The Five Foundations of Recovery

Foundations of Recovery |

If you’re in recovery and struggling, perhaps it might be useful to know what the fundamentals are for healing. Perhaps it would be helpful to have a better understanding of recovery so that you apply its principles in your life.

 These Are the Five Foundations of Recovery:


  • One of the most essential ingredients to recovery is staying hopeful. This might include believing in your ability to stay sober. This might also mean having a vision for your life in the future that includes health, well being, and sobriety.
  • Having hope can prevent feeling depressed, lost, beaten down, and confused. Knowing where you’re going and how can create a sense of meaning and hope in your life. And this can facilitate your recovery.

Personal Responsibility

  • Sometimes when we know we have a problem and we don’t want to face it, we react instead of responding to it. When we are reacting, we are often behaving out of unconsciousness, meaning we will behave in ways that are familiar to us.
  • We will react in knee-jerk ways, without giving it thought. Reacting to something usually happens quickly, arising out of emotion or habit. But, responding to something is much different.
  • When you respond, versus react, to something, you’re using logic and reasoning. You’re being thoughtful in the way you behave in response to a person, place, or event. Response requires thoughtful consideration. It requires that you care. Most importantly, when you respond, you have found the ability to do. You have taken up your personal response-ability.


  • One of the best ways to facilitate your experience during substance abuse treatment is to learn more and more about addiction and its causes. Not to bury your head in blame or worry or fear, but rather to become educated on the inner experiences that led to addiction in the first place.
  • In the mental health field, this sort of learning is called psycho-education. Learning about addiction and the patterns that contribute to it – such as powerlessness, co-dependency, enabling, a tendency to behave compulsively, blaming others, and feeling shame – can facilitate making different choices in life.
  • For instance, if you recognize that you tend to feel powerless in certain situations, you can try to stay empowered in that situation in the future. Although this might not happen on the first time, continuing to consciously make that change can bring great feelings of inner power and strength.
  • Drug addiction treatment isn’t simply about detoxing from the drug; it’s also a process of detoxing from the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to continued use of the drug.


  • Self advocacy is something that isn’t discussed often. It is the action of representing oneself or one’s views or interests. This might mean taking a stand for sobriety, helping others with their well being, or fighting for the legal rights of recovering addicts. Self advocacy means taking a stand for your rights in your recovery.

Developing and Maintaining a Support System

  • Setting up your support network is something you might want to discuss in your drug addiction therapy with a drug counselor. The two of you can discuss the benefits of having such a network and who to include.
  • In addition to addiction experts, you may want other recovering addicts who are a step or two ahead of you, those who have been through the difficulties you might be experiencing now. You may want to include others who can offer various forms of support such as compassion, a listening ear, understanding, love, and acceptance.

A significant part of seeking drug treatment is participating in your own healing. Sure, the therapists, drug counselors, residential drug treatment staff will all be there to support you on your journey, but essentially you’ve got to take your own healing into your own hands. And if you apply the principles above, you’re sure to find your way to sobriety and the life you want for yourself.


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