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What is Recovery?

An image of a road leading into a foggy background. Text overlain on top reads, "It doesn't matter how far you have travelled down the wrong road. You can always turn around and get on a path that changes your life for the better."

Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

Through the Recovery Support Strategic Initiative, SAMHSA has delineated four major dimensions that support a life in recovery:

  • Health - Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms—for example, abstaining from use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications if one has an addiction problem— and for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • Home - A stable and safe place to live
  • Purpose - Meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income and resources to participate in society
  • Community - Relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

Source: SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery

What is MAT?

Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT, is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Medications used are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs.

Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat substance use disorders, and for some medications can help sustain recovery. Medications are also used to prevent or reduce opioid overdose. The ultimate goal is full recovery, including the ability to live a self-directed life.

Source: Medications for Substance Use Disorders | SAMHSA

Resources on MAT:

Additional Resources:


2551 Walnut Street

Harrisburg, PA 17103

Office Phone:  717.221.1022


Youth Move PA exists in partnership with 
parent organization, PMHCA. Learn more.

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