“There are many pathways of long-term recovery, and all are cause for celebration.” –William White

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) defines behavioral health recovery, including recovery from a substance use disorder, as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” When individuals with a history of mental health or substance use disorders begin to address their challenges, they might describe themselves as being in recovery. It is important to note that recovery from a substance use disorder is not the same as recovery from a physical illness or injury—when the symptoms are gone, or the flesh has healed, your recovery is complete. Behavioral health recovery is not an event with a defined end date, but is instead an ongoing process. 

Pathways to Recovery

As with physical illness or injury, there are many pathways to behavioral health recovery, which may begin with clinical treatment (e.g., medication and/or therapy), but then requires on-going support. Twelve-step programs, faith-based programs, talk therapy or Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) are a few of the many pathways to recovery. While behavioral health professionals or peer support specialists may assist in developing a recovery strategy, best results are achieved when individuals are in full charge of their treatment and recovery plans.

Family, Friends and Community Support

One similarity between physical and behavioral health recovery is that wellness is not always a straight line. Setbacks and relapses are not uncommon. During those times, the best medicine is often the love and support of family, friends and the community at large.

Several community-based organizations promote ongoing recovery through peer-based support groups. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and other 12-step programs meet regularly in many places throughout the community. Oxford Houses provide safe and sober housing for people in recovery. Recovery Cafés are places where individuals can socialize in spaces that are drug and alcohol free, embrace healing, and where participants contribute to the organization’s ongoing development, management and structure. These are all examples of how the process of recovery can happen within a supportive community.

Share Your Story

Are you in recovery? We are looking for Skagit County residents who are willing to share their stories. When you share your recovery journey and how your recovery has impacted those around you, you show people that they are not alone. Sharing your story is a great way to connect and inspire others who may be struggling. If you are interested, please share as much as you are comfortable with being posted on Skagit Rising in the fields below. Once submitted, your story will be reviewed by Skagit County and uploaded to the testimonials section below.


Please remember this is a story of recovery, not of illness—focus on your wins, how you were able to overcome challenges, and how you maintain wellness.

  • We respect your privacy and will only contact you if there are issues with your submission.
  • We respect your privacy and will only contact you if there are issues with your submission.
  • Please include your preferred name to be displayed with the story. If you would like to remain anonymous, please type “anonymous” in the field above
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Questions that may help you as your write about your experiences:

  • Were there any early indications that you were struggling with addiction?
  • What helped you get from where you were to where you are now?
  • Who helped or supported you during your recovery journey? What did they do?
  • What are some strengths or skills you have developed?
  • What helps keep you on the right track?
  • Have your plans and hopes for the future changed now that you are in recovery? 
  • Any advice for those currently struggling?