Natural Recovery and Supportive Community Networks

Pascal Scoles


The natural recovery process of “maturing out” appears to be an active process of renewal and growth, leading to transformative growth that involves the individual’s body, mind, and spiritual dimensions. If spontaneous or “maturing out” recovery accounts for about 4 to18% of the alcohol and other drug (AOD) challenges to the field of behavioral health treatment, how does one effectively partner with the other 82% who have alcohol and other drug issues? To answer this concern, we must ask a few more questions. (1) What developmental factors influence growth? (2) What social determinants of health enhance recovery? (3) What is a supportive community network? and (4) What constitutes evidence-based practice? When one only looks at the biological reasons for behavioral health challenges, the assumption is that getting well and overcoming deficiencies is a function of the individual rather than the system of care. This kind of narrow perspective has contributed to a behavioral health delivery system that continually struggles to provide an integrated, comprehensive care model. This restrictive thought process undermines individuals’ confidence to change and is unduly dismissive of community leaders’ efforts.

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