The Recovery Research Institute defines recovery from substance use disorder as a process of improved physical, psychological, and social well-being and health after having suffered from a substance-related condition.

There are several other ways in which recovery can be defined – some, for example, specifically mention abstinence while others mention only the resolution of a substance use problem. The Recovery 101 section reviews a range of recovery definitions, in addition to many other content areas falling under the umbrella of treatment and recovery science & theory.




Fast Facts Pathways to Recovery Articles & Resources The Brain in Recovery

Fast Facts provides 10 of the most important scientifically-grounded facts about recovery. Expand each fact to learn more about the supporting research.

Pathways to Recovery outlines myriad ways in which individuals with substance use disorder can engage in a process of recovery-related change. Pathways described include clinical pathways (provided by a clinician or other medical professional – both medication and psychosocial interventions), non-clinical pathways (services that do not involve a clinician such as mutual-help organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous), and self-management pathways (recovery change processes that involve no formal services, sometimes referred to as “natural recovery”).

Articles & Resources provides information on special topics.

Stages of Recovery

Recovery Definitions

Factors of Recovery

Levels of Care

Recovery Technology

Resources For Loved Ones

Trauma & Treatment

The Brain in Recovery reviews research on how the brain changes (i.e., recovers) as individuals enter, and progress through substance use disorder recovery. Connections between these neurobiological processes and observable, recovery-related behaviors are also discussed.

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