices about their health, they're more likely to recover. People define their own recovery: that's why it works. Abstinence, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), or moderated use are some of the ways people recover. Not everyone wants or needs the same solutions. How someone recovers is their business. Helping them get access to recovery support is ours.


Natural recovery
The most common approach to recovery, natural recovery is when someone decides to stop using substances and can accomplish this on their own. Natural recovery is recovery that occurs without treatment or support groups. People who recovered "naturally” are the largest group of people in long-term recovery, but the least represented in recovery advocacy..

Mutual aid (12 Step)
In self-help and mutual support groups, people offer support, strength, and hope to their peers, which allows for personal growth, wellness promotion, and recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous is one example of mutual aid.

Faith-based recovery
Faith-based and community initiatives support people by offering programs in mental health services, substance abuse prevention, and addiction treatment at the national, state, and local levels. Catholic Charities is one type of faith-based community recovery resource.

Churches, spiritual, and religious recovery
Many religious groups, such as churches, support members who need help with recovery. From one-on-one counseling to recovery ministry, churches and other religious institutions are an excellent community resource.

SMART recovery
Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is an international nonprofit organization offers free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups for abstaining from any substance or activity dependence.

Refuge Recovery
Refuge Recovery is a mindfulness-based addiction recovery program. Described as a Buddhist approach to the 12 Steps, it uses meditation, awareness, and spiritual principles as well as mutual support.

Medication assisted recovery (MAR)
MAT uses behavioral therapy and medications to support recovery. MAT combines FDA-approved medicines with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a "whole-patient" approach. Commonly used medications are methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine.